Tag Archives: fragrant vine

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Dependable For Late Season

It can grow more than 30 feet in a single season, climb and entwine on everything within its reach.  The UPS, FedEx and USPS people no longer drop shipments off on our patio since they are not sure they can go under the thick overhanging vine covering the walkway.  My fault!  I draped the young vine over the walkway without thinking of the resulting consequences.

I was describing our Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora).  It covers two sides of our patio, providing us with a green screen from summer to late fall.  Around late summer and early fall it is blanketed with small white, lightly fragrant flowers, lots of them.  The fragrance is much more pronounced when the temperature is on the cool side.  The flowers are so abundant that my neighbor thought I had covered part of our patio roof with a white cloth.  We sat outside enjoying the flowers and a little wine during the last full moon.  It was quite a show: a blanket of fragrant white flowers under the moonlight.  It was a wonderful way to unwind after a long day at work.

More pluses: It doesn’t require much care, just feed it and give it a good pruning once a year in spring.  The bees, butterflies and moths love it.   It also provides a hiding place for birds.  When there is not much else blooming late in the season, this clematis brings life as well as providing food.

Lots of small white fragrant flowers
Lots of small white fragrant flowers
Close up
Close up
Covering part of the patio roof on the pool deck side
Covering part of the patio roof on the pool deck side
On the walkway side
On the walkway side

There is a walkway to the patio, bottom left, that was reduced down to a four foot high gap.  This happened in just one season!

Clematis Montana

Blooms But Once A Year And It’s Worth It

It’s that time of year again: A time of colors and scents.  The unintended Clematis Montana (Clematis Montana var Rubens) proves itself of worthy for any garden again even though it blooms only once a year.  I can hardly see it’s leaves this spring.  The pool fence is covered with the beautiful pink flowers and it has attempted to climb up the patio roof.  We are still debating whether the scent is chocolate or vanilla.  Either way, I have an urge to eat the flowers every time I smell them.  I will be giving it a crew cut this year since it has been taking over other plants space.  Guilt ridden just thinking about cutting it but for everybody’s benefit (plant-wise) it needs to be done.

A great spot for having coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at dusk
A great spot for having coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at dusk
Clematis 'Montana' after the rain
Clematis ‘Montana’ after the rain
Making its ascent to the patio roof after climbing over the Abelia
Making its ascent to the patio roof after climbing over the Abelia
A cluster by the fence
A cluster by the fence

Wisteria

A Living Umbrella

I still remember the arresting scene of Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) that made me want to grow one.  That was when I walked under the Wisteria Pergola in Central Park when it was in full bloom.  A sea of lilac pealike flowers cascaded down over my head and a powerful sweet perfume filled the air.  I promised myself then and there that I would grow one when next I have a garden.

When I moved from New York City to the current address, I was lucky enough to have a neighbor who had them growing on her property.  She offered  me a runner years ago and I promptly planted it by our pool fence.  It proved to be a mistake since it grows several feet a season, too fast for such a small spot.  I dug it up and replanted it by a dead tree stump and put up a supporting pole to keep it straight up.  I also prune it every year to keep it in an umbrella shape.  It’s still too low to walk or sit under but it’s a lovely shape and it will continue to grow upward.  I think it loves where it is judging by the way it blooms so profusely and twice last year too.  The second time didn’t produce that many flowers though.  Aside from the lovely flowers, the fragrance perfumes our garden from morning to evening.  I guess it’s eye catching enough when the handsome young man who supervised a crew of men topping our trees asked me what it was and commented that “it’s stunning”.

One problem with growing Wisteria is that it produces a lot of runners.  I have to cut them off every year.  I also had to dig another one out from the original planting spot.  This year I have to dig one more out from the same spot and I hope it’s the last.  This one will be relocated to the front lawn.  It’s almost like the Day Lily, if you leave even a just a small section underground it will grow back.  But it’s still worth growing.

Wisteria Bud coming out.
Wisteria Bud coming out.
Blooming
Blooming
Using Birch branches as supports
Using Birch branches as supports
Close up.  They look very much like pea flowers
Close up. They look very much like pea flowers
We used a rope to hold it straight for a year.  It climbed up the rope to the Maple tree and produced a flowering string this year.
We used a rope to hold it straight for a year. It climbed up the rope to the Maple tree and produced a flowering string this year.
Flanked by Japanese Maples, with two bee hives in the back and a nest box currently occupied by a Blue bird family with two chicks.
Flanked by Japanese Maples, with two bee hives in the back and a nest box currently occupied by a Blue bird family with two chicks.