One of Eric's favorites and one that's in bloom is the Clematis Claire de lune. It's a fantastic vine. This plant comes from quite a lineage and a wonderful Clematis program on the Isle of Guernsey, which is just a ferry ride from England. There are some great aristocratic genes behind this plant. To create a nice cool white flower like this is no small challenge from a breeding standpoint. On the tips of the flower, each petal has a little bit of lavender, which is quite nice. Obviously there's some purple heritage in this flower as well as some creamy buttery hues and that's what makes up the wonderful genetics behind this plant. It's in full bloom right now, this will be the last bloom for a while but hopefully there will be more later in the season. The Clematis is not only wonderful from an ornamental standpoint but each plant has little balls and every one of the little balls has hundreds of little seeds in them. One of Eric's favorite things as a gardener is to collect seeds, then plant those out. It gives one a chance to look at an array of different genetics behind these plants. To save the seeds, towards the end of the season let the balls dry out, when they're a good straw color, pull the ball apart and there will be hundreds of little seeds inside. In this part of the country one may want to put the seeds into a zip lock bag and store them until spring, so when it gets warm enough for things to start germinating naturally outside you can plant them into nice rich soil or if you want start them indoors. To do that put them into a nice moist potting soil, perhaps in some peat moss and just wait until they germinate, then separate them out and plant them. At that point you will get any number of colors under the rainbow. Some will be white, some lavender or purple, others creamy, buttery, yellow tones. Catherine likes the idea and will try it. It sounds like fun.
By Jenny Biczak, Harmony Brands
Photographs courtesy of Harmony Brands
No one wants to spend the summer dealing with two of the biggest threats to the appearance and health of their lawn-drought and grubs. A little preparation and prevention can save your lawn and your sanity.
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