Silver Star Vinery Garden Open

Clematis Adorning a Birdhouse

Clematis Adorning a Birdhouse

Silver Star Vinery, located in the foothills of the Cascades in southwestern Washington, is one of my favorite mail-order clematis nurseries. On the weekend of July 27-28, the nursery display gardens were open to the public for the first time since the Grand Opening in 2006.  I had the great fortune of attending on Saturday and was able to assist owner and friend Debbie Fisher by answering questions from visitors to her huge, diverse, and beautiful display gardens.  Pure heaven for a clemaniac like me!  I also got to hang out with some of Debbie’s other clematis-knowledgable helpers and friends. All in all, a fabulous day, well worth the three-hour trip each way!

Clematis Yukikomachi with a blue integrifolia at its feet

Clematis Yukikomachi with a blue integrifolia at its feet

A steady stream of visitors wandered the gardens checking out clematis and buying some of the ones that caught their fancy from Debbie, who spent most of her time in the sales area of the nursery.  Delicious snacks for all comers kept everyone’s energy up.

As you will easily see from the photos below, the stunning and immaculate display gardens exhibit an amazing number of clematis in bloom.  The majority are displayed on wire supports in long wide rows, but many others cover arbors, embellish birdhouses on poles, and climb up wire gazebos.

Just by wantering through the gardens, I learned so much about clematis. I saw clematis in bloom that I had heard of but never seen in person. There were many others that I was not familiar with at all.

Sewing Scissors Turned Gardening Tool

Sewing Scissors Turned Gardening Tool

Very few clematis seedheads were visible throughout the gardens, so I asked Debbie about it.  She deliberately and meticulously deadheads clematis seedheads all the time.  This, along with careful watering and fertilizing, keeps many clematis in bloom for her for months!  Wow.  I also noticed that she and Dennis, her business partner, always have an unusual small sharp cutting tool in their hands or on their person, but I never got a chance to ask her about them.  A couple of days later, when I pulled out a sewing project, I realized exactly what they use — a type of sewing scissors!    Mine were immediately relegated from the sewing basket to my gardening tool belt.  I’ve been using them for all kinds of deadheading ever since, to great effect.

The garden open was so successful that Silver Star Vinery has already chosen the dates for next year:  Saturday and Sunday, July 12-13, 2014.  Mark your calendars! 

Check out the photos below of the display gardens and some of the lovely clematis I saw there.

Just a Small Part of the Silver Star Vinery Display Gardens

Just a Small Part of the Silver Star Vinery Display Gardens

Another Part of the Garden

Another Part of the Garden

And another!

And another!

Clematis Princess Diana

Clematis Princess Diana

Clematis Chalcedony

Clematis Chalcedony

 

Clematis Prince Charles

Clematis Prince Charles

Clematis Fairy Dust

Clematis Fairy Dust

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