Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Clematis Ramblings

It must be the nearly record breaking rains we had all of May, plus the age some of these vines have reached, but I've never had such an amazing display of Clematis here at WillOaks Farm. And every plant has a story! The "10 second versions" are below, from top to bottom.

The dark fuchsia one was the first root I planted. I was cleaning out a foundation planting at the old farm house my first Spring here, to prepare for some new evergreens and shrubs, and I unearthed this incredible root. Have you seen a Clematis root? They are quite impressive and have a very distinctive form. I moved it to the front foundation of "the green house" and it took a few years to finally crawl up this small trellis, but now, it's almost too heavy, despite efforts to keep it staked.

The paler pink one uses an antique grinding wheel frame to climb on and I think, being in the shade of the Linden tree, it's growing more slowly than ones in full sun. The fact that it can muster the energy to bloom like this, with all the competition and being in full shade, is quite remarkable and has taken 5 years of growing.

The final pink and blue ones are newer additions that are on a mission. A few years back, I realized this oak tree was dead, but rather than remove it, we topped it at about 14', trimmed it up a bit, and I strung up a big piece of recycled net to help train Clematis vines in 4 different colors up and around the trunk until they get high enough to reach and continue to climb into the finer branches. So far, two of these are putting on a show this year and if this little experiment works out as I envision, eventually, 4 different Clematis vines-in 4 different colors-will intertwine all the was up the trunk and into the dead branches creating a whole new blooming "tree" that could be quite a sight to see. This could take quite a few years, of course, but even small, I'm getting a sneak preview of what kinds of flowers the eventual display/sculpture will have!


elf said...

Beautiful! I would love to see a picture of the tree with the different clematis, what a great idea!

WillOaks Studio said...

Thank you! Well, I hope to see this as well, but it could be another 2 or 3 years before the vines get long enough to actually reach up into the branches....I hope to keep this documented here!! Thanks for checking in! Karen


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