Clems, Roses and Good Things Coming To An End

It is time to enter a new phase in the flowering plant show in the garden. This new phase is a little bit trickier to pull off. Spring is so easy with the bulbs, flowering shrubs and early perennials. Effort is required to get the same amount of color until the fall show begins mid September. Some of the clematis will continue producing blooms, like the above c. ‘Multi Blue’, that grows on our mailbox. Don’t you agree that freestanding mailboxes down by the street demand at least one clematis, better yet, several?
C. ‘Betty Corning’ is a prolific bloomer winding its way up the support post to the garage deck railing. This one was planted on an arch between the main house and the garage, along with many other climbers. All had to be moved when the two buildings were joined. It has been two years now since the replanting, and Betty has not only rebounded but is now thriving in more sun and moister soil.
Shown above is one of two c. ‘Etoile Violette’ that were planted on the original front arbor that housed the rose Killer, r. ‘Alberic Barbier’. Killer is long gone from the front, relocated to the back and finally relocated to rose heaven. But the two clemmies are still growing lustily. This one likes the bird netting wrapped around the porch support to grasp with its leaves, the other has to do battle with a vigorous carolina jessamine, and is not producing the same wattage purple flower show as the lucky porch post dweller. Say that three times quickly.
On to the the roses, r. ‘Veilchenblau’, pronounced here as vale-ken-blawwwww, planted on the shed, is past prime but still offers a color jolt at the top of the hill.
This has been a banner year for so many plants, or it should be said, for all the plants so far. The once blooming climber will be hard pruned after all the petals have fallen to keep it narrow by the path to the blueberry patch behind the shed. This rose is nearly thornless, but the newer canes still have some spikes that can tear clothing and skin.
This looks like the work of the fairies, playing with the flowers and lining them up in a row. We have two metal pillars, cheap flimsy things, on each side of the bench that overlooks the knot garden that are planted with the miniature climbers r. ‘Magic Dragon’. New last year, poor dears, they survived the drought and it is hoped they get real perky this year, but it is only the second year, so is this the ‘creep’ year?
We are awash in nigella. It has been allowed to flower in most of the spots that the volunteer seedlings sprung up, since the sky blue color is so pleasant. It seems that a few white centered ones from neighbors Mae and Mickey up the street have entered the gene pool. We have always had solid blues, they have always had the white center, until now. Hope the all blues can hold their own genetically, I want that sea of blue.
Although the other baptisias are long ago finished with their blooming and have seed pods that rattle in the breeze, this late comer is just now opening. The first one planted, brought to Texas from our first Tennessee garden, and brought here from Texas, this guy has seen a lot of different scenery. This is normally a plant that should not be moved, for it has a long taproot. We dug a huge rootball and hoped for the best with each move. The funny thing is that I thought this one had the usual blue flowers. Nope, it is the great black stemmed white flowering type mail ordered many years ago from White Flower Farm for our first all white garden, back in the eighties. It is just a late bloomer.

More late bloomers are these pink poppies. Normally the pinks flower first, then the reds kick in. The reds have finished blooming in the rest of the garden and we are waiting for the seed pods to open along the top crown like little salt shakers to annouce that they are ready to harvest. The seeds from these nice pink singles will be saved as well.

The final herbaceous peony bloom is this silly too many petaled pink beauty. Their time as stars lasted nearly three weeks, much longer than usual due to our cooler temps and light showers. See you next year, HPs!

Inherited with the property is this siberian iris, probably Ceasar’s Brother. We hardly even pay attention to the bloom of these, they are over with the peonies at the side of the house with the heater. This fellow was hidden under some daylily foliage and actually looks pretty good. His siblings finished up their show weeks ago.

A viola seedling up in the knot garden gravel that opened too late to be included in the beauty contest is ravishing. She could have been a contender!

The forgotten allium caeruleum is blooming heartily hidden behind a giant red poppy whose seeds will be gathered for fall sowing. These little alliums were newly planted last fall amid some daffodils. They are smaller than we expected but the flowers are that true blue that we love so much. They should be moved after the foliage yellows to have a more prominent viewing position, for they are exquisite.
The next wave of flowers should be the daylilies, we have those in abundance, being addicted to visiting the numerous daylily farms in this area. Several have budded scapes now. The butterfly bushes are budded, as are the liliums. The annuals are getting their roots established so they can step up when needed to add some liveliness to the design here in the garden. Less time will be spent planting new purchases and moving perennials for better showing as the temps rise and the rain is infrequent. Less, not none, for the purchase of plants never really stops completely, even during the winter, for there are always bulbs, and then bulbs on sale, then seeds, and so on….


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40 Responses to Clems, Roses and Good Things Coming To An End

  1. jan says:

    I agree that it is often harder to have blooming plants in the summer than the spring. Love the photos, esp. the blue ones.

    Always Growing

  2. Zoë says:

    Wonderful photos as always, love Clematis too.

    One of my fave combinations of this type is C. viticella ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ and Clematis × triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ which smells of marzinpan, the colours look so well together too, and will flower from July right through the autumn.

    Best Wishes,


  3. Daphne says:

    Your nigella is so beautiful. I love that soft blue.

  4. Gail says:

    This has been a grand season…I thought I lost my Clems in the drought and there is Jackman blooming its heart out on the mailbox! I am with you…there must be at least one Clematis on every mailbox…at least in the south!

    Nigella…somehow all the other colors disappeared and I have all white ones…I must remedy that…as I look at your photograph, I completely agree…the blue is outstanding; blue nigella goes on the list. Elizabeth Lawrence suggests letting the small annuals like Nigella seed among the Iris…it sounds like a good plan.

    Frances it was so good having coffee with you this morning, it’s Italian Roast, I know you would love it. Now off to the garden!


  5. Frances, says:

    Hi Jan, glad you agree and it’s not just me. Thanks, I love the blue flowers too.

    Hi Zoe, thanks for that tip, I will keep an eye out for those. There’s always room for more clems.

  6. tina says:

    Yup, planting never really does stop. The summer is when the best sales come along! I am surprised your love in a mist is mostly blue, i have some pinks, whites and blues in all shades. I think they cross pollinate freely.

  7. Frances, says:

    Hi Gail, thanks for the coffee break. I went out early to pick peas, they have become a monster in the veggie patch, covering everything and producing more peas that any sane person can use. I am going to try freezing them. Glad you clem came back on the mailbox too. I will save you some blue seeds, but they will be mixed with the white center ones, maybe you need to buy fresh all blues. Have fun in your garden!

    Hi Daphne, welcome and thanks for stopping by. The nigella is a pleaser for sure.

  8. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    Just beautiful, Frances. I agree that we are entering the tricky phase. Spring is easier. In fact, it’s almost intoxicating because there is so much to see and sniff.~Dee~

  9. Nancy J. Bond says:

    That nigella is such a gorgeous shade of blue! Everything looks so beautiful in your gardens. It’s always melancholy to see some things disappear from the garden, but there is always something new and exciting to replace it. 🙂

  10. brokenbeat says:

    mo-om, can i p-lease have some of you clematises? i have lots of fences and supports for them to grow on. they’re soooo pretty. love, son.

  11. Frances, says:

    Hi Tina, sorry your response is out of order. ;-> Your mixed bag of nigella sound wonderful. I started some seeds this year that are now budded of chocolate sundae, white with a dark center nigella, even the leaves are slightly different and it is in the veggie garden to try and keep the seed true. I wonder if it is even possible to keep the colors straight, or just give in the the serendipity. One of the joys of living in this part of the country is the year around gardening, if you want to do it in the winter. I love doing projects then. Thanks for dropping by, and being so agreeable!

    Hi Nancy J., we know some gardeners that actually cry when the bloom time of something ends. We are not like that at all, never look back, always look ahead to the next thing, as you so rightly say. Thanks for visiting.

    Brokenbeat, in a word, no. Clems are one of those things that cannot be divided. You must buy your own, but they are readily available at big box, walmart or nurseries, or even mail order for special ones. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you though. ;=->

  12. Annie in Austin says:

    It’s just way too beautiful at Faire Garden right now, even though you say it can’t last, Frances. The ‘Etoile Violette’ is soooo fine! I used to let one of those twine up a tall blue spruce and like the colors together, but it never made the volume of flowers that yours make on the arbor.

    Your answer to brokenbeat was pretty funny – and it’s true that most clematis aren’t passalong plants. You can share seedlings from Sweet Autumn or Tangutica – beautiful vines but not exactly well-behaved.

    It will be fun to see your daylilies!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  13. Frances, says:

    Hi Annie, HA, we shall see if brokenbeat sees the humor, but it is true, as you say. He is overrun with the autumn clem, so won’t be wanting any of that one. Etoile V. has been in the ground for twelve years, one of the first things planted when we bought this house for the girls. Since Killer is gone, it has really come into its own, although last year was horrible. More rain has helped everything in the garden look its best. Thanks for your interesting take on things, as always.

  14. Dave says:

    The clematis looks great. I’ve been thinking of putting one out by the mailbox garden. I was given an autumn blooming clematis from my wife’s grandmother but I haven’t decided where to put it yet. I had better do something with it soon so it can get settled in.

  15. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Those fairies are so busy in your garden Frances. Fun to see all that they have been up to.

    The second year is definitely the creeping year for perennials.

    The nigellia is so pretty. I have tried it a couple of times in my garden but it didn’t reseed. I need more sun I think.

    Your climbing rose is just gorgeous. I have one I am trying to get to climb into our apple tree. It has almost made it.

  16. Frances, says:

    Hi Dave, beware the autumn clem, it can reseed terribly and grows quite large. It is not like the ones pictured in my post today. I have seen your mailbox, and think it would look lovely with a nice well mannered clem. Thanks for visiting.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Those fairies like to keep us on our toes around here. I was afraid of a creeping year, so be it. With the nigella, the semi school works best, do nothing. Don’t mulch and ignore it is best. Would you like some seeds?

  17. Rose says:

    Every time I come here I see a new plant I would like to have. Those blue alliums are very enticing! And I didn’t know there was such a thing as a miniature climbing rose. Are you happy with how it has turned out? I have just the spot for one, if they are hardy in zone 5.

  18. Terra Hangen says:

    Sensational photos; the purple blue clematis photo at the top of your post is breathtaking. I said “wow” out loud when I saw it.

  19. Frances, says:

    Hi Rose, thanks for visiting. I am not sure yet about the mini climber Magic Dragon. Something is eatin the leaves at the moment, but there is new growth and more flower buds. Next year will be the ‘leap’ year for it, so I will wait until then to pass judgement. But go ahead and get one, mine came mail order from Antique Rose Emporium in Texas, a good source for roses.

    Hi Terra Hangen, thanks for the kind words. That clem is one of the prettiest individual flowers that we grow here. Not as many of them though.

  20. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    The only one who doesn’t like Clematis on the mailbox is the letter carrier – watch out for those bees! My new ‘Betty Corning’ has a bud already, so I’m really looking forward to it. (Some of my Clematis have started blooming already.) Love the pink Poppies!

  21. Jane Marie says:

    That blue viola is incredible!

  22. brokenbeat says:

    i guess i’ll just have to buy my own clematises. shucks.

    ‘habits of the old man’ up in full.

  23. Frances, says:

    My dear Brokenbeat, I am so sorry you must start anew with the clems. They enjoy being fed for more flowers and faster growth. Habits of the Old Man is a work of art. Thanks for letting me know it is in one piece now. love.

  24. Frances, says:

    Hi MMD, sorry out of order, brokenbeat’s new story got me diverted from the comments. Poor mailman, our clems are on the back side of the post, so he is safe, but does complain of the spiders inside the box. I try and keep it free of webs. Do you want some poppy seeds?

  25. Frances, says:

    Hi Jane Marie, sorry this is out of order. My email thinks the comments today are junk mail and I miss them until I go to that tab. Argh! The little viola was so pretty, she had to be included here. Thanks for visiting.

  26. Skeeter says:

    Your pictures are so beautiful!

  27. Lola says:

    I really like the blue flowered plants. I wonder if the Nigella & the blue Alliums would go together? I’ve got this crazy pic in my head for a Blue garden. I think they are so soothing.

  28. Layanee says:

    I love that clematis Etoile violette along with Betty Balfour. Your roses are cooperating nicely with all their blooms. Mine have not yet started but should be coming along soon. It is nice to see the preview from your beautiful garden.

  29. chuck b. says:

    I’ll be here to watch you keep the blooms going all summer long.

    You appear to have a big collection of Clematis which clearly shows that you have your garden priorities in order.

  30. DP Nguyen says:

    Wow, I really love those purple flowers on your porch. It looks very elegant. The photos are beautiful as always! But the purple/violet coloring looks very nice on the faded wood!!

  31. Pam/Digging says:

    Yes, your mailbox definitely needs a gorgeous clematis—your mail carrier will appreciate it too.

  32. theysaywordscanbleed says:

    gorgeous flowers!

    Lakewood flowers

  33. Frances, says:

    Welcome Skeeter, thanks for visiting and the kind words.

    Hi Skeeter, welcome to you and thanks. A blue garden would be gorgeous, there are lots of choices in a sunny spot too. The blue allium is somewhat delicate and not very tall as alliums go. it should be planted in front of the nigella, which can get larger than the seed packets say here. Good luck with your blue space!

    Hi Layanee, what a coincidence, but the photo was Betty Corning, however, we also have Betty Balfour, she is not blooming right now! Thanks for visiting, I will look forward to seeing your clems.

    Hi Chuck, thanks. I forgot to include clem Ruguchi, the bell shaped beauty, now in bloom. The pressure is on now, with a discerning eye watching to keep the color going. It is easy to have a small photo of something blooming, harder to get that overall view from the deck or patio full of color. We have been working on it for many years, so we’ll see what you think!

    Hi DP, thanks. We like the weathered look of the treated lumber, sort of rustic. The Etoile Violette is one of the best for number of blooms.

    Hi Pam, thanks, I agree. We used to have three clems on the mailbox, last year they all disappeared with the drought. Multi blue is the first one back, maybe the others will return too.

    Hi Arlene, thanks so much.

  34. Frances, says:

    Okay, this shows to not write before the coffee kicks in, that second response should be HI LOLA!, not Hi Skeeter. HA

  35. Piondröm says:

    As always on your blog….oohh!!!
    Clematis is a favorrit, who is not ;7

  36. gintoino says:

    Beautiful flowers! I specially like that C. “Etoile Violette”. It looks great climbig up that porch.

  37. Frances, says:

    Hi Ken, thanks, what a sweet thing to say. Glad to see you.

    Hi Gintoino, E. Violette is a good one, I can highly recommend it. Lots of blooms over a long period. Thanks for visiting.

  38. Amy says:

    So gorgeous! I planted two clematis for the first time last year, and it seems I figured out how and when to prune them properly in spring as they are doing quite well. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief!

  39. Frances, says:

    Hi Amy, good for you. I still don’t know how to prune the clems, and just don’t. ;-> What ones did you get?

  40. Frances, says:

    Hi Dee, your comment just now showed up, better late than never, right? I have been thinking about what will pick up the slack around here, the daylilies and bulb lilies are stalwarts, but not planted in all the beds. Roses like knockout and blush knockout are good for some color all season. Tall phlox, asters, butterfly bushes gaillardia, salvias and good old annuals will have to do it. Foliage comes into play too. It’s a complex dance. Thanks for stopping by.

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