From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Clematis

More About Trees and Plants... My Various Hobbies



Clematis vine This morning I tried to find out what country clematis is a native of. I expected to learn that it had been imported from South America or possibly Africa or South Asia. To my surprise, I read that most clematis are natives of the Northern Hemisphere. There are over 250 varieties of clematis, and from these, many cultivars have been developed for growing in the garden.

Six varieties of clematis grow in Australia. The following is quoted from The Australian National Botanic Gardens site. "C. aristata" means "Clematis aristata", one of their native varieties.

For best results C. aristata should be grown in a position with some overhead shade and in deep cool soil. Liberal mulching with leaf litter would be beneficial. It may be easily trained to cover an artificial support such as a fence, trellis or pergola but in nature uses a tree or bush for support. It may also be used as a ground cover in the absence of vertical elements.

Quoted from an Australian National Botanic Gardens Native Plants page

I was interested that the Australian experts echoed the grand theme of clematis care: the vine likes to have its roots cool, so provide a heavy mulch. The mulch can be organic such as bark or leaves, or it can even be a pile of large rocks around the vine's stem. Other flowers can be planted around the vine to add shade as well.

I have two clematis vines. One has dark blue flowers, but it hasn't done well for a couple of years now. I probably need to baby it with a little more water in the summer and maybe some fertilizer -- and check its rock mulch. The clematis in the photo is doing fine. It blooms heavily for about a month, and then it might have a few sporadic blossoms through the rest of the summer.

Related sites:
Brother Stefan's Clematis
Growing Clematis
Garden Clippin's Online: Clematis

2 comments:

Sarabeth said...

I cannot grow clematis at all. I don't baby mine enough.

Alex said...

: )

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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