Ordering Clematis: Silver Star Vinery

Plants under Glass at the Conservatory

Plants under Glass at the Conservatory

Yesterday, after a nice leisurely Sunday breakfast out, my husband and I found ourselves near the Volunteer Park in Seattle with its beautiful old glass conservatory. All the grey foggy days we’ve had around here of late made us hanker for live plants and color, so we stopped by.

Seeing beautiful foliage and lush blooming plants put me in the mood to think about clematis (unfortunatley, there weren’t any in the conservatory).  When I got home I spent some serious time perusing the websites of my three favorite mail-order clematis nurseries in the US and day-dreaming about which new clematis I wanted to grace my garden.  Most years I buy at least a couple of clematis  from each one of these great nurseries.  I know, I know, where will I put them all you ask?!  Don’t worry, I always find a way–I have a big shoehorn just for this purpose. 

Clematis Star of India

Clematis Star of India

Today I will  tell you about Silver Star Vinery, which is located in the foothills of the Cascades near Vancouver, Washington.  This mail-order-only nursery offers a wide variety of well-established, healthy clematis.  Owner, Debbie Fisher, has strong connections with many European hybridizers and imports a few new cultivars almost every year.   Her big healthy plants tend to get going quickly.   Before she ships, she usually sends her customers an email telling them to go dig the holes cuz she’s heading to the post office!  I bought Clematis Star of India from her last spring and by July this saftig young plant had at least 25 beautiful flowers on it — and I’d had it less that six months!  Check out my photo.

So, after looking, and thinking, and making lists, and looking some more, I placed an order yesterday with Silver Star Vinery — below as a little teaser are just two of them.  (Please note:  I have permission from Silver Star Vinery to use photos from its website in my blog.)

Check back in a couple of days — I’ll tell you about Joy Creek Nursery and what I ordered from there.

Clematis crispa, a sweet little fragrant bell!

Clematis crispa, a sweet little fragrant bell!

A new Jackmannii -- Jackmanii purpurea.  Debbie says it's VERY floriferous!

A new Jackmannii — Jackmanii purpurea. Debbie says it’s VERY floriferous!


  1. Lois Tuwiner said,

    May 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I was at a lecture this week at the Annapolis Horticultural Society. The
    speaker was C. Colston Burrell. One of the things he mentioned was Clematis
    weaving through Hellebores!! Do you have any suggestions of Clematis that I
    might try that are easy to grow that would take weaving through the Hellebores?
    well! Lois


    • May 3, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Hi, Lois,

      Oh, clematis would look great peaking through hellebores during the summer. You could use a Clematis integrifolia — these clematis do not climb (though they weave well) and grow anywhere between two and six feet long. They are also easy to prune because they can be wacked back hard in early winter; in fact, they often die back on their own. Examples include Clematis Sizaia Ptitsa, Clematis Saphyra Indigo, and Clematis Petit Faucon — all three of these are dark blue. You can also find integrifolias in light blues, whites, and pinks. Another possibility is one of two clematis hybridized specifically as ground covers, Clematis Bijou, with light purple blooms through the summer, and Clematis Filigree with pink blooms. If your hellebores are in shade, with no summer sun, you should lean more toward clematis with pastel-colored flowers like light blue, mauve, and pink as they take shade better than others (all clematis prefer at least some sun). You can find descriptions and photos of these clematis in the A-Z section of Clematis on the Web. Look for the ones I mention here by name, plus there is a list of several possibilities if you look under integrifolias.


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