The National Collection of Clematis Montana

News & Events

Montana Seedlings growing up at By The Way

August 2011

In 2008 I wrote about the baby boom of montana seedlings found in my garden. That seems so long ago! Some seedlings have been kept, others gone to foster homes, a few have died and the remainder consigned to the compost heap. Over the last three years it has given me such pleasure watching them growing to maturity. They have come with pink, white and no flowers and perfume of varying strengths and 'flavours'. Many clearly have chrysocoma in their parentage - a totally different leaf shape and texture. One - probably the best of all - has been named by my good friend, Sal Armstrong. Sal has come armed with trays of cakes and biscuits to delight my garden visitors several times each spring. Her husband, Nick's 35 year old sister, Moll, died of cancer in 2010, leaving behind a husband and four young children. Sal has chosen the name, 'Tiny Moll', for the seedling, as a tribute and living memorial for Moll's husband and children and Sal and Nick to grow in their gardens. 'Tiny Moll' was found in the gravel in the spring of 2009, had three bright pink, heavily fragrant flowers in 2010 and literally thousands of flowers this year. As I write towards the end of August 2011, my original plant is covered with a mass of beautiful seed heads, each sporting deep red styles which have provided interest throughout the summer and, hopefully, into the autumn months. Being a young plant, it has been very easy to strike cuttings. I was able to give Sal a pot of rooted cuttings for her 60th birthday in August, the cuttings having been taken only three weeks earlier. A wonderful plant which, if it meets the three criteria of disease free, significantly different and stable over a three year period, I hope to register in the next year or two.

We have selected two seedlings to name after my friend Maureen Darling and her daughter, Jane. Maureen was with us when my Chris died. Otherwise known as the 'Pooh Fairy' (she sometimes picks up after Peter Donkey and Juniper Horse!), Maureen chose a deliciously scented pale pink seedling. It now resides in her Lover garden, sporting a 'Little Mo' label.

Maureen's daughter, Jane, sometimes helps me in the garden. We chose a beautifully scented white seedling. 'Just Jane' is waiting for a big hole to be dug in her garden.

I have many other seedlings still in the ground and in pots. They all need good homes. If you would like one, please let me know.

Other news from By The Way

As you can imagine, with over 200 plants in the Montana Group, their seed heads are a major feature in my garden throughout late summer and autumn. Last year many varieties and cultivars retained their seed heads throughout the bitter winter - perhaps because winter came so suddenly. They added greatly to the frosted fairy tale spectacle. I have found 'Miss Christine' to be particularly good at holding on to her 'show'. She is smothered with 'heads' at the moment. No sign of fluffing up and flying off!

One of the best of the more refined pink cultivars, 'By The Way' is also currently sporting a fabulous display of 'heads'. They smother a tiny golden plum tree as I write.

I have previously written that only two of the collection - 'Sir Eric Savill' and 'Chrysocoma Continuity' - repeat flower. This year two of my three 'Wilsonii' plants have both displayed continuous flushes of flowers from late May to the present time.

I was thrilled to get my first flowers on one of two 'Doctor Penelope' cultivars, in early June this year - after six years! Not much of a show, but a few very pretty flowers. My two 'Peveril' cultivars (planted in 2007) and two 'Alexander' cultivars (planted in 2009), have yet to produce flowers. It may be that my soil is not sufficiently fertile for some cultivars. Perhaps I should dig them up and re-plant into large containers? A very good reason for having Charlotte's collection!

I have been waiting for something special to be able to name after my Chris. Well, I might just have found something. In autumn 2010 I dug up a seedling growing in the gravel north of the house between pots containing Heracleifolia 'Cassandra' and Heracleifolia 'Eclipse'. It is now in a big pot, in a south facing but very shady site. It is just starting to flower, about three weeks after 'Cassandra' (which gets more sun despite being only about 2m away). The deep purply-blue flowers are double the size of 'Eclipse' - just a bit smaller than 'Cassandra' - and possess the heavenly scent of 'Cassandra'. The leaves are lime green, virtually identical to 'Eclipse'. Perhaps the best features of both parents? I am really excited and hope that the flowers will continue to develop and produce a wonderful display. If so, then it is definitely a suitable candidate.

2012 will be the last year I will open our garden. Charlotte Wemyss has established a wonderful collection of the Montana species, varieties and cultivars and has recently applied for National Collection status. She has an amazingly fertile, three acre walled garden overlooking the sea at Wemyss. Well worth a visit if you live in the north of the British Isles. If you live down south, please feel welcome to come and see my collection next spring, take cuttings in early summer and / or collect seeds in late summer / autumn. I have hundreds of other clematis in the garden so any time that suits you and me will do. I love people popping in and usually have home made shortbread and coffee available.

Traditional Jewelers has a bequest of accouterment abutment for nonprofit organizations. We strive to body able accord in the Newport Beach association and focus on organizations that accomplish the association a bigger abode to live. We accord to these replica watches initiatives through both absolute giving, as able-bodied as through our non-profit foundation, Diamonds in the rolex replica Rough Foundation. In addition, we are aswell abundantly appreciative of the contest we abbey for our invite-only Watch Collectors Society. Traditional Jewelers replica breitling is accepted for accustomed the finest brands the watch apple has to offer. The Newport Beach actualization and ability can be abridged in the Patek Philippe 5270R, admirable in architecture and construction, with replica rolex watches admirable complications and absurd wearability. This alarm can calmly be dressed with a clothing and tie or with the a lot of accidental of apparel.