GBMD: The Clematis

Concealed were all thy beauties rare
'Neath the dark umbrageous shade,
But still to gain the loftiest spray,
Thy weak stem its efforts made;
Now, every obstacle o'ercome,
Thou smilest from thy leafy home.

Extract from The Clematis by Alexander Bathgate (1845-1930)

It might look a little poorly, but I was so pleased to discover these flowers of my Clematis 'Gravetye Beauty' last week. I thought this plant had long gone: drowned beneath a veil of contorted hazel (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') overlain by an extremely vigorous Clematis 'Frances Rivis'*.

But it seems it must have taken heart from this poem and emerged triumphantly 6 feet up, using those very plants I thought had smothered it to support its new blooms. It's suffering from a touch of powdery mildew, which isn't surprising in view of the lack of rain we've had this year and my policy of minimal garden watering. I'll be thinning out the plants in this area of the garden to ensure there's a good airflow around them in the future.

* = the link talks about there being 2 forms of this Clematis, with the pictured 'Dutch form' acknowledged as the proper one and the 'English form' also sold as C. 'Frances Rivis' in the UK and elsewhere which is thought to be a form of C. 'Blue Dancer'. I'll be checking next spring to see which form I actually have.

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day is hosted by Carolyn Choi at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.


  1. Beautiful flower

    lucky you got it back

  2. VP, Both forms are delightful~We see the super-sized flower forms in the US and while they are lovely, I like the nodding clemmies and the smaller flowered beauties best~ gail

  3. Your 'Gravetye Beauty' has certainly read the book and overcome 'every obstacle' :) I have 'Princess Diana' somewhere in the midst of a privet and a honeysuckle ~ she was a no show last year but I was delighted to see her again this year.

  4. What a pleasant surprise it must have been to see your clematis survived after all. Perfect poem to describe its blossoming, VP.

  5. Hi everyone - glad you like my Clematis and poem. Princes Diana is very similar and I understand from Weeding Between the Lines that it's a much better cultivar


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