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Sweet Autumn

September 10th, 2012

I’ve proclaimed my love of the ‘Sweet Autumn’ clematis before. It’s a winning vine in my garden. Much tougher and more resilient than many other clematises. There are a few of them growing throughout the gardens, trained on fences, up trees and hopefully, one up one of the front porch posts.

A few years ago, I planted one on my front hillside. The plan was to to eventually put in a nice archway in a break in the boxwood hedge, but that plan never materialized. As a result, the vine now happily scrambles up a small dogwood tree nearby.

I’m especially loving these vines this year because they’ve come through the drought with flying colors. One of my largest vines grows in the gravel driveway (yes it was planted there by previous owners) and has never been watered. Amazingly, it’s lush and covered with flowers this fall.

My front hillside suffered tremendously with the drought of this past summer (I blogged about Cutting my Losses over on the Your Day Blog last month). The clematis I planted up there a few years ago is providing some much needed beauty in an otherwise stark landscape.

In the future I may use this clematis as a ground cover as well. It’s so robust and lush it would be perfect for hard to cover areas. It also provides a much needed source of food for the honeybees at this time of year when not a lot of other things are blooming. My vines are always swarming with happily foraging bees.

What’s your favorite tough plant?

11 Comments to “Sweet Autumn”
  1. Meg Bagdonas on September 10, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I love ‘Sweet Autumn’ too and want to add it to my garden but several of my friends are troubled by blister beetles on their clematis. They strip the vines and are quite evil looking. You can’t touch them without gloves or you will get blistered. It’s been known to kill horses if you have an infestation of alfalfa hay. Do you get them and if so, what do you do to control them?

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  2. Julie on September 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I love Sweet Autumn clematis, although one of my vines disappeared this year. Still–it provides such a nice burst of blooms this time of year, particularly in our shady back yard. I’ve also though of using it as a ground cover. Probably, though, one of my favorite toughest plants (although not native) is ‘Miss Huff’ lantana. I have several plants in the front yard, and my office window allows me to watch the hummingbirds and butterflies enjoying the nectar.

    I think I need to take a few cuttings of my clematis to replace the missing vine. Thanks for the reminder! Your photos are lovely.

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  3. Canned Quilter on September 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Like you I love my Autumn Clematis. I had a beautiful one growing on an old clothes line pole but the winter before last was extremely bad with temperatures of almost 30 below and snow over my head. The Clematis did not survive unfortunately.

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  4. angie h on September 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I love my sweet autumn vines (glad I know the name of it now), my hubby not so much! It grows crazy at my house and he actually cut it completely down to the grown several times b/c it was getting into the gutters…it always comes back! Now that we have bees and they like it, he will let it grow. I think I may try putting some as grown cover too.

    We currently have ours on our porch trellis on one side and the then we have purple clematis variety that blooms around May. I would like to get them growing together so that something blooms early and late on both sides.

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    • Susy on September 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Keep an eye, you’ll start seeing your bees on it. I love the tenaciousness of this vine for sure!

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  5. sharon on September 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I was tempted by clematis pictures,, and bought 2 small ones..They will not grow in zone 9 I fear

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    • Susy on September 11, 2012 at 8:27 am

      If you plant them where they get some afternoon shade and plant some hostas at their base to keep the ground cool they might get by!

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  6. Trish on September 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I am actually a little afraid of the potential for this vine to become an invasive in the future for its ability to spread – it is all over my zone 5 yard. So I’m getting rid of mine.

    Reply to Trish's comment

    • Susy on September 16, 2012 at 6:24 am

      I have heard some people talk about this. Here it doesn’t seem to spread for some reason. Probably because the deer eat all the seeds in the winter.

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  7. Heather on September 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I love my autumn clematis too. I’ve named her Audrey, because she covers everything in her path! I have it planted along my front porch and if I don’t cut it back several times a year, it will pull my chairs and other plants into it! But I love it, and always get tons of compliments when it blooms this time of year.

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  8. Joan on September 15, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I just planted an autumn clematis on the west side of my house to hopefully tumble over a concrete wall. I planted sweet woodruff at it’s base to keep the roots cool. I live in zone 4b in Vermont.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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