Sunday, August 27, 2006

What's Blooming Now

I got this clematis, 'Mrs. Robert Brydon', from the great plantswoman Joan Hoeffel, probably ten years ago. I've never seen it for sale in person since. In fact, until I visited Bluegrass Lane at Cornell earlier this month, I hadn't seen it at all in person since. It interested me that they had it in the test plot there. Does that mean it's being evaluted for market? I hope so. This is an excellent plant.

Mrs. Brydon isn't a climbing clematis. She's more of a sprawler. I like to prop her up on things. In one of the above images, she's propped up on the heptacodium, whose bloom time overlaps hers. In my old garden I used to encourage her to laze about in the Hosta plantaginea. Verrry pretty.

OK. Enough with the anthromorphizing. What's really cool about Mrs. Robert Brydon is the color of the flowers. They are little bells, perfect little baby blue bells. Powder, baby-boy blue. And we all know how tough it is to find true blue for the garden.

It's not the toughest plant; it took a couple of years to recover from its move across the street, and it doesn't spontaneously root at the nodes the way I wish it would (like some ground creepers do). Also, it's brittle, so you have to be careful not to step on it. In the early spring I cut back the woody stem, leaving a few sets of nodes, to get rid of all the dead stuff and to try to encourage branching.

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