When the clematis begin blooming here it means that spring is slipping away and summer is on the doorstep. Most everyone is familiar with the large flowered clematis, like the nearly ubiquitous rich purple “jackmanii” (which should be in everyone’s garden because it’s amazing).
This lovely is Clematis durandii. The unique characteristic of this beauty is that it starts blooming in May with the peonies and blooms continuously until October with the sedums. Sturdy and dependable, it doesn’t climb like other clematis so you have to coax it up a structure, but it stays politely in bounds, more interested in blooming than trying to take over the world.
However, the Duchess of Albany from the texensis branch of the clematis family, has serious world domination plans, sprawling and reaching with abandon. She’s so lovely though we don’t mind a bit.
That’s the thing about clematis – if you plant them properly in the first place (deeply, in good garden soil) they can often recover from dire maladies such as clematis wilt (the leaves blacken and the vine dies back) or accidental chopping off at the soil. It might take them a year or two, but they often return, a very happy surprise.
Even the seed heads are lovely.
I still have one more clematis left to bloom, the sweet autumn, which is just starting to open its first tiny, white flowers. From durandii through sweet autumn, it’s been a long, full season of these charming and spectacular vines. Surely I have room for a couple more…..