Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Alas! No pics because when Ramona was in bloom I wasn't actively blogging but, still, I want to keep the record of what I see happening so I can refer back to it.

I planted my clematis (variety Ramona) 3 or 4 years ago from seedlings around the base of a massive Aleppo pine. They barely limped along for several years. I congratulated myself that I'd gotten them through a single Summer but, still, I was entirely underwhelmed with their performance.

Very early this Spring I got tired of looking out at all the brown detritus surrounding the tree trunk. So I went out to clean it away. Fortunately, I noticed the very tiny, very pale tips of growth points in crotches of the crispy brown vines. I let it be and soon it took off! Within a month (probably April or so) the great tree trunk was a mass of huge purple blossoms. The vine climbed to about 6 feet. I imagined they'd be 10 feet high by the Summer.

As I write in early June, the blossoms are all gone and the vine never made it much beyond 6 feet high. The foliage that's left browns and is replaced by smaller, paler leaves and only the occasional bloom.

I anticipate much more growth next Spring. But there is still a segment of the trunk that remains conspicuously bare. Initially, bringing some life and color to the 30 or so feet of bare Aleppo trunk was my objective. So, I'd like to add another seedling to that portion of the trunk.

There will be a few problems. For one, since all the other (5 or 6) plants are Ramona, I think another Ramona is what I need. I don't know how likely it is, several years after finding the first ones in a nursery, I'll find that variety again. I'll have to do some research on propagating clematis as well as the optimal time for planting it. My next problem is that the area that desperately needs the new seedling is one where the Aleppo roots are massive and the clematis roots need to be planted very deep in our hot climate. I'm sure that's why I didn't put one in there at the time that I planned out that area. In fact, I vaguely remember putting in a couple seedlings that didn't make it. That's probably one of the spots.

Anyway, I'll add some photos when there's something worth photographing. Meanwhile, this will help me keep track of whether and when it will bloom again this year. I hope it does. The blossoms are really quite beautiful.


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