"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
 

Clematis Variations: Gallery 1 of 2

I’ve been having a lot of fun over the past few weeks taking pictures of emerging buds and blooms, especially those springing from several potted clematis vines in my garden … so much fun that on a recent trip to a local Home Improvement Store, I snagged two new plants for a pair of pots on my back deck.

The gallery below shows a Bernadine Clematis — a variety I had not seen before — already in bloom. The flower’s large petals range in color from pale blue to pale violet. The color variations among flowers on the same vine fascinate me, especially where you can see distinct beige or light yellow striping through the center of some petals, as well as a slight shift in the colors of the central structure. Since newly opening flowers don’t show either the striping or center color shift, I’m assuming the colors change as the bloom ages … but it will be a couple more weeks before I know for sure. Most of the larger flowers have fallen off and the new ones (like the first two below) don’t show the additional colors yet.

The last image in this gallery got some special treatment that I’ll write about in an upcoming before-and-after post. For now, I’ll just say the flower was pretty much spent, but a little creative magic restored its original character.

Another gallery featuring images of a President Clematis — whose rich purple and violet hues presented me with some new photo processing challenges that I’ll describe in that post — will be up in the next day or two.

If you would like to see the previous posts showing my clematis transitioning from vines to unopened buds to flowers, they’re here:

Clematis Preparing to Bloom: Gallery 1 of 2

Clematis Preparing to Bloom: Gallery 2 of 2

Wordless Wednesday: Clematis Blooming

Wordless Wednesday: Clematis in Full Bloom

Select the first image if you would like to see a slideshow. Thanks for taking a look!

Clematis, Preparing to Bloom: Gallery 2 of 2

The gallery below contains the second set of images of clematis plants and their early spring vines and buds. These are photos of a President Clematis — whose colors, at this stage, include dark green in the leaves and a distinct purple vine. The leaves will fade to a lighter green as the plant grows, but the vine keeps its purple color throughout the growing season as it stretches on and on and gets thicker in width.

This one is fond of attaching itself to a nearby chair, which certainly adds interest to the chair but limits its usability for sitting. I normally (and carefully!) detach the vine from the chair and twist it back on itself or the supports in its pot … but just for fun this year, I think I’ll let it be. And, of course, my photo-brain is already wondering how the deep purple flowers will look on the blue-green background. 🙂

The previous gallery is here: Clematis, Preparing to Bloom: Gallery 1 of 2.

Select the first image to begin a slideshow … thanks for taking a look!

Clematis, Preparing to Bloom: Gallery 1 of 2

From The Secret History by Donna Tartt:

“If I had grown up in that house I couldn’t have loved it more, couldn’t have been more familiar with the creak of the swing, or the pattern of the clematis vines on the trellis, or the velvety swell of land as it faded to gray on the horizon, and the strip of highway visible … beyond the trees. The very colors of the place had seeped into my blood….”

From The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:

“In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars.”

From The Writer in the Garden by Jane Garvey:

“Stick a clematis in a sunny spot with its roots shaded and it will reward you for years.”

In early February, I assembled a small gallery that included the very first signs of spring appearing in my garden: a few tiny leaves from one of my three clematis vines. Since then, the plants have suffered through and survived a week of below freezing temperatures, gotten tangled by repeated windy days, gotten soaked by long rainstorms … and yet have started producing new vines at a frenetic pace while pushing out dozens of flower buds. It will be another month, probably, before the flowers start opening; but I’m as fascinated by the vines and buds at this stage as I will be by the flowers when they bloom.

Here are fifteen closeup images from two of the plants that I bought last year. I planted them in pots after flowering season, so I haven’t seen the flowers; and the plants came with a tag that identified them only as “clematis” — so I don’t know the variety. When the flowers do bloom, I’m sure I’ll take many new shots … and possibly get some help identifying the strain.

For several of these photos, I tried to isolate bits of the vine suspended in space, and emphasize the curves and detail in the leaves and buds. I’ll post a second gallery over the weekend, of a President Clematis that has a very different appearance from this one.

Select the first image to begin a slideshow … thanks for taking a look!