Before I bought my house 30 years ago, I had never heard of clematis. My house was new; I was starting from dirt in terms of landscaping. That first spring, my brother and I built a deck I had designed, and I was talking with some of the folks at my office about my plan to grow morning glories up its latticed sides. One of the nurses suggested I use clematis instead, as it was a perennial that needed little care.
I visited some local nurseries, read some gardening books (this was before I had a home computer and internet access) and decided that clematis was a fine idea. I bought a plant, planted it and off it went. It did live up to its billing, providing ample greenery and a summer long display of purple flowers for many years. The old redwood deck was replaced a few years back by a low maintenance composite one, and the clematis was lost during the remodel.
By the following summer, BA and I were clear that we missed having a clematis. A few were planted along a border fence, but never thrived, I think the neighbor’s trees provided too much shade. Last summer, I found a plant on clearance at a big box store and said what the heck. I brought it home, planted it next to our front porch, and it did okay. Last summer was just about getting the plant established, some green growth and a grand total of two flowers.
This spring, its a different story. The vine is vigorous, rapidly outstripping last year’s growth, and appearing healthy and strong. Buds appeared, and I’ve been waiting. Two mornings ago, there were no blossoms. This morning, they have burst open, in all their purple glory. I anticipate that I’ll be enjoying them all summer.
Clematis comes in a number of varieties. This plant and its predecessor are C. Jackmanii, one of the earliest and hardiest varieties. Its disease resistant, heat and cold tolerant, and once established, needs very little water or maintenance. Perfect for our Colorado climate.
For Ragtag Daily Prompt #7: Purple
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