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Roses and Clematis


I am captivated by the large perfect rose blooms , now fully open and basking in the warmth of the brilliant sunshine. Light alters both the mood and color of the garden so dramatically. This morning at 11.30 the roses appeared surrounded by bright pale angelic halo’s of sunlight. This evening the east facing front garden no longer has the full force of the morning sun upon it and the shades of deep apricot peaches creams and pale lemon really parade their color with greater intensity clarity and drama. The hedge is once more awash with insects . Some, so heavily laden with nectar that they occasionaly take alarming kamikazi dives into the thorned hedgerow, disappearing and appearing again as if by magic.
I planted 5 small Clematis Perle de Azure along the inside front hedge of this front border at regular intervals. I dreamt of training this to cascade and drape along the top of the hedgeline , a delicious enticing sight caught in my ‘minds eye’. I have looked forward to the appearance of bewitching Azure Sky Blue for some years and , finally the plants have draped across the top of the hedge. It appears as if nature has cast a delicately embroidered cloth in preparation for afternoon tea. This afternoon one single Clematis bloom opened , and I beheld……

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren’t alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.

An impostor! A phony! A lovely color and form but not the Clematis the label had promised ! How often this has happened of late and such a disappointment in a carefully designed and planned border.
We all know that the tone of orange red does not work in a violet/Pink/Cerise/purple border. Well, this shade of blue , this pretender just is not what was planned or imagined. It works with the other colors in the border but I prefer the more gentle warm delicate clear soft blue of Perle de Azure.
I had become suspicious of this ‘shady’ character some time ago. Its form was not the same as the other Clematis , it sulked and skulked prefering to conceal itself behind the hedge lying low and ‘twining’ whilst the others romped energetically upwards ! No matter how much extra attention I lavished on this poor performer it still refused to reveal itself , sneaking about on the ground , dodging and evading discovery.
I was left wondering why, when all the other 4 Clematis had romped away over the hedgeline , this single one had pussyfooted behind and had remained budless until this year. Well, the mountebank has at last been revealed ! Now I must find this shy late bloomer of velveteen violet/blue a new home and fill the gap ! Although my patience in this instance has not been rewarded I shall not shriek ‘off with it’s head’ ! My garden requires a calm demeanour!

I love the way Clematis can be used to extend interest in the garden throughout the year. There are clematis for every aspect and every season. I grow my Clematis through the leaves of my Camellia Rhododendron Daphne Acer and Azalea and have choosen them carefully so that once these mainly evergreen shrubs have finished flowering the Clematis are ready to extend the show.
Clematis like to be planted at least 18 inches from a wall or roots of another plant and they prefer to have their feet in the shade of other plants . It is such a surprise to watch the fat buds emerge from the ‘quite dead’ in appearance twigs after winter dormancy !! Such an amazing plant, so graceful and versatile. The only setback is the ‘wilt’ that can suddenly attack them. I have found that planting them deeply helps them survive this . They soon emerge again from the base. The velvet rich persian shades are so captivating. I love the flowing ruffled edges of Gillian Blades so bewitching and in a shady corner it really is eye catching . The dual colors of Nelly Moser can lift the most boring of borders . A gentle ‘star’ of the woodland border with its pale cream and pink stripes.
I am uploading more photographs of the garden borders today and another video to ‘you tube’. This, in the hope that it will encourage visitors when I open again for the National Gardens Scheme (Gardens open for Charity) in 2012. I love the ‘Open Garden’ days. The visitors are always so abundant and it is a joy to watch their pleasure and amazement. Their visits help raise so much money for charity.

More blog posts by muscadet

Previous post: My small urban garden - open for charity under the National Gardens Scheme



I can see them in my mind from your descriptive writing of this blog, lovely photographs to complement it as well...

18 May, 2011


Beautiful photographs, Muscadet! The roses have just the perfect form, the perfume must be heavenly! Lovely blog, thanks for sharing.

18 May, 2011


It is so disappointing when the wrong plant label is give to the pot. Never mind, another part of your garden will welcome this with open arms.

19 May, 2011


It's nice that you open your garden for charity. Congratulations. I hope you make a lot.

19 May, 2011


To: Linclass/Libet/Oliveoil/Hywel

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I love 'sharing' my garden with other like minded people. The perfumed roses 'are' absolutely captivating . Thank you so much for the compliments. I open the garden for charity because I wanted to put someting back. The scheme supports non government funded organisations like the Macmillan Nurses. These wonderful people helped my dying father maintain his dignity during his last days. This is my way of repaying them and other such organisations. I have found a new home for the Clematis already !

20 May, 2011

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