A Fabulous Clematis Weekend

Last weekend, my husband and I drove down to Portland for a few days to relax, eat well, and just enjoy ourselves! For me, of course, that includes CLEMATIS! We visited Joy Creek Nursery, enjoyed an Inviting Vines Garden Tour of five lovely Portland gardens, checked out the fabulous gardens of the Rogerson Clematis Collection, and topped it all off with a special visit to Silver Star Vinery (a great mail-order source for clematis).

Joy Creek Nursery Display Gardens

Joy Creek Nursery Display Gardens

Joy Creek Nursery

On Friday after a delicious deli breakfast across from our hotel, we drove a few miles north to Joy Creek Nursery in Scappose. They had plenty of clems in stock, making deciding which ones I need quite a chore. In the end, I settled on two. The first is Clematis ‘Cassis’, a small reddish-purple double, with Clematis florida in its background–it was pictured on the tag as a luscious dark purple double. But when I looked it up on Clematis on the Web, I found it looks like this! Geesh, I like the first look better! Guess I’ll have to wait and see what I get. The other one I bought was Clematis heracleifolia ‘Cassandra’, which represents my first foray into the perennial clematis with highly fragrant hyacinth-shaped blooms.  While at Joy Creek, we picked up our tickets to the Rogerson Clematis Collection’s fundraiser, Inviting Vines Garden Tour, for the next day. On the way back to Portland, we made a stop at Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island – this is a nursery with wonderful plants, though, alas, not much in the way of clematis.  They had only Clematis fasciculaflora–a winter bloomer, Clematis cartmanii Joe–a New Zealander, and a Clematis tanguitica (yellow bells). I didn’t need any of those. Nevertheless, several other plants from Cistus made the trip home with us.

The Inviting Vines Garden Tour
This annual garden tour orchestrated by the Rogerson Clematis Collection showcased five gardens, each one beautiful and unique, and all with clematis artfully incorporated. I saw a beautiful Clematis Josephine high up in a tree, an intensely blue Clematis Hakuoonan, and many others.

Clematis Josephine high up in a tree (and seen from a deck)

Clematis Josephine high up in a tree (and seen from a deck)

Clematis Hakuoonan, as seen in one of the tour gardens

Clematis Hakuoonan, as seen in one of the tour gardens

Lovely unknown clematis on Garden Tour

Lovely unknown clematis on Garden Tour

Rogerson Clematis Collection at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego

018Our last stop on the tour was a visit to the Rogerson Clematis Collection (RCC) at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego. What a treat! I am so impressed with how RCC has designed the gardens to enhance the ambiance of the old farmhouse as well as to showcase clematis and how to use them in a garden setting. Never fear, this is no clematis monoscape; rather, clematis are artfully blended with diverse and interesting plants and structures. A cadre of RCC volunteers, as well as curator Linda Beutler, were on hand to answer questions, sell unusual clematis from the nursery, and provide tours of the many gardens. Admission is free year-round!

Would you be surprised to learn that three new clematis from Luscher Farm came home with me? Well, they did: Clematis uncinata (a late-summer-blooming evergreen clematis with small white fragrant flowers), Clematis tibetana subsp vernayi var laciniifolia (orange bells with maroon stamens, also blooming in late summer), and Clematis ‘Jerzy Popieluszko’, a large-flowered Polish clematis with lovely big white blossoms on a short plant that should work well in a pot.

View of one of the Display Gardens at Silver Star Vinery

View of one of the Display Gardens at Silver Star Vinery

Silver Star Vinery

Silver Star Vinery is a wonderful mail-order clematis source nestled in the foothills of the Cascades northeast of Vancouver, Washington. Debbie Fisher, owner and head bottle washer (er, I mean head clematis tender), invited us to stop by on our way home from Portland. How could we refuse? This is a nursery that is not generally open to the public, even though Debbie has a humungous display garden filled to the brim with an amazing variety of healthy and beautiful clematis vines. Ahhhhhh. We arrived after a long and lovely drive from the highway up into the hills alongside a meandering stream. Debbie and her fellow clematis tenders, Dennis and Doug, met us at the gate. We wandered through the gardens with Debbie, who is a font of knowledge about clematis. Below are a few of the clematis we saw in bloom there–the Clematis Multi-Blue came home with us.

Clematis Asao

Clematis Asao

Lovely Clem, but don't know the name

Lovely Clem, but don’t know the name

Another beauty!

Another beauty!

Clematis montana Marjorie

Clematis montana Marjorie

Clematis H.F. Young

Clematis H.F. Young

Clematis Ivan Olsson (one of Debbie's Favs)

Clematis Ivan Olsson (one of Debbie;s Favs)

Clematis Daniel Deronda

Clematis Daniel Deronda

Another Unknown Clematis

Another Unknown Clematis

Clematis Multi-Blue (took this luscious beauty home with me!)

Clematis Multi-Blue (took this luscious beauty home with me!)

Clematis Garden Tour in Portland

I know it’s late notice, but . . .

Clematis Garden Tour in Portland!

When: Saturday, May 25, 10am – 4pm

Where: five gardens in SW Portland, as well as the Rogerson Clematis Collection’s clematis display gardens and nursery nearby at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego.

Fee: $20

Click here for more info, including how to get tickets.

I am so sorry that I didn’t tell you all sooner about this! My life has been crazy lately.

I attend the fabulous Rogerson Clematis tour every year — it’s always on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Attendees see gorgeous gardens that demonstrate how to use clematis effectively in home garden situations. Plus the Rogerson Clematis Collection (in Lake Oswego, just south of Portland) will be selling clematis — and, believe me, they have some unusual ones! One of the gardens will also be selling plants. And, if you have time, both Joy Creek Nursery and Cistus Nursery are nearby.

So if you don’t have anything planned for Saturday, make it a day trip, or even stay overnight in Portland. I am!!

Clematis Blooming in My Garden

Clematis Guernsey Cream

Clematis Guernsey Cream

Clematis montana Vera -- 40' up a 90' Port Orford Cedar!

Clematis montana Vera — 40′ up a 90′ Port Orford Cedar!

Clematis Will Baron with Rosa mutabilus

Clematis Will Baron with Rosa mutabilus

Clematis Crystal Fountain, aka Clematis Fairy Blue

Clematis Crystal Fountain, aka Clematis Fairy Blue

Clematis Josephine, just opening

Clematis Josephine, just opening

Clematis Fair Rosamond

Clematis Fair Rosamond

Clematis Asao

Clematis Asao

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