Friday, April 17, 2015

Garden Chores Everywhere…About Clematis

This past weekend brought sunny days and warm temperatures.
Much to do outside and it seemed everyone had mowing on their
list. Our goal was to empty out the Potting Shed and the storage 
shed which contains my bird houses, the "Ladies" of the garden
and all the other yard paraphernalia, or stuff as Ron calls it, that
I need to decorate my garden areas.  I like to think of my entire
yard as my garden space and by definition it's my "fertile and
delightful spot or region." 

And while wonderful hubby did his thing, I cleaned up the beds.
This involves starting at one side of the house and working my  
my way around to the back and finishing up in the herb/perennial
garden. There were a lot of sticks and leaves to pick up, mulch to
turn over, Phlox to trim, then tidying up the edging. I decided to 
put the sheep and baby lamb in the front yard this year, like it? 
Ron needed neighbor Dathan to help in moving the sheep.It is 
very heavy…solid concrete!

I wanted to show you the Hostas coming up, see picture left, and 
the Hydrangea, on the right. The picture above shows what they 
will look like in full bloom. This variety of Hydrangea called 
Annabelle or "mophead" is now 16 years old. It blooms on old 
wood and on new, sending our runners underground and you 
might be able to see the new green growth in the center and on  
the old wood. I severely trim this variety to about 6 inches above 
ground in the fall. This side of the house faces the north. We will 
talk more about the different varieties of Hydrangea in a later 
post. It's fun to see the new growth coming up. Isn't nature just 

Here is my Clematis on the south side of the house which also 
gets the west sun. It's a lovely purple shade with a medium
sized bloom. I keep it trimmed to stay about halfway up the
arbor. The climbing rose is on the left side of the arbor. The
Clematis has been here for about 6 years. I just trimmed this 
vine about 2 weeks ago, cutting it back to about 12 inches. 
You can already see the new growth in the picture on the
 left. It will flower out in the summer and look like the 
picture on the right. If you're looking to have a Clematis it's
best to purchase one at least 2 years old. You'll see them in 
gallon or quart containers. It will need a sunny location, 
receiving about 6 hours per day. Follow directions on 
planting that is provided, fertilize and water weekly the 
first year until established. Mulch well around the base  
of the plant to conserve moisture and to keep the soil cool 
for the plant. It is best to prune Clematis in early spring,
this encourages new growth and more flowers. Knowing
when your vine blooms will dictate which of 3 groups your
Clematis belongs. You can just watch it for a year and see
how it flowers. Type 1 vines flower in spring, on growth
from last year. Prune these vines right after they finish 
blooming in spring. Type 2 vines bloom in late spring and
early summer and again off and on in summer. They 
bloom on old and new wood. Thin out and prune where 
needed after flowering. Or an easier way is to prune the 
plant back by half in alternate years. Type 3 vines bloom 
in late summer or in the fall, on new wood. They can be 
pruned short nearly to the ground in early spring. The
identifying tag that comes with your plant will also tell
you when your vine will flower. You can also Google to
see illustrations on each and how to prune. Clematis 
comes in a variety of colors, and sizes. They can be quite

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.
                                                         ~Virgil A. Kraft


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