CLEMATIS, HYDRANGEAS & BURNT SUGAR

                                                                                                                                                                               

Nothing signals the end of summer like Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) and  hydrangeas cut for drying.

                                                                                    

                                                                

The hydrangeas are cut with some ‘old wood’ I find they hold their shape better that way. Later, when I arrange them, I will cut the stem to whatever length required.

                                                                                      

Sometimes, when cut on the tender green stems, the flowers tend to curl up. These looks really luscious…

                                                                                  

 I hope they stay that way.

 The fragrance of  Sweet Autumn Clematis is one of my favorites; perhaps, because for me,  it  elicits  nostalgia.  When I went to cut a few sprigs, I caught the aroma of burnt sugar… Creme Caramel? I sniffed my way to the Katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum). Typically, when the leaves start to colour to a buttery yellow in fall, it emits a scent some have likened to cinnamon  or cotton candy.

                                                                                   

Mine, is definitely Creme Brulee!

With the temps consistently in the 90’s since May, I cannot say I am sorry to see this summer wind down. And…

                                                                                  

 the camellias are already showing their buds. I welcome another gardening season.

I posted about this clematis here, please read it if you plan on planting one.

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THE LAST CLEMATIS

                                                                  The last Clematis to bloom in my garden is the Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora )                                                                  

I love this clematis. If I did not, it would be banished  from my garden. It is a thug. But so beautiful, so fragrant, and  my honeybees are all over it.

                                                                      

 When I lived in Massachusetts I planted it against the house. It climbed to the second story and found its way into my studio window and bloomed inside.

                                                                   

But in Georgia it is another matter. The seeds are all viable and if left to their own devices  will germinate and take over the garden. In order to avoid this, it is cut to the ground immediately after the bloom. Too bad because the seedheads are spectacular, however I dare not let it go to seed. The one year it was neglected  over 30 volunteer clematis had to be dug up the following spring. Of course this does not apply to gardeners in colder climates.

                                                                 

Strong and vigorous it can exceed 30 feet. In the above photos it has smothered a Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans).

Known alternately as Clematis paniculata then  Clematis maximowicziana, it is aptly named ‘Sweet Autumn Clematis’. For me this is one of the first plants to signal the end of summer.

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