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Parade of Early Summer Clematis

July 2nd, 2019

Recently, I’ve been trying to add more climbers to the garden, particularly clematises. They’re valuable for filling in trellises and under leggy bushes, they will scramble up roses and fill in small spots in borders. By the front door, I have a clematis (not blooming yet so not pictured) climbing up the bottom vine portion of the lonicera. The early clematises here in Maine start to bloom in late July, which isn’t really early by most garden standards, but our short season makes it so. Here are the early blooming clematises in my garden:

The beautiful purpler bell shaped clematis is ‘Betty Corning’, I purchased it from Hummingbird Farm last year at the Portland Flower Show. The burgundy one below is of an unkown variety to me, I purchased the root at a local discout store and it was simply labeled ‘Red Flowering Clematis’.



This large white beauty is called ‘Kotkas’ and I also purchased it from Hummingbird Farm last year at the Portland Flower Show. I’m actually thinking of moving the burgundy flowering clematis above to the trellis that is supporting the large white flowering clematis below. I think they’d look lovely intertwined on one trellis and fill it out nicely. I may even look for a slightly taller later flowering variety to cover the top of the trellis and bloom later in the summer. That’s one of the bauties of clematis, they can be layered into each other and other plants to extend the bloom season and add more interest.


I’d love to add more of these lovely vines to my collection and plan on taking a trip up to Hummingbird Farm (which is only about an hour and a half north). I’d love to get some anemone flowering vines and some more of the bell shaped ones.

Do you grow any clematis? What varieties do you have?

Maine Garden Entry Focal Point

July 10th, 2018

Last fall, I curved a stock panel between several pieces of rebar and made an arch to add a focal point to the entry of the main garden. I planted a few perennial climbers on it, mostly clematis, but a grape vine I found on clearance at the end of the season. I knew the climbers wouldn’t grow up and cover the arch this year, so I added gold pod peas and scarlet runner beans for late season color. It also makes a nice place to hang my favorite garden tool so it’s at hand when I need it.




The arch is looking fantastic at the entry of the garden. I also moved an old half barrel planted to flank the arch and planted my horseradish in it. I’ve added various elements around the arch to enhance the area and make it a true focal point to signify that this is the entry to the garden. It’s still young, but it’s really starting to look nice. In a few years this area will be a stunning entryway, especially when the box hedges grow up on either side and the perennial beds fill in behind them.

What kind of focal points do you have in your garden?

Clematis in Bloom

July 5th, 2018

In the past two years, I’ve added 8 clematis to the garden in efforts add levels to the garden beds/borders. I was lucky to find some at a local discount store last summer for $5 each. They grew nicely last year and are starting to bloom this year. One of my favorites is this burgundy one.

It was labeled as an Everblooming Red clematis. I’m not sure if it has a varietal name or not, but I really like it. The color of the flower make it look like it’s velvet. It’s a wonderful addition to the stock panel arch that graces the front entrance to the main vegetable garden.

What are some of your favorite climbers?

Climbers on the Arch

June 14th, 2018

Last fall, I used a stock panel to make an arch at the main entrance of the back garden. I planted a grape on one corner and a clematis on each of the other three. The grapevine is still small, only about a foot tall, the clematis planted on the side with it is also fairly short, only a few feet tall but it’s blooming.


The two on the other side are fairly tall, both have lots of buds. I still need to plant a few things along the base of the clematis to keep the roots cool.

I’ve been trying to incorporate more climbers in the garden. Most of these clematis I got at the local discount store as tiny bare rooted plants for a few dollars each. It’s nice see them finally starting to bloom and grow.

Do you have any climbers in your garden?

Blooming Its Heart Out

June 23rd, 2017

When I got these tiny clematises at a discount store this spring, I wasn’t expecting much of anything by the way of blooms for several years.

I was super amazed when one of the tiny vines started putting off one bud, then two, then three… Of course I have no idea what variety this is, it was simply labeled “red clematis”. We’re lucky to have a clematis farm here in Maine, hopefully I can get up there soon and they may be able to help me identify it.

I’m hoping to get the new garden area ready soon so a few of these can get planted into the ground. I dislike maintaining plants in containers for very long.

When I saw it was a red clematis on the box, I wasn’t super keen. But you can’t really complain when they’re so inexpensive. I’m happy with the darkness of this bloom, it’s more burgundy than red. It should pair beautifully with ladies mantle or a bright green hosta at its base. None of the other vines have blooms yet, I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

What’s surprised you in the garden this week?

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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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