The Blooms of June 2018

June in my garden offered a plethora of colorful, diverse, and interesting clematis, including the last of the large-flowered bloomers, early blossoms from July bloomers, and three beautiful clematis bell flowers, two of which are home-grown seedlings of the dainty scarlet bells of Clematis texensis.

C. ‘Tartu’ still going strong in June!
C. ‘Morning Mist’ with C. ‘Proteus’ in the background.  One flower of C. ‘Morning Mist’ measured 10 inches in diameter this year, the largest clematis blossom in my garden.
The plummy C. ‘Lord Hershel’.  Not being a climber, this one lounges around on whatever it can find unless you truss it up.
C. ‘Fujimusume’ is one of my personal favorites.  Satiny sky blue!
C. ‘Proteus’ glows in a fabulous muted pink.  Who could count the petals?
My own fantabulous C. ‘Fond Memories’ blooming in June.  Ahhhh.
Above, the complex blooms of C. ‘Crystal Fountain’, also known as C. ‘Fairy Blue’, just beginning to open.  
And here they are, fully open. Beautiful either way!
C. ‘Caroline’ (pink) cavorting with the big double lavender blooms of C. ‘Vyvyan Pennell’
The purple-leaved C. recta ‘Purpurea’ flouncing in the garden and emitting its delicious fragrance.  The mauve blooms of  C. ‘The First Lady’ poking up in the back join in the fun.
C. florida ‘Sieboldii’.  I have two plants of this clematis.  Both were sold to me as C. florida ‘Sieboldii’, but they look quite different.
This one has a smaller, darker center. Both, however, stop visitors in their tracks.
C. ‘Polish Spirit’ already loaded down with flowers and buds, though it’s still only June!
Clematis Climador ‘Koenigskind’ is free-flowering on a compact plant.
A classic from the late 1800s, C. ‘Perle d’Azur’ always delights the eye.
Show stoppers C. ‘Etoile Violette’ (dark purple) and C. ‘Betty Corning’ (mauve bell) just beginning to strut.  They bloomed together for more than eight weeks during the summer, starting in mid-June.  I guesstimate that each of them graced the old dead plum tree that supports them with 3,000 – 4,000 blooms through the season.  Amazing!
Clematis ‘Princess Red’, a Japanese hybrid of the American native, C. crispa.  The dark pink color might come from a bit of C. texensis (a red-flowered US native) in it’s DNA. What a gorgeous flower.
An elegantly shaped dusky pink flower on a C. texensis plant that I grew from seed received from the British Clematis Society.
Also a plant I grew from seed, this one is similar to a well-known texensis hybrid, C. ‘Etoile Rose’.  Mine I think has more of a twist in the petals.  Proud mama.

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’

PurpureaPlena
C. ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’

Rebecca3C. ‘Rebecca’

tartuC. ‘Tartu’

Clematis of the Month for May 2015

May’s Winner

May Winner--Clematis Cezanne adorning an oversized windowbox.

May Winner–Clematis CEZANNE adorning an oversized windowbox.

Choosing just one May winner this year was no easy task because many lovely clematis gracefully embellished my garden throughout the month.  After much consideration, the clematis I chose to take the prize is Clematis CEZANNE, with it’s big cluster of blue(ish) satiny flowers, draped over the edge of my windowbox.  This clematis, bred by clematis hybridizer Raymond Evison as a Patio Clematis, has a smaller root system than most clematis, making it perfect for a pot or, in my case, a large windowbox.  Patio Clematis bloom in several flushes throughout the summer, especially when deadheaded or cut back after each flush dies down.  Pruning is easy–just cut them back hard in late winter (even late fall in milder climates like Seattle).

May’s Runners Up

The runners up in May are no slouches.  Check them out!

The delectable double blossoms of Clematis Josephine

The delectable double blossoms of Clematis JOSEPHINE.

The glamorous Clematis Etiole de Malicorne

The glamorous Clematis Etiole de Malicorne

Already the first blooms of Clematis Etiole Violette, which normally blooms for me late June to early August!

Already the first blooms of Clematis Etoile Violette, which normally blooms for me late June to early August!

Clematis Fair Rosamond gracing a doorway.

Clematis Fair Rosamond gracing a doorway, this year with very strong pink bars, making it appear to favor Clematis Nellie Moser.

Clematis recta purpurea, cascading down from its support and about to open its prolific, though small, and fragrant flowers.

Clematis recta Purpurea, cascading down from its support and about to open its prolific and fragrant small flowers.

Clematis Proteus

Clematis Proteus

Clematis Louise Rowe

Clematis Louise Rowe

Clematis Tartu made a comely comeback after wilting last year!

Clematis Tartu made a comely comeback after wilting last year!

Clematis Omoshiro

A slightly tattered Clematis Omoshiro (oh, those pesky slugs!).

Clematis Utopia, which is similar to Omoshiro above and another lovely clematis I covet, Clematis Fond Memories (no photo here)

Clematis Utopia, similar to Omoshiro above and to another lovely clematis I covet, Clematis Fond Memories (below)

Clematis Fond Memories

Clematis Fond Memories (photo taken by me at the Rogerson Clematis Collection in Lake Oswego, Oregon).  Sadly, this one does not yet grace my own garden.

June Clematis of the Month & Silver Star Vinery Open THIS Weekend

Clematis of the Month for June

French C. Etoile Violette paired with American C. Betty Corning

French C. Etoile Violette paired with American C. Betty Corning

In my garden the June Clematis of the Month is actually a pair of clematis, one French and the other American:  C. Etoile Violette and C. Betty Corning.  C. Etoile Violette, hybridized in the late 1800s by a French nurseryman, is a luscious dark purple with faint hints of a red bar.  It’s French name means Tower of Purple.  This easy-care large clematis (12-14′ vines) blooms voraciously in June, July, and part of August.  A great clematis for a beginner to try, C. Etoile Violette can be grown into a small or medium tree–mine is growing in an Italian plum tree–or on an arbor, fence, or trellis.

Close-Up of French Hybrid C. Etoile Violette

Close-Up of French Hybrid C. Etoile Violette

It’s partner, C. Betty Corning, is similar in size and bloom time, plus it contrasts beautifully with C. Etoile Violette, both in color and in flower shape.  The original C. Betty Corning caught the eye of Betty Corning of Albany, New York, in a neighbor’s garden in the 1920s.  The plant was the result of a cross made by nature, probably with species clematis C. Crispa as one parent.  Mrs. Corning accepted a cutting from her generous neighbor and, realizing it’s potential, gave a plant to a local nurseryman who got it into commerce.  Now it grows all over the world.  The icing on the cake about this clematis is its delightful fragrance!

The American Clematis Betty Corning

Close-Up of  American Clematis C. Betty Corning

 Second Annual Garden Open at Silver Star Vinery

THIS Weekend, July 12 and 13

Want to see a treasure trove of hundreds of beautiful clematis all blooming at once?  Want a chance to buy some of those beautiful clematis in person?  You CAN!  Debbie Fischer, owner of Silver Star Vinery, a mail-order source of great clematis, is hosting the second annual Silver Star Vinery Open Gardens in the beautiful foothills of the Cascades north of Vancouver, WA, on Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th, from 10am – 4pm each day.   Renowned British clematis hybridizer and speaker, Roy Nunn, will give a clematis talk each day at 1pm.  This rare opportunity to purchase clematis in person from Silver Star Vinery and to see the gorgeous display gardens is an event not to be missed!  I will be there, too, in the display gardens helping to answer clematis questions.  Come on DOWN.

Go to the Silver Star Vinery website to get directions and more information.  For a detailed description of the event in a local newspaper, The Reflector, click here.

Hope to see you there this weekend!

Just a Small Part of the Silver Star Vinery Display Garden

Just a Small Part of the Silver Star Vinery Display Garden

Bloomin’ June!

 Drip System, at Last!

Each clematis has its very own emitter!

Each clematis has its very own emitter!

Life is good. My friend Sean helped me (uh, well, actually, I carefully watched him) put in a drip system for my clems and all my pots. I am in heaven. With the dry spell we’ve been having, I have NOT had to spend hours (sometimes DAYS) watering. YayHA! Thank you, Sean. He showed me how to tweak the system myself, and I plan to make some tweaks this weekend. Hmmm, we’ll see how that goes.

Soon I’m Off to the International Clematis Conference in Germany

Where are the clems? (2011 Belgium Conference)

Where are the clems?
(2011 Belgium Conference)

Yes, it’s true. There actually is an annual international conference where clematis enthusiasts from all over the world gather together to immerse themselves in clematis for a whole week. Later this month I will be heading to southern Germany to attend my third conference (the other two were in Portland, Oregon, and Belgium). Now, I know you are probably imagining us sitting around in a stuffy conference room listening to erudite lectures about obscure clematis. Oh, no, each day all 60 or 70 of us visit two to four gardens and nurseries together–punctuated with rest stops for delicious food and drink, amid comraderie in a multitude of languages.  But just imagine our consternation when, once in a while, we visit a garden with no clematis! Though we are able to enjoy the garden anyway, we are mystified that a gardener could actually neglect to weave at least one clematis into the garden design. We might even find a little time for one of those erudite clematis lectures, too. I plan to take lots of photos and hope to post from Germany, so keep a lookout (I’ll be in Europe from June 27 – July 11).

Bloomin’ June

My garden is in transition now between last of the large-flowered May-June bloomers and the beginning of the later-blooming clematis. Every day I find another clematis in bloom — what an exciting time! Here are just a few of my beauties:

Clematis Caroline, just starting her show.

Clematis Caroline, just starting her show.

Sweet Little Clematis Hakuji

Sweet Little Clematis Hakuji

Clematis Vyvyan Pennell (first bloom ever after four years of wilt!)

Clematis Ekstra

Clematis Ekstra

First Blossom of Clematis Etoile Violette (must be 5" wide!)

First Blossom of Clematis Etoile Violette (must be 5″ wide!)

Clematis Fair Rosamond, winding down

Clematis Fair Rosamond, winding down

Clematis Fugimusume

Clematis Fugimusume

First ever bloom on my new Clematis florida

First ever bloom on my new Clematis florida

Clematis Josephine, still going and going

Clematis Josephine, still going and going

Clematis The First Lady (she'd look lovely with the dark purple  Clematis The President )

Clematis The First Lady (she’d look lovely with the dark purple Clematis The President )

Clematis Margot Koster

Clematis Margot Koster

  

First of Many for my Recently Moved Clematis Pagoda

First of Many for my Recently Moved Clematis Pagoda

Clematis Proteus

Lounger (non-climber) Clematis recta purpurea

Lounger (non-climber) Clematis recta purpurea

Clematis Sonnette--adorable!

Clematis Sonnette–adorable!

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