Sunday, October 4, 2015
Letting go of summer with sweet autumn clematis
It's damp and chilly in my house. The sun hasn't shone in about ten days. Still, there are no ruinous floods, so I am thankful to be where I am, and my sympathy goes out to everyone on the Carolina coasts and other affected areas.
I took this photograph over Labor Day weekend when I stayed in Sag Harbor on Long Island, N.Y. It was a great place to walk, and I loved seeing all the gardens - lots and lots of hydrangeas, and everywhere the last gasp of summer flowers, including the sweet autumn clematis growing on the picket fence.
The rampant grower shown above has changed botanical names at least twice since I've been paying attention to such things. I think the latest moniker is Clematis terniflora. I'm going with the Missouri Botanical Garden on this one.
This is a very invasive vine. It has gotten loose along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Still, it has its charms. I've loved having it clamber up onto my clipped shrubs, visible from the library window.
But somehow this year, it was cut at the base, so I had nothing but the brown, crunchy remains from last season. I suspect the deer had something to do with this.
The vine is just a memory now. It blooms in August here in Atlanta. It was at its peak on Long Island over Labor Day.
I'm now concentrating on fall plants and looking out at my one remaining Aster tataricus which is behind some fishing line that is rigged to keep the deer away. The one tall flower with light blue flowers gives me so much pleasure. I'm going to figure out how to have armloads of these for cutting next year. In the spring, I moved the few plants that had survived the marauders, but only one shot up and bloomed. I still have the rosettes of foliage of the ones that just sat there. I hope to be able to clear out the one semi-sunny strip I have at my house, wrap it around with the fishing wire Sharyn Altman put me onto and have some flowers to cut by next spring and summer.
I do have some of the above clematis coming up, so I can train some up a tree in the protected area. It has to be cut back in winter, as the foliage dies and crisps up and is not a pretty sight.
Back to the scene above at a cottage just across from where we stayed. I am remembering this mild end-of-summer day in a beautiful place. Even though it's gray and misty outside, I love looking back on sunny days that I know will soon come again.