July 5, 2016
My Blooming Clematis
The clematis is blooming beautifully at the farm this season.
I have always loved these flowering vines and over the years, I have grown many varieties of this lovely plant. I have a palette of all blue-flowering types growing along my winding pergola.
In May, I shared photos of my pergola before the clematis opened - and now, nearly every post is wrapped in stunning shades of lavender, blue and purple - enjoy.
1 Clematis is a genus of about 300-species within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae.
2 Most species are known as clematis, but it has also been called traveller's joy, virgin's bower, old man's beard, leather flower, or vase vine.
3 The standard clematis flower has six or seven petals, measuring five to six inches across. Colors range from lavender to deep purple, white to wine red, and even a few in yellow.
4 Clematis are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin.
5 Known as the "Queen of the Climbers", Clematis plants will train onto trellises and fences, or arch gracefully over doorways.
6 There are several different varieties planted along my pergola, but each pair of posts supports the same kind.
7 The uprights for this pergola are antique granite posts from China - originally used as grape supports. They're perfect as posts because they don't rot over time like wood does.
8 Steel wire was wrapped around each post, so the climbing tendrils of the clematis vines could attach easily.
9 Clematis 'Rhapsody' has creamy-yellow stamens amidst four to five-inch sapphire blue flowers.
10 The timing and location of clematis flowers varies - spring blooming clematis flower on side shoots of the old season's stems. Summer and fall blooming vines flower on the ends of only new stems.
11 Clematis 'Parisienne' have large flowers that are light violet-blue with overlapping petals. They appear extravagantly in early summer and then repeat later in the season.
12 Most clematis have a light weight structure and can grow atop or through other plants without harm.
13 Some clematis cultivars will bloom in partial shade, but to really thrive, they need at least six-hours of sun each day.
14 Clematis 'Blue Angel' is a large-flowered variety with four to six-inch blooms. The flowers have ruffled edges and yellow green stamens.
15 This prolific bloomer is clematis 'Arabella'.
16 Clematis 'Blue Ravine' - brilliantly colored soft violet blooms with leathery-textured foliage.
17 Once established, clematis should be watered about an inch or so weekly, and more deeply during dry spells.
18 Clematis prefer moist, well-drained soil that's neutral to slightly alkaline in pH.
19 The roots of clematis should be kept shaded to keep them cool and moist. This can be done using low growing plants or with two to three inches of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain the soil moisture.
20 Depending on the cultivar, clematis bloom from various types of growth each year. It is important to understand how each cultivar blooms in order to properly prune them.
21 Every variety should be cut back to about four or five-inches from the ground in late winter or early spring the first year after it is planted - to promote a bushier, stronger, tighter growth habit.
22 This is Clematis 'Betty Corning', which has slightly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers that bloom from summer to fall.
23 It typically grows to six-feet tall and features single, nodding, pale lilac flowers with recurved tips.
24 ‘Betty Corning’ was first discovered growing in Albany, New York in 1932.
25 A beautiful flower just opening up.
26 The blooms appear constantly all summer, making their everblooming nature a must-have in any garden.