Interesting Uses Of Clematis

I’m a big Clematis fan. Since most of my writings in here deal with issues of construction and process, it seems I rarely write about the plants which have filled out these projects at the tail end of all that dirt moving, rock rolling and fabrications. I actually know my plants pretty well and I have some most definite favorites. Clematis would be one of those.

(left click to enlarge any pictures)


The truth is, it can be a rough plant to locate exactly right. The old saw: “Head in the Sun, feet in the shade” was never lost on me and has turned out to be fairly accurate. It also needs some amazing rich and good-draining soil. Once all this is accomplished, one can watch it grow. It must be added that the vine itself is extremely delicate. One bad move with a weed-eater and you can ruin 10 years worth of Clematis in a New York second. It always amazed me the amount of bloomage, foliage and all the rest which can proceed from such a scraggly start,  🙂 . But those vine beginnings are truly every bit of “diminutive and fragile”.

Here’s a mess of a Springtime guy of the Clematis family, all early as heck and profuse as you could ever want. This is an early Spring bloomer and actually somewhat fragrant.

Crystal Springs March 3 09 138

Later on in the year, we get the Real Deal as Summer approaches and we begin catching what these glorious heavy-blooming vines are all about:


I once took a picture of this relatively famous Clematis, at least famous in Vancouver. It grows in the David Lam Chinese Garden, hard by UBC and actually on campus there. This would be the same garden where I walked nearby as Queen Elizabeth roamed it, with a gaggle of kids with her. This may be the largest Clematis I ever saw – and thank you to the Botanical garden at UBC for this picture. A Clematis Montana, this sucker has been around for a while!:

Clematis montana_E2

What I found incredibly interesting, since moving to Louisville, has been the natives’ uses of Clematis as Mail Box Decor. It is one of those local fads which have seemed to have caught on and I really like it. Add that postal workers must certainly prefer these gorgeous plants to the more prickly roses which one can find decorating mail boxes in the past, and I think we’ve found a winner. Here are a few, just now getting uderway this early Summer:

Bernheim Spring 020

Just up the street a ways –

Bernheim Spring 021

To cement my amateur photographer status, I submit this one. I like its look and I won’t be back there any time soon, so I’ll let it fly in the face of snootier picture takers:

Bernheim Spring 022

Here’s a great “starter kit”! I particularly love the bloom color.

Bernheim Spring 023

This one has to be shown, since its a few doors down from us. The use of Clematis takes a newer route, garnishing a lamp standard, another visible local opportunity to feature this stunning plant.

Bernheim Spring 016

7 thoughts on “Interesting Uses Of Clematis

  1. Th first picture was taken out by Pyramid Lake. 🙂 They grow like crazy in Nevada. I bet I’ve planted 50 of them.

  2. Steve, I’m also a huge clematis fan, and I learned something here about their fragility (if I hadn’t already learned it by inadvertently whacking mine back). I envy you the C. armandii (if I’m guessing right)! And that C. montana is truly amazing. (I hope you bowed properly when you saw QEI.) Louisville has excellent ideas about mailbox decor; the rest of the country could learn.
    .-= Pomona Belvedere´s last blog ..Beautiful in Death 3 =-.

  3. These are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for posting all of these, Steve. You may be an amateur photographer but the subjects of your pictures always make up for it 🙂 I love checking back to see your photo updates (among other things), they’re fantastic.

  4. Thank you Pomona and, no, I just stood there gawking at Her Queenliness. LOL, got me a smile, so what the heck?

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