While the great and famous garden designers carefully, meticulously and scrupulously select their plants, choosing only the most specimen varieties, scouring the whole world for that ultimate find that will realise their perfect garden, I prefer to see what bargains the local shops have and nab those when anything new, good or unusual comes on sale.
This attitude is notably easier on the wallet and particularly so when it comes to my never-ending quest to find a variety of clematis that survives for more than one season in my care. I’m not worried about whether it flowers or not at this early stage, it’s survival that I’m aiming for.
To that end, I was delighted when my other half came back with a clematis from the local supermarket for the princely sum of £3.00. Admittedly it was rather small, but that’s actually very handy. Clematis that come in those typically deep pots aren’t much good when I’m trying to cram them in between established plants and can’t dig down to the depth of the pot (and more) and the mantra of “plant clematis deep” goes around in my head, mocking me while I give up and lay the thing on its side in some sort of horticultural shallow grave, hoping for divine intervention to keep it alive.
After the initial effusing over the new, £3.00 Clematis “Warsaw Nike”, which has large, strikingly coloured, deep velvet purple flowers with contrasting creamy coloured stamens (from May to September) – again, I’m not bothered about the flowers, only that it will remain alive to the point where I get some value out of it – the next question of course was, “what others did they have and why didn’t you buy those too?”
A second trip to the same supermarket later and the spoils are:
- Clematis Alpina “Constance”
- Clematis “Arabella”
- Clematis “Sunset”
- Clematis “The President” (this one’s dedicated to you, Tammy!)
I’m not going to take time to describe these now as that might only hasten their premature demise, instead, I’ll pot these up, take care of them as best I can, hope they remain alive and if they do survive to flower, then I’ll be sure to take pictures. At £3.00 each I’ll also try and take cuttings before they might die to recoup some value, unfortunately right now they’re too small and it’s the wrong time of year.
I’m going to need a bigger window.
Now all I’ve got to do is to find the right spot for five clematis plants of varying sizes, colours and types, but that shouldn’t be too hard as I have several ideas and before my other half pips in, it’s not going to be the compost heap!