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.

Clematis that Bloomed in April and May of 2018

With the exception of two recent additions, I have unfortunately been delinquent in posting about clematis for several months–blooming months at that!  My camera, however, was still clicking away.  Below are a few of the beautiful clematis I came upon, in my own garden as well as others, during April and May of last year.

4-17JoeZary

C. ‘Joe Zary’ blooming in full sun in April. If it were in more shade, the color would be stronger.

5-15Asao2

The delightful and delectable C. ‘Asao’.  Such lovely shades of pink and sometimes semi-double.  This one is always one of the first three large-flowered clematis to bloom in my garden.

5-15Josephin2

Early blossoms of C. Josephine ‘Evijohill’.  Always a heart stopper!

5-15SugarSweetBlue

Clematis ‘Sugar Sweet Blue’ wafting its fragrance on my deck, backed by a stunning Chilean Fire Tree (Embothrium).

5-20FirstLady

C. ‘The First Lady’, one of only a few clematis actually hybridized in the US.  I don’t know which First Lady was meant to be honored with the name, but I think of my personal favorite First Lady whenever I look at it.

5-20SilverMoon2

C. ‘Silver Moon’ looking ethereal in the shade.

5-23KenDonson2

C. ‘Ken Donson’ strutting his stuff.

5-23Rebecca

The redder than red C. ‘Rebecca’!

5-26DuchessOfAlbany

A visit to C. ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ on a garden tour.

5-26FondMemorie5-26s

Oh, be still, my heart!  C. ‘Fond Memories’ while on a garden tour, gloriously blooming before my own even started.  Definitely one of my favorites!

5-26LincolnStar

Still touring gardens–C. ‘Nelly Moser’ or one of her imitators.

5-26NellyMoser

Another C. ‘Nelly Moser’ look alike spotted while garden touring.  Could be C. ‘Bees Jubilee’.

5-28Tartu

Back home to find C. ‘Tartu’ blooming away.  Love the two-tone ruffly look.

5-29MrsChumley2

Last, but definitely not least, the time-honored classic, C. ‘Mrs. Cholmondeley’ (pronounced Chumly)

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.

August Clematis of the Month

Clematis viorna in early August, blooming away.

Clematis viorna in early August, blooming away.

C. viorna still blooming in October, color-coordinating itself with the purple beauty berry.

C. viorna still blooming in October with beauty berry.

August was a difficult month for clematis in Seattle, where we suffered the hottest summer on record, along with very little rain.  OK, OK, so some people loved it — but not me or my clems.  I’m learning the hard way that most clematis do NOT like really hot dry weather.  Many of mine took a snit and slowed down or stopped flowering altogether, AND developed crispy brown or spotted leaves.  Hrmph, not an alluring effect.

But Clematis viorna came through the hot weather like a charm, perhaps because it originates from the summer-hot southeastern US.  This clematis, which began blooming for me in late May or June, continued to sport loads of blossoms and unscathed leaves throughout the month of August, making it my garden’s Clematis of the Month for August.

Purple leaves of C. recta purpurea for the second time.

Purple leaves of C. recta purpurea for the second time.

C. recta purpura, blooming a second time in late August!

C. recta purpura, blooming a second time in late August!

The Challenger

Clematis recta purpurea was a contender this month, even though it was Clematis of the Month for July.  This clematis, which has the most beautiful rich purple foliage in the spring, bloomed wonderfully in June with small fragrant white flowers.  As noted last month, I cut it back to the ground when it finished blooming and quickly got new purple leaves, as expected.  But I did not expect it to bloom again!  Check out it’s second blooming in August!

Problem Clematis

In June and July, I cut back several clematis–hard–for various reasons.  Clematis Vancouver Morning Mist wilted in June for the FOURTH year in a row.  I cut it back to the ground and informed the culprit that my patience was gone.  In the fall, it would be OUTA HERE!  One August morning, I noticed something pink beckoning me over by the entry path.  Good gracious!  It was C. Vancouver Morning Mist opening the first of what turned out to be seven blossoms.  I must have scared the living daylights out of it!  I guess I’ll keep it.

C. Vancouver Morning Mist -- Reprieve!

C. Vancouver Morning Mist — Reprieve!

I was loosing my patience with C. Duchess of Edinburgh, too.  This clematis had one woody stem with no flowers and scorched ugly leaves.  Yuch!  I couldn’t take it.  Even though I might seriously set it back, I chopped it to about six inches.  It’s in a pot with a great-looking, heat-loving Chilean Glory Vine (probably a little crowded in there), so I didn’t miss the clematis much.  Well, to my surprise, C. Duchess of Edinburgh came back FAST with big fresh new leaves — and a bit later with several big fat buds!  The blooms were not double as they are in the spring, but they were lovely large pristine white blooms that looked great with all the greenery.  I wonder if clematis leaves grown in the cool moist spring and early summer in Seattle just aren’t programed to take our hot dry summers.  In my experience (especially this summer)  leaves that come into being in the heat of summer handle hot and dry just fine.

The Duchess Blooms!

The Duchess Blooms!

As mentioned in an earlier post, my young Clematis Tartu (with lovely large ruffled lilac blossoms in spring) succumbed to the wilt just as the first flower bud was ready to open and had to be whacked back to the ground.  Very disappointing, especially since I had it in a new ceramic pot by the patio!  But like C. Vancouver Morning Mist, this one grew back quickly and actually had several blooms in August.  Check it out!

C. Tartu blooms without wilting!

C. Tartu blooms without wilting!

What these three clematis have taught me is that if a clematis wilts, has scorched leaves, or is looking just plain ugly, go ahead and cut it back!  It may well come back and bloom again in the same year.  Some of my clematarian friends (like Debbie Fisher of Silver Star Vinery and Linda Beutler of the Rogerson Clematis Collection) have tried to tell me for years to cut them back at the drop of a hat, but I guess I just needed to see it for myself.

A Few More August Blooms

C. Beauty of Worcester blooming in August instead of spring.

C. Beauty of Worcester blooming in August instead of spring!

Clematis Freckles blooming in July instead of October!

Clematis Freckles blooming in August instead of October!

C. Kermisina blooming as expected--in August.

C. Kermisina blooming as expected–in August.

C. crispa

C. crispa

C. Little Nell (named for the young neighbor of the hybridizer)

Dainty C. Little Nell (named for the young neighbor of the hybridizer)

C. Princess Red

C. Princess Red

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