Sunday, September 2, 2012
Lyndy Broder, clematis expert, please forgive me. And, to all the people in the southeastern U.S. and the mid-Atlantic states, know what this plant does before you let it into your garden. It is invasive.
Still, I couldn't resist. It was the frothy white blooms, the sweet scent and the view against the blue sky. This is Clematis terniflora, also known as sweet autumn clematis. The above is growing on a fence at the farm. For some unknown reason, the deer have not ravaged it like they have my plant here in Atlanta. In fact, I wanted to cut some strands for an arrangement at church yesterday, but the deer had eaten all my flowers except for those they couldn't reach. Of course, I couldn't reach the blooms, either.
I did see a photograph of sweet autumn clematis growing on an arch at a well-respected nursery near Athens, Georgia. Garden designer and blogger Sandra Jonas had posted the picture on Facebook. It made me feel more justified in taking this picture and delighting in how lovely the vine looked on the fence. This time of year, when there aren't a lot of blooms in the garden, the starry white flowers are a welcome sight.
It's been probably thirty some odd years since I attended a wedding reception at a private home. Tables were set up in the garden, even though it was late August (somehow, it was not very hot that day) for the afternoon reception. Butterflies were flitting about on colorful zinnias, and there was a whole wall of the white blossoms of sweet autumn clematis (back then, it had an impossibly long species name). I've loved the plant ever since. It was perfect for a wedding.
I found a map on a Web site that showed the states where Clematis terniflora is listed as invasive. Georgia is one. I suppose the wind and the birds distribute the seeds. I did see a mass of white blooms climbing up a small tree in my neighborhood. I guess the deer don't wander down that way. As for here, I won't have much of a problem with sweet autumn clematis taking over. My many white-tailed residents will see to that. If only they liked wisteria, I would be a happy camper.