April 5, 2012
Clematis integrifolia Photo Courtesy of Plant Select
Plant Select® is a great organization located in Fort Collins, Colorado that works in cooperation with the Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University, horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond to seek out the best plants for landscapes and gardens for the Intermountain region and the high plains.
Most people think of Clematis as vines that grow to 20 feet or more and climb over everything. But there is a group of Clematis that only grow to between 2-4 feet. Clematis integrifolia Mongolian Bells is in this group.
A man named Harlan Hamernik, the founder of Bluebird Nursery in Nebraska, found the seed for this amazing Clematis on a trip to Inner Mongolia back in the 1990′s. In an article about the plant written by Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanical Gardens, Panayoti describes the plant as a “…compact, almost ground-covering race of Clematis integrifolia [that] blooms from spring to fall, with nodding, leathery four-parted flowers in blue, lavender, pink and pure white. It appears to have greater drought tolerance than typical clematis.”
I myself planted this in a landscape I installed in Idaho and it did quite well. Once established it needed little care and looked very pleasing creeping through a bed of perennials. Because of its long bloom season it is a good plant to add to a perennial bed of plants with shorter bloom seasons as the Mongolian Bells will carry the bed through times when not much else is flowering.
February 10, 2012
May 24, 2009
I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for some time. Mostly because, no matter how many times I tell myself I am going to keep a Salvia bloomed early this year,’ but by the time I get in the door I’ve completely forgotten.journal, I never do. And I know I should. So many times I’ll look at the garden when I get home and think ‘I really should write down that the
So, here we go…
I thought I’d start off my blog with an amusing story. When I was a kid my Dad always had a garden, a pretty big one by suburban standards. Weekends were when he did most of his work in the garden and often he would wake me up early in the morning to help him weed oror look for slugs. And it was always hot and humid and I was always sneezing and getting dirty and I swore that when I grew up I would never have a garden.
About five years ago I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and into an apartment that had a yard. The yard was a wreak. Three foot high weeds, chunks of concrete, broken bottles, a rusty screen door. The task of making this yard usable seemed daunting but I had specifically looked for an apartment with outdoor space so I certainly wasn’t going to waste it.
So, I started cleaning it out. Once it was clear I thought, well, if I have all this outdoor space I really should plant something. I got a few perennials at the Green Market at Borough Hall and planted them in the yard. A friend gave me an azalea, another a basil plant. The plants did okay but not great.
I called my dad and asked him what I should do. He said turn over the soil and add some compost. I started turning over the soil and went to the garden center and bought a few bags of compost and somewhere in there between chopping down weeds taller than I am and picking out a rusty screen door and digging inmanure I became a gardener.