Welcome to week nine of our column entitled Pretty Petals. Each week we will introduce you to a flower that we are working with here in the studio as well as flowers that we absolutely adore. Please join us every Thursday for some floral eye-candy where you will learn about a variety of very special blooms. This week we are infatuated with clematis!
Clematis is known by many names throughout the world: Traveller’ Joy, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Leather Flower, and Vase Vine to name a few. It means vine in the Greek language. Clematis is native chiefly to northern temperate regions and is a member of the Buttercup family Ranunculaceae. There are over 250 species and even more hybrids. The most popular clematis hybrid, introduced in 1862, is Clematis x jacmanii, sporting a rich, violet- purple colour. Clematis are one of the most popular climbing perennial vines grown in southern Ontario. We have the perfect climate for this plant. It thrives in a moisture retentive, yet well-drained, alkaline soil. Although clematis are sun lovers, they like to have their roots kept cool, so it is best to plant around the base of your plant to provide shade.
The blooms of a clematis have from 4 to 8 petals, ranging in size from 1.5” to 3” in diameter. A mature plant can grow to heights of 8 feet, with displays of 100 blooms or more! Clematis plants can live 25 years or more.
In the past few months we have been enjoying imported clematis at Living Fresh. Holland product has kept us supplied with this gorgeous vine. But the temperatures have risen in Ontario this week and the clematis plants are thriving. Gardens everywhere are showing off these beautiful climbers in full bloom. We love working with this flower for the rich colours and beautiful blossoms, as well as the wild, twisting foliage. Every piece of cut clematis sports a unique shape, which allows us to design uninhibited. Unruly botanicals, such as clematis gives us the natural garden look that is synonymous with Living Fresh.
Cut clematis is best displayed in a tall vessel to show off the natural cascade of the vine. Place it near the edge of a vase in a small grouping to show off its beauty. The foliage of clematis will outlive the flowers, both on the vine and as a cut flower. Be certain to change the water regularly to prolong the life of your cut flowers. You can expect about 5 days or longer from cut clematis. Imported clematis costs about $8 to $10 a stem. Local Ontario product rings in at about $5 to $6 a stem. If you have a plant at home, oil up those those garden sheers and get cutting!