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’

The First Lady–May’s Clematis of the Month

TheFirstLady

So many of the large-flowered clematis in my garden are blooming extremely early this year, as much as six – eight weeks ahead of schedule.  But whenever they choose to bloom, they look wonderful!

During my frequent strolls through the garden, I enjoy observing clematis in all their various stages–and, yes, sometimes I even talk to them.  This spring, Clematis ‘The First Lady’ talked back loudly, showing herself off to great advantage.  I purchased this clematis two or three years ago as Clematis ‘Rhapsody’, a clematis for which I had been hankering for some time.  Once I saw the first meager bloom, I knew I had purchased a misnamed plant.  But not until this year, when the poor clematis had built up enough strength to drag itself up out of the heavy shade of a big Fatshedera into the sunshine, did I really see what a gorgeous flower my mistake clematis produced–large lavender blooms (one flower actually measured 9 inches in diameter!), with contrasting burgundy stamens, ruffled edges, and textual ridges in the middle of each pointed petal.  Elegantissimo!  I was able to identify it as Clematis ‘The First Lady’ and seriously considered deeming this tough and beautiful plant Clematis of the Month for this month.

The First Lady3

Serendipitously, yesterday my yoga teacher described to me a clematis a friend gave her as a cut flower.  She has a fine eye for detail, so I was able to identify her unseen clematis from her description as Clematis ‘The First Lady.’  I showed her a photo on my smart phone to be sure and impressed both her and myself with my quick ID.  That clinched it–Clematis ‘The First Lady’ is Clematis of the Month for May in my garden this year!

 

TheFirstLady2

Clematis ‘The First Lady’ is an American clematis introduced into commerce by Arthur Steffen in Long Island, New York, in 1989.  Mr. Steffen’s company is also responsible for introducing, in 1932, another gorgeous and famous American clematis, now grown throughout the world, Clematis Betty Corning.  The beauty of the name of May’s Clematis of the Month is that you can choose your own favorite First Lady to be represented by this clematis.  I know who mine is!

Below is a smattering of the many other worthy candidates blooming in my garden this month.

LouiseRowe

The satiny blooms of Clematis Louise Rowe

Rebecca

Clematis Rebecca

ClematisRamona&Marta

Clematis Ramona (lavender) with Clematis Marta

Josephine

The ever-stunning Clematis Josephine

Cezanne

Clematis Cezanne

Fireworks

Clematis Fireworks

Utopia

Clematis Utopia

ClematisFugiMusume

Clematis Fujimusume–such a gorgeous blue!

MorningMist

Clematis Morning Mist–one of these blossoms measured 10 inches!

 

Climador

Clematis Climador (also known as Clematis Königskind)

 

Caroline&ViviennePennel

Clematis Caroline (pink) with Clematis Vyvyan Pennell

 

ClematisLordHershall

Clematis Lord Herschell

 

 

Sonnette

The bells of Clematis Sonnette (also known as Clematis Peveril Peach)

CrystalFountain(FairyBlue)

Clematis Crystal Fountain (also known as Clematis Fairy Blue)

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