Northwest Flower & Garden Festival Is NEXT WEEK!! Plus Last Summer’s Show Stoppers


2018 NWFGS Speaker Decal.jpg

This year, once again, I am honored to be a speaker at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival.  Guess what I’ll be talking about!?  You got it–clematis!  Yeah, I know, I have a one-track mind.  If you are planning to attend the show, check me out.  I am joining Riz Reyes and Nita-Jo Rountree in presenting Garden 101: The Stars of Summer Gardens.  Riz starts us off  with Lavish Lilies, then me with Fabulous Clematis, and finally Nita-Jo with Gorgeous Roses.  The triple talk lasts 1 1/2 hours, starting at 2:15pm on Friday, February 9, in the Raineer Room.  My talk will probably start about 2:45pm.  Come on DOWN!

While I am at the Flower Show, I will be hunting down clematis–in displays and for sale–as well as potential structures for clematis.  Stay tuned to see what I find!

Spring Is Coming!

Even though winter and rain in Seattle are still around in spades, spring tantalizes here  with glimpses of what’s to come.  I have sarcoccoca and witch hazel wafting fragrance around the garden already.  Snowdrops, hellebores, and early crocus are up and blooming.  Daffodils, tulips, and ornamental onions are poking their noses up.  The clematis are showing new green growth.  Spring is coming, I can feel it.

Last Summer’s Show Stoppers

Brings to mind the bountiful clematis in my garden last summer, and my hopes for the coming year.  Below are just a few of last summer’s stars.

FondMemories3Clematis “Fond Memories’

EtoileVandBetty (2)C. ‘Etoile Violette’ with C. ‘Betty Corning’

MorningMistC. ‘Morning Mist’

Fujimusume7C. ‘Fujimusume’

CarolineC. ‘Caroline’

FloridaSieboldii5C. florida ‘Sieboldii’

C. ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’

Rebecca3C. ‘Rebecca’

tartuC. ‘Tartu’


  1. February 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Really wish I could go to the show. I just found out about it and don’t think I’ll be able to pull it off. I’m going to start following your blog though, I figure Portland is pretty similar to Seattle for gardening.


    • April 5, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      I hope you were able to make it to the Flower Show!

      Did you know that there is a wonderful public clematis garden in Lake Oswego? It’s at an experimental farm called Luscher Farm–you can visit any time FOR FREE! The group that manages the Rogerson Clematis Garden is the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection. You can find out more about the garden and how to get there here:


  2. Barbara Tracy said,

    August 4, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Hi! I just found your site. I too am a clematis lush (the truth is out!). I live just south of Portland in Canby. I have been to Luscher Farms & Joy Creek Nursery several times to buy plants & drool. I’ve volunteerd @ Portlandia for the Hardy Plant Society. I have 2 questions: 1) What & when do you feed your clematis? AND
    2) Can I plant a clematis when it’s so dang hot or should I wait for Sept?
    Thanks so much!


    • August 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      Hi, Barbara,

      I always enjoy hearing from another clemaniac! Maybe I’ll see you at Luscher Farms or Joy Creek Nursery one of these days.

      I use organic methods to fertilize. Every spring I mix about equal portions of compost and steer manure in a wheel barrow and add a couple of handfuls each of bone meal and alfalfa (and wood ash if I have it). Then I put a big double handful down on each clematis. I also put down a layer of compost each year in the late fall, which is basically a second fertilization. Otherwise, I don’t fertilize, except for clematis in pots, which I water with fish emulsion or liquid seaweed two or three times per year. Also, when I cut a clematis back in summer (if it just looks bad or I want to try to get another flush of blooms), I water well and add some organic rose or tomato fertilizer. I may start adding this type of fertilizer once or twice per summer to my clematis in the ground to try to get healthier plants and more blooms.

      NO! Don’t plant clematis in our hot dry summers in the Pacific Northwest! They hate hot and dry. Wait til the rains come to plant–you will be far more successful. And keep them well watered in a cool place until then.



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