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!

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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!

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Wordless Wednesday: Autumn Ferns Celebrate Spring!

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Japanese Maple Spring Berries: A Gallery

For just a few days each year as spring starts to roll in, one of the three Japanese Maple trees on my property produces clusters of red seedlings along with the emerging leaves. The seedlings — which look like clumps of tiny berries — are much prized as a delicacy by the local squirrelry: it’s not unusual to see a scurry of squirrels embracing the branches, slashing at the seeds with their Freddy Krueger claws, stuffing them behind their pointy teeth … and gnashing away. I leave a bottle of antacid tablets in the yard, because — gluttons that they are — they always overeat. 🙂

Yesterday after another of our interminable rains, I took a crack at getting some photos of the red clusters — they’ll be gone in a week! — but it was a bit too dark, too windy, and raindrop blobs on the leaves weren’t cool-looking like my tiny bubbles. So I threw out yesterday’s images and after running some errands this morning, tried again. With (temporarily) drier weather, less wind, some soft light through an overcast sky, a little patience, and a bit of Lightrooming, I got better results today.

Thanks for looking!

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