Clematis montana ‘Grandiflora’ above is climbing very grandly through the hedge, not only exceeding anything it has ever done before but also exceeding any expectation one might have of on seeing the ground in which it is growing – reclaimed from a straggly section of hedge back in 2013, the ‘hedge border’ is once more looking more like hedge than border and needs attention. WANTED! Attractive small shrubs that can cope with dry shade required: apply now!
Joining the clematis to make up today’s Six on Saturday, the popular meme hosted by Jon the Propagator, are a random assortment of things, inspiration for a common thread to run through my selection having failed me. However, let’s continue with another clematis, C ‘Alionushka’, growing in one of the main herbaceous borders. I added a number of these sprawling herbaceous clematis to the borders a couple of years ago but they hadn’t done very well, a fact I mentioned to the friendly owner of Hawthornes Nursery, a clematis specialist I discovered when I was searching for a specific variety. He advised me that although they can sprawl in a border they will generally do better with some support; having been pruned right back last year, once they began making new growth again I gave them each an obelisk to climb up and am pleased to see that they are all thriving for the first time. The obelisk also adds height to the border.
Realising my third contribution is also a clematis, I now see it would not have been too hard to find three more and have a clematis theme, but too late for that now! This one is C koreana ‘Amber’, with whom I have a fairly ambivalent relationship unsure whether I like her or not. Bought when I was replacing some lost spring flowering varieties, I think my choice must have been limited due to others being out of stock, so I gave her a chance. She hasn’t fully justified her place on the clematis colonnade yet and her blooms are generally more of a cream than amber, but she is quite frilly I suppose, which is one thing in her favour.
Definitely in favour is Rosa ‘Crown Princess Margarita’, one of a pair on an arch just outside the kitchen windows, where I have been able to watch the progression of this season’s blooms at close quarters:
Also catching my eye today was the bark on the small Acer griseum in the bronze heuchera bed, which hasn’t done much in the way of peeling yet, not till now that is – it reminds me of cinnamon sticks:
Finally, I found this nest on the ground when I rambled this morning, not one of this year’s but one built in the ‘bus shelter’ in a previous year when it was probably occupied by a blackbird. We will never know why it has suddenly been dislodged but they will probably be tweeting about it in the bird community – perhaps a jealous blackbird not taking any chances with its rivals? This year we certainly have at least 3 pairs nesting somewhere in the garden – there is so much cover available that we often don’t find out where the nests are till leaf fall or pruning time, but sometimes you can hazard a guess when you see a parent disappearing into the hedge. I was interested to see what the nest was made up of – a very solid affair, comprising almost entirely moss and dead clematis stems, with an odd bit of string added for good measure. The clematis colonnade is only a couple of metres away, so the nest-builder has not had to go far for building materials.