Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Clematis Like Cold Feet & Hot Heads



I have always admired the beautiful Clematis vine but have been terrified of growing them.  They just seem so regal and surely they have to be hard to grow.  Look at that thing!!  I've worried that I wouldn't be able to offer them everything that they need to be spectacular, and why grow them if not for the show??

So I happened to be at the local garden center buying steer manure when I spotted a pot with one beautiful purple flower on a broken stem.  The tag said that it was clematis integrifolia durandii which probably means plain old clematis, but I was smitten.  When the clerk noticed my interest, she said that I could take it home for half price - $7 - and I did.  I let it sit out on the deck for a week or so to see if it was going to live, and it did.
The only thing that I know about the clematis is that it wants cold feet and a hot head, so how hard could it be??  I have the perfect place for it.  In the corner of my yard I have a trellis which the Debbie Dodd rose used to grow on, but it turned up its toes and died this year.  A stand of red Lucifers are planted in the front of the used to be rose, like these:
Now you see where I'm going with this.  You know how much I love purple and red together.  This should be a real show stopper, if it works.  I have this vision of Lucifer blooming his red head off with beautiful purple clematis climbing all up the trellis and along the fence behind him.  Gaudy!!  I know!!
Here is what it looks like after I dug a hole and livened it up with some organic fertilizer and then covered it with mulch and leaves.  This should cover all the bases.  It will have cold shady feet and full sun on its hot head and will be just crazy gorgeous come summertime.  I'll keep you posted.
I took some snaps of my boyfriend, the frog.  This little guy would come out of the lemon balm and flirt with me this summer when I sat on the deck.  Sometimes he would go for a swim in the bird bath.  I am happy to say that this has been the froggiest year that I have ever had here and I'm thrilled!!  I must be doing something right. 
This is where he spent the summer.

You can see what a little bitty guy he is but he has a huge croak.  He would stare at me, all the while keeping his eye on the dogs.  What a little charmer.

1 comment:

  1. Watch it now...please not to kiss the frog,

    (There's no telling what he might turn into.)