The Wayward Rector and the ‘Dirty Lavender’* Beauty

IMG_2955* with apologies to Annette and Anna….. you know I love her just as much as you do!

This is the third consecutive year that the Rector (rambling rose ‘Rambling Rector’) has been systematically and severely dealt with, but he responds so well to the reprimand that he just grits his teeth and begs me to get it over with quickly – and since the tangled ‘birds nest’ of dead growth that was there before this annual ticking off was dealt with it hasn’t been such an onerous task. Once again, ALL the stems which have had flowering trusses were cut off, including any with new growth, probably reducing the canopy by about two thirds – it seems to be the simplest way to keep it in check and although I was doubtful the first time of a floriferous display the following June or thereabouts this uncertainty has proved unfounded.

IMG_2953I hadn’t taken a ‘before’ picture, so the one above shows it after almost all the flowered stems have been removed. The remaining long arching stems have yet to be tied in to the arbour, not the easiest of tasks as the Rector, being a wayward reverend, reaches out in all directions – to the magnolia, to the hedge, to next door’s garden – and needs to be reined in and manacled to preventΒ  him slipping out and visiting adjacent parishes where he is not wanted. He has also been interfering with the Dirty Lavender Beauty, Clematis jouiniana ‘Praecox’ who has now been set free to roam at will. A non-clinging clematis, often grown as ground cover, I have never seen her look so beautiful – perhaps she has responded to the sweet-talking rector after all……


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21 Responses to The Wayward Rector and the ‘Dirty Lavender’* Beauty

  1. Your Lavender Beauty, Clematis jouiniana is really stunning. I love the way the lavender seems to evolve towards white.

  2. Chloris says:

    I love this Clematis. I’ m glad you are keeping your rector in order. Mine died. Great title for your post. You’ ll probably get lots of strange non- gardeners wanting to read all about wayward rectors and their pecadillos.

    • Cathy says:

      In my early blogging days when I hadn’t yet popped my head over the fence I was surprised at the sudden ‘spikes’ in viewing which I realised were a consequence of some of my post titles!! How did you manage to kill off your rector – not foul play, I hope?

  3. Annette says:

    An absolute beauty, Cathy, and I’m so envious that it still is flowering so richly! As for the Rector: Last time in my Swiss garden we had to deal VERY seriously with Seagull who had decided to take over the house…only goes to show that all climbing/rambling roses need a severe hair cut once a year, also to avoid the ugly dead wood which can often be seen. They never sulk…even Brenda is looking cheerful again πŸ˜‰ – enjoy your weekend!

    • Cathy says:

      When did your jouiniana stop flowering, Annette? Mine has just got better and better this year. The rector was here before us so is already 18 years old and I suspect a good few years older than that – cutting him back severely is giving him his youth back, I think! Glad your ramblers have responded similarly. Enjoy the rest of your w/e too πŸ™‚

      • Annette says:

        Couple of weeks ago I should think…but then it’s a bit jungle like at present so maybe I just can’t see them but it has turned into a huge shrub and I look forward to seeing it develop in the years to come. πŸ™‚

  4. Christina says:

    You did make me chuckle over my coffee with this, Cathy. The clematis is a gem, I usually think that ramblers are best just left to grow, but you have proved that theory wrong as your rector has looked great all year.

    • Cathy says:

      Glad to have given you something to giggle over, Christina! I don’t know about other ramblers but the Rector quickly builds up a mass of dead wood if not dealt with each year – wish I had realised this sooner but at least it has been a lesson well learned!

  5. bittster says:

    Heh heh, nice post πŸ™‚
    Glad to hear you are being successful reigning in the parish, and the flowers are worth it! Are you almost done with returning order to the garden?

    • Cathy says:

      Ah well Frank, once you start…. πŸ™‚ I finished tying in the rector and decided then to lop the lower branches of the adjacent magnolia – oh, and while I had the loppers why don’t I just cut the dead stems off the the climbing roses on the pergola, and then…. and so it goes on πŸ™‚

  6. Anna says:

    It’s fascinating to see the ‘Dirty Lavender Beauty’ growing in an upwards direction rather sprawling across the ground as mine does. She certainly seems to be doing well this year Cathy despite the name calling πŸ™‚

  7. How amusingly written, Cathy! I’ve enjoyed reading it! He sounds like a mischievous character, – hard to look after. “Lavender’s” a lovely lass, too! πŸ˜‰

  8. In fact, “Lavender’s” given me an idea – I’m off to do some research!

  9. Pauline says:

    What a coincidence, I have just ordered C. jouiniana Praecox after seeing it in a garden we visited the other day, it was so pretty, such a lovely colour at this time of year!

    • Cathy says:

      And I didn’t realise when I first had it that it was usually grown as ground cover, but I have since seen it growing up the back of someone’s house too. Where you will you put yours?

  10. Yet another beautiful clematis, and respect to the harsh but necessary reverend taming!

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