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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Showers...

In my case, bring April flowers. Over the years, I can remember seeing segments of The Martha Stewart Show that have featured her clematis. Of course, hers are full, thick, lush and dripping blossoms. I always loved the way they looked but because I never found them in nurseries here in Florida, I assumed it was something we couldn't grow.

Imagine my surprise as I was walking through a garden shop last year - in Wal-Mart of all places - and spied these pitiful little containers with clematis vines. As I was looking, a lady came up to me and asked if I knew anything about them. I told her of my visions of a Martha garden and she told me she was buying another. She purchased one the year before and even though the vine itself always looked like it was dead, the thing did bloom occasionally. With that small word of encouragement, I decided to give it a try. I am not what you would call an intellectual gardener by any means. If I see something I like I give it a try without putting much more thought or energy into it. I kind of figure that if you don't grow in our Florida climate, you are too much trouble for me!

I planted the vine by a trellis I put in my flower garden and let it alone. It got no special treatment other than the periodic spraying of Miracle Gro that everything else got. I know what the lady was talking about when she said the vine would look dead. I'm grateful that I spoke with her because otherwise, I would have pulled the thing out. The vine became withered and brown - not at all pleasant to look at. Imagine my surprise when I noticed a small bud one day and watched it grow into this beautiful bloom! Since I took this picture, There have been 3 more blooms and there are lots of new buds forming. It is still the very distant, black sheep cousin of the Martha family but I am optimistic and holding out hope. I will let you know. Stay tuned.

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