May Clematis of the Month

Clematis Will Baron -- May Clematis of the Month

Clematis Will Baron — May Clematis of the Month

 

Clematis Fair Rosamond -- A Contender

Clematis Fair Rosamond — A Contender

Clematis Josephine -- the Other Contender

Clematis Josephine — the Other Contender

 

 

The Contenders

Deciding which clematis in my garden was the best for the month of May was not an easy task.  The contenders duking it out with Clematis Will Baron were the lovely and fragrant  Clematis Fair Rosamond and the exotic Clematis Josephine.   All three bloomed beautifully with showy large blossoms.

But the color of the blooms on Will Baron was a startling electric blue-violet, which is so difficult to capture in photos.   Oddly, I was able to get closer to the true color when I took a photo from the back of the blooms.   Photos taken from the front always show too much purple and not enough blue.  To see what I mean, check out the two photos of Clematis Will Baron below.  I will be taking a photography class at the Hardy Plant Society Conference in Bellevue, WA, in a few weeks.  Hopefully, I learn how to bring out the true colors of garden plants.

In the meantime, I will be attending the International Clematis Conference in the Philadelphia next week.  I am so PSYCHED!  Expect a full report.

C. Will Baron, a little too purply

C. Will Baron, a little too purply

 

C. Will Baron from the back -- now THAT'S more like it!

C. Will Baron from the back — now THAT’S more like it!

 

Other Clematis Showing Off in the Garden

Take a look at some of the other clematis beginning to bloom in my garden.  Who knows, maybe one of these will get the June title!  Not too long ago, I counted up my clematis by pruning group and discovered that 80% of my clematis were in pruning group 3.  Well, now, there is a very good reason for that.  Most of the pruning-group-3 clematis are so floriferous AND easy to prune.  But over the past couple of years, I have made concerted effort to bring in more clematis from the other two pruning groups.  What a joy to have so many more clematis blooming from March through June.  I love it!  But the late bloomers are still my favorites.  Which are your favorites?

Clematis Cezanne

Clematis Cezanne

Clematis Rebecca

Clematis Rebecca

Clematis Climador

Clematis Climador

 

Clematis Duchess of Edinburgh

Clematis Duchess of Edinburgh

Wow!  The VERY Early First Blossoms of Etoile Violette

Wow! The VERY Early First Blossoms of Etoile Violette

Clematis Omoshiro

Clematis Omoshiro

 

Clematis Tartu Beginning to Open It's First Blossom

Clematis Tartu Beginning to Open It’s First Blossom

Durn, C. Tartu wilted the very next day!

Durn, C. Tartu wilted the very next day!

Clematis The First Lady

Clematis The First Lady

Clematis Versailles

Clematis Versailles

Clematis Vyvyan Pennell

Clematis Vyvyan Pennell

Clematis Fugimusume

Clematis Fugimusume

The Early First Flower of Clematis Ville de Lyon

The Early First Flower of Clematis Ville de Lyon

Clematis Events in Portland/Vancouver Area

Clematis Ilka

Clematis Ilka in a Friend’s Garden Last Summer

May is clematis month in the Portland/Vancouver area in the Pacific Northwest.  Coming up we have Silver Star Vinery clematis being sold at two outdoor sales in Vancouver, a clematis celebration at Joy Creek Nursery (just 30 minutes from Portland), and the annual Clematis Garden Tour in Portland in support of the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection in Lake Oswego.  Immerse yourself in clematis by attending one (or all three!) of these events if you live or are traveling close enough.

Plant Sale in Downtown Camas

Plant Sale in Downtown Camas

Silver Star Vinery Clematis Sales, May 10 and 11

Silver Star Vinery, a terrific mail-order source for clematis right here in Washington, rarely sells direct to the public.  But this weekend, proprietor Debbie Fischer will have booths laden with clematis for sale at TWO plant sales in the Vancouver area.  Since she can’t be a two places at once, I get to go down to help.  Lucky me.

Camas Patio, Plant, and Garden Fair:   This fair will be held in Downtown Camas, just east of Vancouver, on Saturday, May 10, from 9am – 4pm.   Come on down!  Click here for more details about the Camas Fair. 

Clark County Master Gardener Plant Sale:   Debbie will be selling tons of clematis on both Saturday, May 10, from 9am – 4pm, and on Sunday, May 11, from  10am – 3pm.  This sale is held at the 78th Street Heritage Farm, 1919 NE 78th St in Vancouver.  She’d love to see you!  Not only can you buy beautiful clematis, you can also get great information about clematis.  Click here for details about the Master Gardener Sale.

Joy Creek Nursery

Joy Creek Nursery

A Clematis Celebration at Joy Creek Nursery, Sunday, May 18

Joy Creek Nursery in Scapoose, Oregon, on the Columbia River between Portland and Raineer, will join with the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection (FRCC) to celebrate clematis.  Attendees have the opportunity to see cut flowers from many varieties of clematis.  Knowledgable volunteers will be available to answer questions, and clematis will be offered for purchase.  At 1pm, Linda Beutler, curator of the FRCC and reigning president of the prestigious International Clematis Society, will team with Maurice Horn of Joy Creek Nursery to introduce great clematis, new and old.  Click here and scroll down to May 18 for more details.

FRCC Display Gardens at Luscher Farm

FRCC Display Gardens at Luscher Farm

Inviting Vines Garden Tour in Portland, Saturday, May 24, 10am – 4pm

I always attend this garden tour, but I can’t make it this year.  Boo hoo.  But if you go, you won’t regret it!  There are five gardens on the tour in North and Northeast Portland, plus Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego, where all 1,700 FRCC clematis reside.  Unusual clematis will available for purchase at both Luscher Farm and one of the other gardens.  Attendees will see how other gardeners incorporate clematis into their gardens.  All proceeds go to support the FRCC.  Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

Silver Star Vinery Clematis

Silver Star Vinery Clematis

Coming in July — Silver Star Vinery Garden Open, July 12 and 13, 10am – 4pm

Debbie of Silver Star Vinery opened her display gardens and sales to the public last July — the event was so successful and so well attended that she’s opening again this year.   If  you are in striking distance of Yacolt, Washington, in the foothills of the Cascades north of Vancouver (one hour from Portland, Oregon) — do NOT miss this event.  Debbie has a huge display garden in the middle of a forest with hundreds of the clematis growing and blooming on all kinds of structures.  Mark your calenders for Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13, 10am – 4pm each day.

April Clematis of the Month — And More!

April's Clematis of the Month:  C. Guernsey Cream

April’s Clematis of the Month: C. Guernsey Cream

Clematis Guernsey Cream Wins April Clematis of the Month in My Garden!

Choosing just one Clematis of the Month for April was NOT easy.  Afterall, my Clematis alpinas were all blooming in April — with Clematis Pauline being my favorite this year.  Then, too, Clematis montana Vera was (and still is) looking great — but, being up so high in the cedar, it’s hard to photograph without a telephoto lens.  Clematis Guernsey Cream, though, was absolutely stunning in April and blooming early, too!

The determined C. Asao

The determined C. Asao

Clematis Asao Has Begun Opening

Originally, I thought either C. Josephine or  C. Fair Rosamond, with their big juicy buds, would be the next to bloom.   But two lovely C. Asao, one growing in each of my two big window boxes, had a different idea!  Because C. Asao is a Pruning Group B clematis, I never used to prune them until spring and then only lightly.  However, their ugly reddish brown leaves were a blight to my eyes all winter.  Two years ago I decided to remove both of them and plant Pruning Group C clematis instead because I could cut them back hard in the fall.  I happily purchased and planted C. Pariesianne and C. Justa as replacements.  But the contrary C. Asao had other plans.  They grew back!  They did not mind hard pruning, blooming in spring anyway!   And I think my replacements are being crowded out!  Dang.  But it is a pretty clematis.

Big juicy bud on C. Josephine!

Big juicy bud on C. Josephine!

Clematis Josephine Still Being  a Teaser

Now I really really think that C. Josephine will bloom next!  Check out this bud — it may even open tomorrow! Also, when I was poking around checking on my clematis this afternoon, I noticed that C. Etiole Violette, a great clematis  with its dark purple blooms, is also already in bud even though it’s generally a July/August bloomer.  Well, maybe June/August.

 

C. Duchess of Edinborough with Sunscald

C. Duchess of Edinburgh with Sunscald

Sunscald on Some Clems

Here in Seattle we have had an exceptionally cool and rainy spring with just a few sunny days mixed in.  But last week we were rudely blasted with a three-day heat wave.  I know many people enjoyed spring weather in the 80s but some of my plants (and I!) were not thrilled — we would have preferred our sunshine with temps in the 60s or 70s.   At least two of my clematis, C. Duchess of Edinburgh and C. Margot Koster, ended up with scalded leaves.  Guess I’ll just get out my little scissors and cut off the offending leaves.

Clematis in Germany and Holland, Part 3

Below (finally!) is Part 3 of my impressions of the International Clematis Conference in Southern Germany in late June and early July of 2013.  If you would like to read Parts 1 and 2, please go to Categories on the left, click on International Clematis Conference 2013.

Das Haus der Guten Dinge and the University of Hohenheim Arboretum

My Lost Topiary Shears.

My Lost Topiary Shears.

After visiting Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart, the International Clematis Society group headed in the direction of Neu-Ulm, but made a few stops along the way.

First up was the Haus der Guten Dinge (House of Good Things), an entrancing shop offering a countless variety of wonderful garden accessories, from pots to statuary to garden furniture.  We wondered through several courtyards and indoor spaces all artfully arranged with loads of Dinge!  I found a small pottery bird I liked, which I managed to get home safely.  The pair of special topiary shears (resting in the wire basket in this photo) that I planned to use on my one little squirrel topiary did not fair so well.  I foolishly forgot to move them from my carry on to my checked luggage, and they were confiscated by airport personnel in Amsterdam.  Oh, so sad.   I hope I will never make that mistake again!

The group went on the Arboretum at the University of Hohenheim where we listened to a talk on special organic fertilizers, after which our bus driver treated us to a traditional lunch of sausage sandwiches that he prepared himself.  The more energetic among us also took a guided tour of the historic arboretum maintained at the University of Hohenheim.  This arboretum is especially known for large and beautiful specimens of American trees that are over 200 years old, including oak, buckeye, and tulip trees.

Gisela and Walter's Roof Garden

Gisela and Walter’s Roof Garden

Garden of Gisela and Walter Stabler

Our afternoon stop was the pièce de résistance of the day — actually, one of the major highlights of the entire trip!  Gisela and Walter are long-time members of the International Clematis Society and have attended many of the society’s international conferences, always buying clematis along the way.  Immediately upon arriving in front of their home in the bus, we all knew that this would be a fabulous garden.  Just take a gander at the roof-top garden over the garages — it even has a small pond!  After walking through the gardens along the side of the house, we entered the back garden where we were astounded.  Loads of clematis throughout the garden were gracing many unusual specimen plants, as well as arbors, trellises, pergolas, and pillars.  Everywhere one looked was another surprise.  One of the biggest surprises was that they had purchased a second lot in the back and filled that one, too.

Gisela and Walter traveled with our group for the first few days of the trip, but then had to leave to return home to prepare for our visit.  When we arrived, we were treated not only to a lovely garden, but also to coffee and tea, accompanied by huge and delicious cakes slathered with glistening fruit.  I was too busy sampling the wares to remember to take photos of them.  We all wanted to stay forever.  The one downside of the afternoon occurred when our revered new president, fellow Pacific Northwesterner Linda Beutler somehow managed to coerce me to singing America the Beautiful with her in celebration of the Fourth of July — even though I can’t sing a lick.  Geesh, embarrassing.  Enjoy the photos below of the beautiful and well-loved Stabler garden.

Another Shot of the Roof Garden

Another Shot of the Roof Garden

Unknown C. viticella on a pillar..

Unknown C. viticella on a pillar

Members of the Society Enjoying the Garden

Members of the Society Enjoying the Garden

Clematis venosa violacea

Clematis Venosa Violacea

What a Pergola and Patio Combination!

What a Pergola and Patio Combination!

Another Clematis viticella

Another Clematis viticella

Dieter Gaissmayer Perennial Nursery and Display Garden, plus Museum

We kicked off the next day with a visit to the very interesting Perennial Nursery and Display Garden of Dieter Gaissmayer.   Adjacent to the display and sales areas is the Garden Museum.  Interesting antique gardening memorabilia were on show there, including old seed advertisements, antique bell jars, old tools, and a plethora of heirloom bean seeds.

A Display of Heirloom Beans

A Display of Heirloom Beans

Small historic outbuilding, restored and placed on the grounds.

Small historic outbuilding, restored and placed on the grounds.

Sales Area -- check out those delphiniums!

Sales Area — check out those delphiniums!

Below are a couple of quirky and inspiring structures with great potential for clematis!

Oh, can't you just envision eight or ten clematis dripping on this one?

Oh, can’t you just envision eight or ten clematis cascading off of this one?

 

A good one for short clematis maybe?

A good one for short clematis maybe?

Side Trip to Two Gardens in Hoch Bayerische

The two gardens we were originally scheduled to visit in the afternoon had been flooded in bad rains southern Germany experienced earlier in the spring.  Instead, we visited two charming southern Bavarian gardens in the foothills of the Alps.  Both gardens had clematis on show.

Large Clematis tanguitica draped over the deck and wall.

Large Clematis tanguitica draped over the deck and wall.

Close-Up of C. tanguitica

Close-Up of C. tanguitica

 

Unknown clematis

Unknown clematis

Clematis Ville de Leon

Clematis Ville de Leon

On our way back to our hotel in the late afternoon, we stopped in the city of Ulm for a short visit.  Some of us stopped for ice cream and did a little bit of shopping.   I got a pair of cool green sunglasses.  Others visited the large gothic church, called the Ulm Minster.  Then back to the hotel in Neu-Ulm for dinner and REST!

Downtown Ulm

Downtown Ulm with Ulm Minster in the background

 

The Rose and Clematis Festival wrapped itself all around the Unterleitzheim church

The Rose and Clematis Festival wrapped itself all around the Unterleitzheim church

Last Day

On the final full day of the conference, we all packed up and loaded the bus with our things again.  On schedule for the day was a visit to the small village of Unterleitzheim to attend the renowned Rose and Clematis Festival, which happens only every three years and draws loads of visitors from near and far (including us!).   The festival was packed with people and flowers!  We all went off in different directions, running into each other again here and there.  We wandered around drinking in all the beautiful clematis and roses in bloom.  Many of my European friends purchased luscious clematis plants that were available from the many vendors — not so for me, alas.  I had no permit to import plants.  To soothe my unrequited clematis lust, I bought a handcrafted necklace and a pair earrings.

Lunch was available at the Festival — I enjoyed a relaxing outdoor meal and some leisurely people watching.

See below just a few of the lovely clematis at the Festival.

 

Clematis Princess Diana on display

Clematis ‘Princess Diana’ on display

First time I laid eyes on Clematis connata in bloom

First time I ever laid eyes on Clematis connata in bloom

Clematis texensis species

Clematis texensis species

Another version of the Clematis texensis species

Another Clematis texensis species

Clematis hendersonii

Clematis x diversifolia Hendersonii

 

Clematis in Van Zost display

Clematis in Van Zoest display (possibly Clematis Mississippi River)

Also at the festival, our own Ton Hannink (president at the time of the International Clematis Society) presented two new clematis named for the daughters of the hybridizer.  You can see them both below (the daughters and the clematis), with Ton on the left.

Two clematis named for the two daughters of the hybridizer!

Two clematis named for the two daughters of the hybridizer!

In the afternoon, we left Unterleitzheim for a long drive back to where the conference had begun a week earlier in Erlabrunn, the Village with Clematis Fever.  Here on the last night of the conference we enjoyed a gala dinner and began all the long goodbyes to our clematis friends.  During the dinner Klaus Korber (a former President of the society and one of the organizers of the trip) performed jazz music for us again.  The week before he and his long-time friends in the village, who have played together for many years, had serenaded us in his garden — see photo below.

Klaus Korber (2nd from right) and friends

Klaus Korber (2nd from right) and friends

 

Gala Dinner on the last night of the conference

Gala Dinner on the last night of the conference with Klaus performing

Me (on the left) with my friends Crystal from Germany (center) and Valentina from Russia (right)

Me (on the left) with my friends Crystal from Germany (center) and Valentina from Russia (right)

Me again, with multi-cultural friends from Russia, Poland, Germany, and Sweden

Me again, with multi-cultural friends from Russia, Poland, Germany, and Sweden

The following morning after breakfast we all went our separate ways.
We hope to meet again at the
2014 International Clematis Conference in June in Philadelphia!
I know I’ll be there.

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