Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 15 May 2016

GBBD: Clematis Surprise

Alpine clematis 'Francis Rivis' at the bottom of the garden

I declare the clematis season is open with today's surprise discovery of my Clematis 'Frances Rivis' at the bottom of the garden. It's a surprise because I cut it back hard late last year when I was tidying up that part of the garden and I thought I'd sacrificed the spring display in the process.

It shows what a tough clematis this is despite its delicate good looks. This is no doubt due to its mountainous heritage and it thoroughly deserves its alpina species name. The Clematis genus name is appropriate too as this comes from the Greek meaning climbing plant.

C. 'Frances Rivis' is one of my favourites of the many I have here at VP Gardens. It's an older clematis, dating back to around 1900 and is named after the Suffolk gardener who raised it from seed.  Elsewhere in the garden there are lots of fat buds showing promise of a wonderful clematis season this year. Thank goodness when I cut back those Darling Buds of MarchI did no harm and I now have the darling buds of May.

How's your garden faring this month?

Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

16 comments:

  1. My garden is overgrown chaos, thanks for asking! :) But I love (almost) every inch of it. I have a Clematis 'Blue Dancer', which is similar to 'Francis Rives'. This year, it bloomed its heart out - I don't think I have ever seen it look so amazing. Happy Bloom Day, and here is to a good Clematis year!

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    1. Ooh I've not come across that Clematis Anna, I must check it out :)

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  2. I love Clematis!
    Have a great week!
    Lea

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  3. Lovely! I had a similar experience with 'Nelly Moser'--last year it had only a few blooms, probably because I pruned it too hard and too late. But it's back again this year covered in blooms. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. I saw your Nelly Moser photo on FB today :) Mine is yet to flower, though it has plenty of buds. I spotted 'Guernsey Cream' in flower today, probably one of the earliest large flowered clematis.

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    2. Nelly Moser was forced to live/sprawl/be miserable in our garden for the last ten years in the wrong spot. Never happy, she didn't complain. So I said this spring..."Nelly, I'm going to do the honorable thing and move you to the back trellis wall and so, will you please please live". Its good to talk to your plants I am sure you will agree. Well, lots of new growth is showing and so, sincerely hope she loves us back. "Go Nelly!! You are an old girl but a new move is as good as a new life."

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    3. I often find that when a plant does badly merely thinking about getting rid of it startles it into action! I grow my Nelly Moser in quite a shady spot and she does well for me there, is that thekind of spot you moved yours to?

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    4. Moved Nelly Moser to one end of the long trellis at the back of the garden, where its roots will be shaded for most of the day but it can reach high for the top of the trellis. Still looking good after the transplanting so fingers crossed it continues to be happy.

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    5. Ahhhh, most clematis like shaded roots and heads in the sunshine - what a wise move :)

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  4. I just bought 'Frances Rivis'. No blooms yet so good to see a photo of it looking so beautiful. It'll be a treat for next year.

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    1. Treat is exactly the right word Jessica. 'Frances Rivis' can repeat flower too, which is even better :)

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  5. The alpina clematis are beautifully elegant.

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    1. They are - especially when compared with their blowsy huge spring flowering cousins :)

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  6. Maybe I ought to cut my C. White Moth back to encourage it to flower more! Your Frances Rivis is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Pauline :) When did you plant your C 'White Moth'? I find it takes about 3 years for my clematis too truly get going - they definitely fall into the 'sleep, creep, leap' class of plants!

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