Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: the return of 'Polish Spirit'

Just about in flower in time for this month's Blooms Day, I'm pleased to find sultry Clematis 'Polish Spirit' has returned to VP Gardens after a few years absence. This truly is an Against the Odds appearance because I've given this delicate looking viticella clematis the most challenging of conditions:

  1. I'm growing it in a pot
  2. I haven't watered the pot this year
  3. The pot is hidden beneath the ivy I'm growing along the fence
Yet it's managed to pop its head up and stick out its tongue as if to say, 'See? My instinct for survival far exceeds your neglect'. I really must release it from its potted prison and give it proper garden room.

From my research for today's post I see I couldn't have chosen a better clematis to survive this treatment. The links I've chosen say viticella clematis tolerate dry conditions and 'Polish Spirit' in particular is a tough cookie. Perhaps breeder Brother Stephan knew this when he chose the name: to reflect the deep patriotism of the Polish people which burns fiercely at all times.

Raymond Evison is probably the most well-known clematis breeder here in the UK. Poland's Brother Stephan deserves our recognition too as he's bred many a popular clematis to grace our gardens. 'Warsaw Nike', 'John Paul II', and 'Cardinal Wyzsinski' all come from him, as well as 'Polish Spirit'. Many of his introductions have the RHS Award of Garden Merit, a mark of garden worthiness. You can read more of his story here.

Do you have a 'come back kid' blooming in your garden this month? Or perhaps you have one of Brother Stephan's introductions? Tell all in the comments below.

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


  1. Beautiful!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

  2. Well, its roots will be nicely shaded! I'm betting they have grown down into the soil. Always amazing how plants survive, isn't it?

    1. Hmm, I'll have to check on that one Helen because the pot is on the patio. If it has rooted in the soil, that's even more Against the Odds!

  3. I forgot to mention my research also says 'Polish Spirit' is shade tolerant, which my specimen demonstrates admirably.

  4. That is a beauty..and lives up to its name

  5. I love when plants are like "I'll show you!" And this one is stunning with its dramatic color.

    1. I'm particularly fond of deep purple clematis Angie - 'Elsa Spath' is another one gracing my garden along with 'The President'. This one extends the season of clematis in the garden.

  6. Poor Polish Spirit! I hope this isn't its swansong. Give that poor Clematis some love - or send it to Auntie Sarah for some TLC. It's gorgeous and I'm sure it would love an extended holiday in Norfolk! ;-)

  7. How cool to see Polish Spirit rebound - even stuck in a container! That clematis was a favorite in my old Illinois garden back in the 1990s when it was a newer introduction. It was a gift from a Polish friend and I hated to leave it, but it would probably not have survived if I brought it here to Texas.
    Keep on winning against the odds.

    1. Hi Annie, it's a shame that you can't grow clematis in Texas, presumably the need to keep roots cool would be quite a problem there. I hope you'll be at the Fling in Austin next year - see you there?

  8. I would have to say my most of my garden has a "Polish Spirit" for still being there. We were hit with the tale of Hurricane Harvey then the same with Hurricane Irma. Anything left is a survivor.
    I like your clematis and have always wanted one. This might just be the one for me.
    Jeannie @

    1. Crumbs, what a nightmare for you Jeannie! I hope you're managing to get back to normal after all that worry and devastation.


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