Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'

Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'

Without any prepared borders in which to plant anything, I am drawn, in a 'nursery-fix' moment, to purchase three clematis that looked as if they had seen better days. It is not for the first time that I have entered a small nursery and shuddered at the neglect of the plants in the sale area. Having run my own nursery for eleven years, I am more than aware that there are areas which are waiting with plants needing attention of one kind or another, but in the sales area - never. The plants were toppling over, entangled around each other with old dead-looking tendrils, clinging wherever. Undaunted, I looked at labels and made my selection. Philip was standing back, knowing that to comment would not be wise. Weeding the worst offenders out, I made my purchases, pointing out that in two of the three plants, death seemed more likely than life. The guy must have been standing in for the owner, because he hadn't noticed (nor had my OH) the early signs of new life pushing up from the central crown.

Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' was one of the plants I rescued, paying a minuscule part of the asking price...

Pots are the only answer at the moment in this tiny back 'yard' that we will call garden soon. A tall grey pot seemed perfect, but this clematis is vigorous in its growth, so an obelisk is for the time being its only support. I have wound the stems backwards and forwards, and have been well rewarded with quite a few blooms.  One of the great delights of growing plants in pots, is the ability to scrutinise them at close quarters.

The blue of the flowers is lifted by the hint of pink on the central bars. The tiny hairs on the buds can been seen, and the joy of watching one tight bud gradually unfurl, until for several days the flower bobs proudly in the breeze is special indeed. Then of course is the added joy of watching the developing seedpod.


  1. I hate seeing neglected plants in nurseries too - but I have got some good bargains with potbound specimens at the end of the season. That's a lovely clematis and I hope it rewards you for saving it.

    1. I'll show you pictures of another rescued one very soon...that too is rewarding me with several flowers. It's fine if you know what you are looking for!