Each gardening season I seem to find myself suddenly fixated on a plant type, and before I know it I have started to accumulate several of them. Last year it was alliums – I am not finished with them yet. This year is the year of the clematis.
In winter I looked at the yards of bare trellis panels on the fences surrounding my garden, and thought that evergreen clematis would provide some interest. The lovely folk at Thompson & Morgan supplied me with their winter flowering collection of Clematis napaulensis, C. cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ & C. urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’, all of which keep their leaves, flower when little else does and the latter will have a delicate scent too.
One of my favourite nurseries has had a sale on their clematis plants since last year. They are old stock, but I enjoy rescuing plants and giving them a good home, so I have bought 4 good specimens from them for just £10.
Then yesterday, even as I was writing this, postie arrived with three more. This time courtesy of QVC , who supply clematis, grown by the renowned grower Raymond Evison, owner of the Guernsey Clematis nursery. They are wonderful, healthy plants. Soon I will have them all over the garden – climbing up fences, through trees, in pots, and all flowering at different times of the year.
Why have I not sorted out this essential element to the cottage garden before? It is because I have not stayed in one place for long enough until now. I suppose I am showing commitment to my garden, by filling it with plants that I will treasure in the years to come.