Jingle All the Way

IMG_0845One of the joys of having a garden is discovering things appearing for the first time in a season or watching the progress of green spears as they push and swell and triumphantly emerge with fresh new growth; I was therefore overjoyed when I discovered these two unexpected beauties this morning. There is a history to this Clematis cirrhosa ‘Jingle Bells’ and it has clearly been biding its time before it was ready to shine – since it was moved to the new clematis colonnade about 18 months ago it has gradually crept up its post, being the first to reach the horizontal slats above, and last year it was one of the few clematis that changed homes and still flowered (well it had one flower, and that was in the middle of April!) You can see the blue sky behind it and my heart was certainly soaring up there to make this discovery!

I love these sunny winter days when the garden is not full of luxuriant growth and you notice little details that you might otherwise miss; they are also great for jobs that need more than just a bit of pottering, like making a start on the stream overhaul. The forecast was dire yesterday, with heavy rain and strong winds predicted, but the day started dry so I got on with things in the morning to make inroads before the rain came. As it was, although there was a little dampness in the air later it was early evening before the storm reached us and even so we did not feel the full brunt of it.

Although I had successfully delayed tackling the stream (but mentioned it several times) for what seems like ages, once I start something I am usually quite diligent and must have spent a good few hours adjusting the one bank, building it up under the liner with soil and spare cobbles, knocking mortar off the rocks that had already been lifted and repositioning them. The other bank, which is higher and smothered with a range of ferns that started as tiny plants when the stream was first constructed, is so attractive that I have avoided making any changes to it whatsoever, although it seems unlikely that any seepage is coming from there anyway. The ‘bottom’ end is still to be tackled and there is one particular low point to be checked, but the replaced rocks will not be mortared in place yet and the flow will be monitored for as long as necessary. At the moment there has been no noticeable drop in water level since the pump was restarted – surprising as our most recent conclusion was that the fault was around the reservoir; lovely to hear it running again regardless of water levels though!


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16 Responses to Jingle All the Way

  1. rusty duck says:

    That Clematis is a cracker. I’ve had ‘Freckles’ before. It looks too delicate to flower when it does, but what a welcome sight it is.

    • Cathy says:

      My Freckles flowered non-stop (literally) for three years and then died and I haven’t been able to re-establish once since; I did go and check the current contender after I saw these flowers though!

  2. Anna says:

    Isn’t ‘Jingle Bells’ most appropriately named Cathy? Those first flowers must have made your heart leap with joy. Funnily enough I was in my mum’s garden yesterday morning looking at a thicket of clematis flowers growing up an arch. Took some photos too. Think that hers is ‘Wisley Cream’ but I’m not sure. These winter flowering beauties are especially welcome πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      I dithered when I rediscovered this one, Anna, but I did find an old label tucked amongst the roots so I am fairly confident. I still hope to re-establish a Freckles here. But your Mum had a THICKET of clematis flowers – whoohoo!

  3. That’s a beautiful clematis Cathy, its going in my notebook for when I start sorting myself out with some climbers. Good for you making progress on the stream, I hope you work out where the problems lies it is always so frustrating when something appears to be fine again when you don’t know what was wrong in the first place.

  4. sueturner31 says:

    Beautiful Clematis…waiting for Freckles…

  5. Annette says:

    Welcome sight indeed! I love C. cirrhosa but up to now I was worried it may die on me here although it’s pretty mild. Have to give it a go next year.

    • Cathy says:

      When I had my stalwart Freckles I don’t think it occurred to me that they weren’t completely hardy, and that’s probably why I lost my original. Jingle Bells has been through the mill as well as some severe winters and it is definitely enjoying life now πŸ™‚

  6. Pauline says:

    Your Jingle Bells is stunning, how fantastic to have a clematis flowering now.
    You seem to be working so hard on your stream, I do hope all your efforts work this time.

    • Cathy says:

      I did have a look for other buds, Pauline, and did not find any – but these two are lovely with or without any neighbours! I have not done anything with the stream for a few months and now was the time to make a start again – maybe this time… πŸ˜‰

  7. great stuff!! I am a new gardner and a new blogger myslef, pls check out my blog.

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