More from the swag ...

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)July 10, 2011

I'm sure my obsession with the clematis swag is getting a bit 'old' so I'll post these pictures here instead of on the main thread. I hope gb reads this because another unknown is blooming now...!

The color in these pictures is not true - it's a more blue-purple than it appears here:

Front view:

Back view:

The only things I planted on the back of the south side of the arbour were Willy, Black Prince and a seedling you gave me gb that was, I think, supposed to be Blue Boy(?) Until it bloomed, I thought it was likely going to be some of the Jackmani Superba that we had to cut down when we removed the roses. It's coming back strongly on the front side of the arbour so I assumed these stems were from it, but obviously not... Do you know what this one is gb?

I didn't realize Randy was out with his camera when I was out with mine, until I downloaded his camera and found this..:

What I was taking a picture of is New Dawn with the red clematises (Rosemoor? Rouge Cardinal?) When we removed the roses, we left one cane that grows through the lattice, around the corner, and into the mockorange under the kitchen window. It's blooming now and looks nice with the clematises on the arbour.

The clematises on the fence (shadier) side of the south alley are far, far behind the growth of the ones on the sunnier (house) side. Today I noticed that a couple of them are now at or above the swag chains and in more sun. There should be flowers on them soon as I saw some buds. Two of the clematis though are only about 12" high and I'm not sure they will survive.

You can clearly see the difference in growth in these two pictures:

The sunny side:

The shadier side:

I'm surprised that there is no pink blooming. I planted a Comtesse de Bouchard on the house side and a Hagley Hybrid on the shadier side. Should they be blooming now gb?

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cyn427 (zone 7)

How could we ever get tired of your pictures, Woody? I adore your garden and that trellis and swag are just wonderful. Interesting in the sun vs shade sides-wouldn't think there would be such a difference in the light they get.

Thanks for the new pics!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 4:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, It is NOT Willy, Black Prince or Blue Bird (the one I gave you.) It certainly is pretty, so I wouldn't despair!

Randy's photo is just wonderful! What a pretty shot of you!

It makes perfect sense that the shadier side is slower growing. It may take a year or two longer for them to leap forward! Don't expect growth and blooms from every clematis in the first year.

Clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchaud' is new to my garden as of last Fall, and still no sign of blooms. This is supposed to be an easy one too. It is on the bridge, a very sunny spot. Hagley Hybrid is in a sunny spot here too and after about 4 years is blooming well. At first it seemed weak and had lots of earwig damage. Sorry to say, but I suggest patience as far as these things go. Over time we'll no doubt figure out which clematis you have and where they are situated. But even if we don't, you're going to have an amazing display.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 6:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This house and garden remind me of yours Woody! It is in Finland.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clematis on a yellow background

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 7:05PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

That's a nice looking house in that link gb. The clematises aren't bad either :-)

I know I shouldn't expect blooms from all these clematises in the first year - but since some have done so well, I can't help but think they all should! I'm really surprised that the ones on the house side have grown and flowered so much. I've never had any that have done that well in their first year before. The conditions there obviously suit them perfectly for whatever reason.

I really like the unknown one particularly since it looks as interesting from the back as it does from the front. The name really doesn't matter too much other than it's nice to know 'who' they are :-) Are you sure the seedling you gave me was Blue Boy and not a happy cross between some of your pretty ones?!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 7:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It was a rooted cutting of Blue Bird, not Blue Boy. Take a look here on what to expect.(No pruning)

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Bird

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 8:13PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I thought I had the name wrong but knew it was Blue something... I wanted a blue group 1 on the front of the arbour to mingle with the pink Willy to create a lilac colored impression to ge with the spring bloom of the lilacs nearby.

Could this unknown one possibly be a seedling from the Jackmani Superba do you think? We never cut that one back in the seven years from when it was planted until we cut it back hard last year when we cleared the arbour to remove the New Dawn roses. There certainly could have been seeds dropped all around there. It would be neat if it was a sport seedling! :-)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 8:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You never know...but flowering so soon after seeding seems unlikely to me in our climate. I'm inclined to think there was some confusion in planting or labeling. Let's wait and see what other clematis bloom and try to work from there.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:52PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It turned out that the clematis with the white on the reverse has to be the Jackmani Superba that was there when the roses were on the arbour - not that mine look very much like the COTW pictures though (I don't see the reddish bars on mine...) So maybe they're something different. I never noticed the white on the reverse when they were all tangled up in the roses. They got cut back very hard when we took out the roses. I had never cut them back before and they used to make a lovely cascade down from the top. They are prolific now but without the cascade effect so I'll probably not prune them back in future.

Some pictures from this evening...

This The President is not part of the swag obviously, but it's at the top of the path leading to the south gate/arbour/swag so I'll sneak it in here :-) This was the first clematis I ever planted - it was planted in 2000 and was a wonderful thing every year until last year. After it flowered last year, it sort of collapsed. It didn't wilt in the usual sense - the leaves died but didn't turn black. They just sort of dried up and turned a tan color. This spring it was dead all the way to the top. I thought I'd lost it but new growth appeared around the base so I cut it to the ground. I didn't think it would recover so quickly!

This is what the south gate and arbour looks like tonight:

Looking through the gate:

Black Prince is my favorite of the swag clematises so far. The color is wrong in this picture - it's a darker black-red rather than the sort of cherry-red in this picture. It's such a cute little flower that sort of insinuates itself into the mass of vines and pops up unexpectedly in the middle of something else. I love it!

And now I'm going to stay a bit from the swag but still in a clematis context ... :-)

Nike just keeps on going, although it's starting to drop tepals now. I think I'll have to find a place for it on the swag! The garage hydrangeas are blooming now and Nike goes well with them:

At the other end of that stretch of hydrangeas is what is supposed to be Polish Spirit. It's been flowering for quite a while too. I planted it 5-6 years ago with the intention of having it grow into the viburnum at the corner of the garage, by the driveway. Up until this year it has stayed low. Most of it is still at the base:

But I noticed today that some has now reached the top of the viburnum:

The north alley gate is around the corner from where the Nike is. It has clematises too:

The Harlequin honeysuckle on the north alley fence seems to be struggling this year and last year too. So I'm thinking of cutting it back hard and maybe trying to grow it as a shrub (it's supposed to be possible to do that with it...) That would free up the north fence to grow more clematises (gb - you have a lot to answer for... :-) So I might end up with clematises down both alleys! Future clematis fence?

It gets sun until about 3:00 and the I already have some on there that do fine in the conditions, so I think I'll be clematis shopping again - if we ever get some rain to making planting possible!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 9:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Things are looking just fine there Woody! I'm fond of Black Prince too, never have photographed the colour accurately though...

You can blame me for the interest in clematis...but NOT for the quantity you acquire! I'd not plant until we've had several good rains. If you buy them, keep them moist and shaded. Maybe plant in September. Tomorrow is supposed to be a scorcher, Monday maybe rain?

I was up early today (55F) and weeded the lettuce, chard and carrot patch, then weeded around some clematis for 2 1/2 hours. After breakfast I decided it was bath time, now nap time already! OY! Wacky Backwards Day. The hose is running as a I type. The temperature is headed toward 85F.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:27AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I wes just teasing you gb... :-) and trying to give you credit/thanks for inspiring me to add these beauties to the garden.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 2:40PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The Paul Farges clematis on the fence in the south alley has now effectively become a continuination of the swag on that side. It is so vigorous I have to keep pruning it back as it grows since it sends 'arms' out into the alley - they get cut back every time I pass through there. It extends about 20-25', along the 6' wooden alley fence and along the 4' chainlink fence beside the top part of the woodland bed under the oak. That stretch is fairly shady because it's also under the canopy of the neighbour's big old ash tree. It blooms best on the part that drapes along and over the 6' wooden fence along the neighbour's patio. Their Jackmani clematis climb into it and mingles happily.

Zoe (Rottweiler)'s owner has made me a bird house (he does a lot of wood working...) to thank me for the dog cookies we supply to Zoe regularly. We'll be painting it in the shed colors and attaching it to the top of the last swag post on the fence side. One of the windows in our home office looks out on this stretch of fence, so the birdhouse should be a nice addition to the view, winter or summer.

gb - you were unsure I think if this clematis is really Paul Farges. Randy took this close-up of the flowers. Do you think it is Paul? If it isn't what would it be? My SAC on the north fence hasn't started to set buds yet and the leaves are smaller and lighter green on it. So, if this it not Paul, I'm pretty sure it's not SAC...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 3:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Its behavior and this close-up make me believe you have the real Paul Farges!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:07PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The Paul Farges is now in full bloom and making the fence side of the alley swag look a bit less barren.

The fence-side clematises are still small and spindly - and some are still not growing much at all. This one started blooming this morning and, once again, I'm not sure what it is because it doesn't quite look like a match for any of the COTW pictures for what I supposedly planted along there (Huldine and Hyde Hall). I think I'll just give up on names and enjoy whatever appears!

In the 'wings' of the arbour (the gap between the face of the arbour and the ladder-like structure 2' behind the face, on either side) a sort of mixed-bag of purply-blue clematises has filled up the space. Most of it must be the Jackmani Superba that regrew after getting cut back to remove the roses. But there is some odd stuff appearing in there too that looks like maybe the Jackmani had been crossing with something and seeding itself in the 8 years now it has been there...?

A closer look at some of the odd ones:

I think I'm definitely giving up on names, and even a planned color scheme, and just enjoy the show :-)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 12:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You are absolutely right to enjoy the show!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 3:35PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The Rose of Sharon at the end of the swag on the house side is blooming now - and so is The President clematis I planted to be the terminal clematis on the swag. I didn't really expect their bloom time to overlap but the ROS is blooming a bit early this year. I like the combination.

(I'm not sure what the funny blue I'm seeing on the post is - I'll have to go look and remove whatever it is...)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:56PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The swag keeps chugging along, surprising me with how well it's doing for its first year and the horrendous weather this summer. We run the soaker hoses along there every other day or so. I noticed this morning that there is now mildew on some of the vines so they are definitely feeling the effects of the weather!

Pink has finally showed up - I think this must be the Comtesse de Bouchard I planted, although the tepals are skinnier than in the COTW pictures. I'd guess that might be the combined effect of it being a first year flower and drought stress. But it's pretty nonetheless.

Black Prince has been outstanding - very vigorous and looks beautiful with everything it mingles with.

I noticed some more oddly colored/mottled flowers this morning. They're further along the fence side than the one in the picture I posted earlier. They also are less blue than that one. I wonder if they are seedlings, or diseased, or whether the color break is just caused by drought stress. They vaguely reming me of pansy faces!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 10:27AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The display is winding down now. This pink one is the only thing in bloom now. It's interesting how many shades of pink are produced on the one vine!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 2:39PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Bravo Woody!!!!! Wow, this is looking great and will be spectacular in the coming years. I wish I had your luck with clematis. They always seem to wilt or get eaten by the voles so it's a celebration when I have a good showing by clematis vines. Love you collection and placement of these beauties. Looking forward to future updates

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:25PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - the swag may be my consolation prize to compensate for the decline of Vyvyan Pennell! You might have noticed that I didn't post any pictures of Vyv this year... I obviously made a big mistake when I cleaned out a lot of dead older wood in spring 2010 in an attempt to encourage it to regrow and climb higher than the 3-4' it used to achieve. It put out some nice new growth last summer that was climbing nicely and looking good. This spring the new growth it put on in 2010 also looked good - until a couple of giant snails munched through the stems! It went into a severe decline after that and only managed a couple of flowers. The killer heat this summer probably hasn't helped much. At the moment it's a few pathetic stems and leaves, no higher than about 8"! I can only hope it might regrow from the roots next year like The President did this year. The Pres. had died from top to bottom last summer - just sort of dried up and turned beige, not the black of wilt. I thought I'd lost it but it came back very vigorously this spring. I'm hoping Vyv will do the same next spring.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:45PM
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