One of the confusing things about the show-stopping perennial Clematis, and in my opinion there are a few, is the way the word is pronounced. (KLEM-ah-tis) is the Martha Stewart preferred pronunciation with the accent on the first syllable. (kle-MAT-is) with the accent on the second syllable, is the way we say it here in Ohio. No matter how you happen to pronounce it, it’s a dependable and hardy perennial. I actually have 2 plants, one is in the front around my light post (pictured above) and the other is in back growing on my neighbor’s fence (pictured below.) I plan to plant a few more along the fence but more on that in another post.
So I mentioned confusing things. I planted the Kakio clematis around my light post in spring of 2010. That following winter was horrible and in the spring of 2011 I was sure the plant was dead. It was nothing more than a pile of sticks after the snow melted. (Note: some of these images were taken with my first point-and-shoot in 2011. I’m pretty sure you can tell which ones they are!)
Then all of a sudden, almost overnight, green started popping out on the brown, brittle vines. The buds start to appear after the leaves. I would have never thought something so lovely could come from a pile of sticks!
Every spring since then, except one which I’ll explain below, the loveliest pink blooms appear in May and it is truly one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. Each flower has 8 pointed petals. The furry little center stays even after the petals have fallen. I have to say that of everything I have ever planted, this clematis is my favorite. Possibly because it actually blooms. (I have issues with things blooming as most of you know.)
Now about pruning, which is another confusing thing. Two years ago I made a mistake and cut the clematis back in the fall. The next spring, which was in 2014, I had abundant leaves but just a few blooms. For specific details on how to correctly prune Clematis, I’d like you to visit my Garden Pruning Guide over on my eBay blog…specifically No. 1 under the section titled “Clematis.” There are details on other plants too and I tried to keep it simple so it’s easy to follow.
I had to sit out a blooming season but last spring I was once again amazed at just how pretty something from nature can be…and how happy it can make me feel.
If you have never tried growing Clematis, I highly recommend it. It won’t do much the first season that it’s planted but after that, with very little maintenance, you will be rewarded with blooms that will take your breath away. I just wish they lasted all summer!
Thanks for stopping by…see you soon!
For more inspiration on summer blooms just click the images below!