Flower Collecting Addiction: Clematis

by nicole on March 30, 2014

   IMG_1040Sometimes I think us gardeners need our own form of AA – Plant Collecting  Addicts Anonymous.

Here in Vermont it is the end of March, a time of year when you can’t predict the weather.  The snow is waist-high and it’s been in the 20 during the days to 0 at night. This level of cold is unusual; last year this time we had high temps that were equally strange. The days are longer and brighter reflecting sun off the snow. More Vitamin D for everyone outside, but still nothing for us gardeners to do except look at our frozen gardens and fantasize about what they’ll become.


Part of my garden-planning is to pick the varieties and plot what each year will bring: new things, and carrying over what did well last year, and the years before.  So I have a collection problem with certain flowers, today it is clematis.

Obviously growing flowers is  is how I make my living  so I can’t just stop buying and growing plants; that would be like stopping eating.IMG_0867

Because clematis grows vertically, it’s easy to keep tucking them into the gardens.  Today I started looking for a particular small flowering verity. This one:

clematis_virginianaClematis Virginiana .. before I knew it I had bookmarked 5 of them I was in love with.

clematis_montana_mayleenClematis Montana Mayleen

I already have 6  in my personal gardens.  Big flowering ones:  Jackamanii, Nelly Moser, Nobie  (red) Clematis Belle of WokingClematis Rooguchi,  that looks like a purple bell. A sweet pink one that’s kinda struggling because i don’t fertilize it enough and weeds keep creeping in.  Then in the cutting woody ornamental patch I have about 25 plants, 5 different verities.  None repeat the ones in the personal gardens.

The problem is I don’t have any of these.

clematis_montana_rubensClematis Montana Rubens

Some women buy shoes and I buy plants. Every garden I create needs more tending to and attention.  Really, I’d like to just plow up my entire lawn and make it all one big flower farm/flower patch. Except then my personal gardens would not stand out.  The “lawn” gives them a back drop.

clematis_corinne Thank goodness there are ones that wont grow in my hardiness zone otherwise the would have been 5 more on the wish list.  As it is one of my friends said “Why don’t you simplify these gardens?” “No!” I shrilled, “there is a concept here.”

clematis_arabellaClematis Arabella

To me there nothing quite as magical as a clematis vine climbing toward the sky.   They are like stars in the daytime.

There are definitely worse addictions out there.  I’m thankful I have a productive addiction that makes the world a more beautiful place. Like a friend of mine said…”You’re a good, creative person who sees things in a different way and can help people with that special skill.  You change the life of everyone you meet.”

I have created my own little fairy tale world of flowers here on my 2 acres in Vermont. Its inevitable..I  am going to have to find a special place for these beauties to keep the magic growing, and order them before they all sell out.

Feel free to share your flower collecting addiction in the comments below, there will be more flower addictions to come.

The last 5  photos I got from the Brushwood Nursery Website specializing in vines and climbers. The first images 3 are from my gardens currently.


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