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It's Sweet Autumn Clematis Season Again!

23 years ago

My autumn clematis is covered with buds and is just starting to bloom -- I'm so excited I go out in the yard every few minutes just to sniff a few and giggle!

Probably one of my favorite plants and one of the best in my yard. Mine grows in 2' of crappy, unamended subsoil, with only natural water and partial shade. Every March I cut it down to about 6", and by June it's covered the 4' x 15' wire trellis I string up the fire escape.

This year it's even more spectacular than before. It's completely overwhelmed the trellis and has wrapped around the sides of the fire escape and is reaching for the steps. It's grown over the top of the railing and down the other side, and has grown almost to the top of the second floor apartment door.

If you haven't smelled autumn clematis before, it's absolutely heavenly. A rich, sweet, almost jasmine scent that manages to be heavy but not cloying. It wafts all over the yard; when I have both doors open I can smell it from the front porch! The flowers are tiny, creamy, star-shaped blooms, and after they've peaked they blow around the yard like the most delightful white confetti. I leave the vine up all winter, and the birds love to hide in there to avoid the cold.

Luckily, my upstairs neighbor loves it as much as I do, (a good thing, since it tends to block her kitchen door!) so next year we're going to extend the wire up and around the landing outside her door from the railing to the roof, to see if we can encourage it to grow to the top of the building.

A long ramble, but this is one of my all time favorite plants. I give the plant and Mother Nature all the credit -- I just stand back and reap the compliments!

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