AT LAST–NORTHWEST FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW HAS ARRIVED!

WestSeattleNursery

My very most favorite Display Garden at the Show–West Seattle Nursery’s south west desert.  It literally stopped me in my tracks–I love it!!

Opening day for the renowned Northwest Flower & Garden Show was today, and I was there!  This Seattle show is the 2nd largest flower show in the US and 3rd in the world (after the Philadelphia and Chelsea Flower Shows)!  I wandered around all day in bliss, soaking up the sights, sounds, and smells of blooming gardens, visiting with gardening friends, and listening to three delightful talks!

 

 

GrandTetonExhibit

The Big Winner among Display Gardens–The Grant Tetons

 

TWEET-UP

Since seeing everything in one day is completely impossible, I will return tomorrow to make sure I don’t miss anything.  I will start at 7:30am at the Flower Show’s Tweet-Up for Twitter users who sign up ahead of time.  We get treated to coffee, pastries, and a great swag bag.  THEN we get to photograph the Display Gardens for nearly 1 1/2 before the public arrives and with all the lights still on.  Can’t wait!

I’M SPEAKING ON FRIDAY, 6:45PM!

Then I come again on Friday!  If you are in the Greater Seattle area and have the time and inclination, come hear me speak on Friday, 2/19, at 6:45pm in the Hood Room.  I will be talking about Growing Clematis in Small Spaces and showing inspiring photos of small clematis.  I’d love to see you there!

CLEMATIS AT THE SHOW

Monrovia Booth

I have much exploring yet to do, but I have already spied clematis!  Clematis REBECCA is blooming away in the Monrovia Booth (and they have plants for sale, too).  Click link to get more details about this clematis.

RebeccaMonroviaBooth

The delightful and delectable Clematis REBECCA at the Monrovia Booth.

Sundquist Nursery in the Plant Market

Sundquist Nursery has nine (count ’em, nine!!) different clematis for sale at their booth!  I don’t even have four of them.  Funny thing, I found those four clematis in my backpack when I got home.  I’ve NO IDEA how that happened!

A big note of caution, though.  These plants are very young rooted cuttings, packed bare root.  If you purchase one (I think they are about $12), please plant it in a smallish pot ASAP, keep it watered very well, maybe even once a day until you see new growth, then water normally (i.e., when the top inch or so of soil dries up a bit).  Because they are so young, grow them on in pots, potting up to a larger size once or twice, for at least a year.  Very young clematis planted directly in the ground often just melt away, never to be seen again.

SundquistNursery

Starting from top left, the Sundquist clematis are:

C. durandii
C. ‘Ruutel’  *
C. integrifolia ‘Alba’ (white)
C. ‘Rosalyn’  *
C. ‘Astra Nova’ *
C. ‘Alionushka’
C. ‘Westerplatte’ *
C. ‘Etoile de Malicorne’
C. ‘Princess Diana’

*These clematis showed up at my house somehow.

Clicking on a clematis above will take you to great information and a photo of that clematis on Clematis on the Web. 

So come on down to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show and see the display gardens, shop at the three large market places (including the plant market and the Vintage Market), and listen to one or two of the 100 speakers at the show!  Maybe I’ll see you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clematis Bells

BucklandBeauty - Copy

Clematis ‘Buckland Beauty’–beautiful bell flowers inherited from Clematis texensis.

Gardeners who have a nodding acquaintance with clematis are often only aware of the big beautiful heart-stopping, jaw-dropping blossoms of late spring.  As one becomes more and more enamored with clematis and delves deeper into the genus, the dainty beauty and wide variety of the bell-shaped flowers are the ones that captivate.

The southeastern US is a breeding ground for many bell-flowered clematis species, which have long been widely used by hybridizers to create lovely new plants.  Clematis ‘Buckland Beauty’ above, for example, is the result of a cross between Clematis texensis (a red bell-flowered species from Texas) and one of the other species.

The Texensis Clan

In my last post, I described Clematis texensis and some of its progeny.  The species, which grows in Texas, is variable.  The flowers tend to have a downward-facing bell shape, usually with recurved tips, sometimes lined with white or yellow.  The inside of the tepals can be various shades of red, yellow, or white.

Texensis6

A lovely red Clematis texensis with white accents

 

TexensisSeedling

A Clematis texensis seedling with reddish-purple outer tepals, white on edges and the underside

 

Texensis5

Here’s another, a bit pinker with a shorter flower.

Hybridizers discovered the wonderful red of Clematis texensis (also called the Scarlet Clematis) in the late 1800s, and still today exciting new hybrids come onto the market.  Crossing Clematis texensis with other types of clematis has resulted in an astonishing variety of new and beautiful plants, such as flatter blossoms of Clematis ‘Ville de Lyon’ and Clematis ‘Catherine Clanwilliam’ showcased in my last post.   Of course, many of the progeny have bell-shaped blossoms, like the aforementioned Clematis ‘Buckland Beauty’ and the following lovely offspring of this interesting species.

sonnette

Clematis Sonnette climbing through a variegated Azara.

 

DuchessAlbany1

Clematis ‘Duchess of Albany’, hybridized using C. texensis 125 years ago!

 

Princess Diana

The beautiful Clematis ‘Princess Diana’

 

PrincessKateST

Clematis Princess Kate ‘Zoprika’, one of the newest texensis hybrids coming from J. van Zoest Nursery in The Netherlands.  Photo from J. van Zoest Nursery.

The Crispas

Clematis crispa is another American species, native in the southeastern US.  This sweet small bell flower often has tepals that curl strongly back on themselves.  It comes in many soft colors–white, light blue, mauve, pink.  The crowning glory for this clematis is its beautiful light fragrance.

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One form of Clematis crispa

 

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Clematis ‘Betty Corning’, discovered growing in a garden in Albany, is clearly a Clematis crispa seedling, especially given its delightful fragrance.

 

RedPrincess - Copy

Clematis ‘Red Princess’ certainly looks to be a Clematis crispa hybrid, but the color suggests that Clematis texensis might be the other parent!

The Viornas

Clematis viorna, like C. crispa and C. texensis, is one of over 20 species that are native to the southeastern US and Texas, which are all grouped together in the viorna section of the genus clematis.  Clematis viorna is just one of the many clematis in the viorna section.  It has flowers in the shape of small bells or urns that come in colors like red, pink, reddish brown, and purple.  Many plants sold as the species may actually be hybrids of Clematis viorna and another clematis in the larger viorna clan.

ViornaBeautyBerry

One of my two Clematis viorna.  This one pairs beautifully with Beauty Berry!

 

ViornaFront

A different Clematis viorna looking adorable on my fence

Japanese Hybrids

Many interesting clematis with bell-shaped flowers have been coming out of Japan for many years.  Joy Creek Nursery is a good source for Japanese clematis.  Below are three examples.

 

FrontBell

The fragrant Clematis Kahori no Kimi–perhaps Clematis crispa is a parent?

 

Hakuji

Clematis Hakuji–another Clematis crispa descendent?

 

SAMSUNG

Clematis Shizuku–looking a little viorna-like?

The best sources I’ve found for bell flowers are Brushwood Nursery and Joy Creek Nursery.   So, come on–get one of these dainty-blossomed clematis for your very own!

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Star Vinery Garden Open

Clematis Adorning a Birdhouse

Clematis Adorning a Birdhouse

Silver Star Vinery, located in the foothills of the Cascades in southwestern Washington, is one of my favorite mail-order clematis nurseries. On the weekend of July 27-28, the nursery display gardens were open to the public for the first time since the Grand Opening in 2006.  I had the great fortune of attending on Saturday and was able to assist owner and friend Debbie Fisher by answering questions from visitors to her huge, diverse, and beautiful display gardens.  Pure heaven for a clemaniac like me!  I also got to hang out with some of Debbie’s other clematis-knowledgable helpers and friends. All in all, a fabulous day, well worth the three-hour trip each way!

Clematis Yukikomachi with a blue integrifolia at its feet

Clematis Yukikomachi with a blue integrifolia at its feet

A steady stream of visitors wandered the gardens checking out clematis and buying some of the ones that caught their fancy from Debbie, who spent most of her time in the sales area of the nursery.  Delicious snacks for all comers kept everyone’s energy up.

As you will easily see from the photos below, the stunning and immaculate display gardens exhibit an amazing number of clematis in bloom.  The majority are displayed on wire supports in long wide rows, but many others cover arbors, embellish birdhouses on poles, and climb up wire gazebos.

Just by wantering through the gardens, I learned so much about clematis. I saw clematis in bloom that I had heard of but never seen in person. There were many others that I was not familiar with at all.

Sewing Scissors Turned Gardening Tool

Sewing Scissors Turned Gardening Tool

Very few clematis seedheads were visible throughout the gardens, so I asked Debbie about it.  She deliberately and meticulously deadheads clematis seedheads all the time.  This, along with careful watering and fertilizing, keeps many clematis in bloom for her for months!  Wow.  I also noticed that she and Dennis, her business partner, always have an unusual small sharp cutting tool in their hands or on their person, but I never got a chance to ask her about them.  A couple of days later, when I pulled out a sewing project, I realized exactly what they use — a type of sewing scissors!    Mine were immediately relegated from the sewing basket to my gardening tool belt.  I’ve been using them for all kinds of deadheading ever since, to great effect.

The garden open was so successful that Silver Star Vinery has already chosen the dates for next year:  Saturday and Sunday, July 12-13, 2014.  Mark your calendars! 

Check out the photos below of the display gardens and some of the lovely clematis I saw there.

Just a Small Part of the Silver Star Vinery Display Gardens

Just a Small Part of the Silver Star Vinery Display Gardens

Another Part of the Garden

Another Part of the Garden

And another!

And another!

Clematis Princess Diana

Clematis Princess Diana

Clematis Chalcedony

Clematis Chalcedony

 

Clematis Prince Charles

Clematis Prince Charles

Clematis Fairy Dust

Clematis Fairy Dust

Clematis in Germany & Holland, Part 1

Clematis in Germany & Holland, Part 1

Recently, in late June and early July, I was privileged to attend the 2013 conference of the International Clematis Society in southern Germany, mostly Bavaria, with about 60 other clematarians from around the world. What a fabulous time! And, oh, my heavens, such a plethora of beautiful clematis we saw — some of which are not yet available in the US.

Just prior to the conference, I took a little jaunt to Heidelberg where eons ago, when I was a sweet young thing, I attended the University of Heidelberg for two years. I didn’t see any clematis there this time around, but I enjoyed seeing the lovely old city again–still looking much the same after all these years (unlike myself).

Old Heidelberg

Old Heidelberg

The Village of Erlabrunn

The International Clematis Conference began in the small and beautiful village of Erlabrunn just north of Wurzburg.  Erlabrunn boasts about 200-300 inhabitants and is the home village of one of the organizers of this year’s conference, Klaus Korber.  Klaus is a past president of the society and the current director of the nearby Orchard, Trees and Garden Department of the Bavarian State Institution for Wine-Growing and Horticulture (LWG for short).  The village of Erlabrunn decked itself out in 800 clematis (planted in 2008)  in honor of the 2013 visit of the  International Clematis Society!   Wunderbar!

Erlabrunn, a Clematis Village

Erlabrunn, a village with Clematis fever!

Bear with me as I show you photos of just a few of the 800 clematis on view as we strolled around the village.  Please forgive the quality of some of the photos — we were often out and about in the heat of the day, which is definitely not the best time for photography!

Clematis Pamiat Serdtsa

Clematis Pamiat Serdtsa

Clematis Royal Velours

Clematis Royal Velours

Unknown Erlabrunn Clematis

Unknown Erlabrunn Clematis

Clematis Alba Plena

Clematis Alba Plena

Clematis Minuet

Clematis integrifolia Alba

Clematis integrifolia Alba

Clematis Piilu

Clematis Piilu

Clematis florida Sieboldii

Clematis florida Sieboldii

Unknown pale blue clematis

Unknown pale blue clematis

Lovely unknown clematis in a pot

Another unknown clematis in a pot

Nice Pairing!

Nice Pairing!

Clematis Princess Diana

Clematis Princess Diana

Lavendar clematis gracing a pot

Lavender clematis gracing a pot

Clematis Romantika

Clematis Romantika

Clematis Utopia?  or is it Clematis Omoshiru?  or maybe Clematis Fond Memories?  Whichever it is, I want all three.

Clematis Utopia? or is it Clematis Omoshiru? or maybe Clematis Fond Memories? Whichever it is, I want all three.

Clematis Hagley Hybrid\

Clematis Hagley Hybrid\

Clematis The President? with a peachy rose

Clematis The President? with a peachy rose

Clematis durundii

Clematis durundii

LWG Welcome

LWG Welcome

LWG Display Gardens

We were also privileged to spend a day at the nearby LWG Display Gardens directed by Klaus Korber.  We were treated like royalty–the staff readied and served great food and drink for us in the open-air greenhouse, and Klaus acted as MC, providing us with information about the gardens, their history, and his own love for clematis.  The gardens are chock full of many carefully grown — and well-labelled —  clematis, roses, and other perennials, as well as fruit and wine grapes.   Cherries were dripping off the trees, and we were invited to eat as many as we wanted and, omg, were they ever DELICIOUS!  I think I personally ate about a hundred.

Wonderful Table of Clematis Blossoms

Wonderful Table of Clematis Blossoms

But one of the best things that LWG did for us was to prepare a long  narrow table full of small glass bud vases, each containing one flower from one of the clematis blooming in the garden.  Throughout the afternoon at least a few of us were huddled around the table checking out the blooms.  We had great fun comparing and contrasting the clematis and, of course, testing each other on clematis identification!  Below are a few close-ups.  Which ones can YOU identify?

Can YOU identify this one?

Can YOU identify this one?

Or this one?

Or this one?

You've got some help with this one!

You’ve got some help with this one!

I will post Part 2 of my clematis trip to Europe very soon — stay tuned!!

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