serendipity

Sweet Autumn Clematis
(8-29-2010)

It’s that time of year again. Sweet autumn is making it’s show in the garden. When we first moved in to this house, Herm put up a trellis at the end of our porch for privacy. We planted a sweet autumn clematis in the fall, and it completely covered the trellis the next summer. Total privacy was achieved. When we returned home from Dad’s, we were surprised to find this beauty growing all the way at the opposite end of the porch. I’m not exactly sure, but I’m guessing that it traveled underground from the original one or maybe it seeded itself.

It’s ready to burst into bloom. It has the most delicious scent that wafts through the air. How serendipitous for it to decide to grow on the deck where we sit in the morning and evening. The flowers are tiny, cream-colored, star-shaped blooms and there are thousands of them.

I believe you’re supposed to cut it back (almost to the ground) in late fall, but sometimes we forget about it. We usually end up cutting it back in March before the new shoots appear. It doesn’t seem to suffer in any way if you wait till early spring, and the birds can use it for shelter during the winter. Just don’t forget to cut it back before new growth appears. This is the only thing you have to do for this plant. It will grow in poor soil and can take full to light shade; it’s drought-resistant, bug-resistant, disease-resistant, and it will bloom its little heart out for you in the waning days of summer, when most things in the garden are past their prime.

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