We had moved into our 5-acre homestead in February—trees, plants, and grass were still very much in hibernation mode, but I was anxious to start planning our garden. I had no idea what would pop up in the spring, but I had the good fortune to be just down the road from the previous owners. So with paper and pen, I strolled over for a visit. After a bit of catching up, I asked “What sorts of plants and flowers should I expect to greet us in the spring?” I got my pen ready for the list. They looked at each other sheepishly. “Errrr. Ummmm. Volunteer plants?” This was code for weeds. I was so disappointed. They had lived in the home for 40 years, but did not have the foresight to plant perennial gifts for the future. I would have to start from scratch.
Whenever I read books, and they talk about the fruit trees around their properties, the flowering vines gracing an arbor, or the bulbs popping up in the spring, I always think about how someone planted each of those things. They did not just happen by accident. And I think that’s one of the most special things you can do for any place you live—plant something for future generations to discover and enjoy.
As I returned to my homestead, I considered all the ways I could beautify the property. The one vine I knew I had to find a place for was clematis. I’ve planted evergreen vines in the past, but nothing compares to the friendly, cheerful blooms of the clematis that will arrive in the spring and summer and return year after year. You must add one to your garden this spring!
Tips for growing clematis:
Install a trellis or plant the clematis next to a structure it can climb. Chicken wire around posts could also be used for plant support.
Plant in full sun, but add a few low-growing annuals around the base of the vine (or use rocks) because they like to have their roots in the shade.
Keep watered thoroughly.
After the blooms fade, seed heads known as “old man’s beard” will appear, and they can be used for beautiful, dried flower arrangements.
Head to your local nursery this spring and pick out your favorite color of the clematis vine. You will find so much joy with their showy blooms and future folks will share in the happiness!
Happy gardening! xo