Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear John Letter to a Clematis

Dear Clem,

It seems like just yesterday when I caught my first glimpse of your bloom.  So billowy and romantic, like a cloud of white butterflies, engulfing the arbor with beauty.  You had me at hello. Who else blooms like that in autumn?  What other clematis could compare to your abundance?  None.  I knew I had to make you mine.   

And so, the wait began; the years of pining and planning.  I don't regret those years, Clem.  They made me who I am today.  You were worth the wait.  The day finally came, and I brought you home.  The bed was dug, the fence built, the arbor painted.  I had it all planned out: how you would climb the strings and swallow my arbor up in blossoms, sunning yourself each summer, teasing me with the promise of a bower of beauty come fall.  And it was all so good in the beginning.  I bragged about you and sang your praises to any visitors willing to stroll the garden.  I even took pictures of you with my family.

But you've strayed, Clem.  You haven't remained true to the commitment we once shared.  I caught you behind the air-conditioner, climbing up the side of the house.  Mingling with cable lines, going where you ought not.  Why would you go there, Clem?  It's shady there, not the kind of neighborhood for a clean-cut vine such as yourself.  I thought you wanted sun.  I gave you all the sun you could ask for.  But it wasn't enough.  I'll always love you, Clem, but this just isn't working anymore.



Do you have any love/hate relationships in your garden?  I confess, I don't have the heart to rip Clem (Sweet Autumn Clematis - Clematis ternifolia) out completely, but every fall I'm in the doghouse with my husband for this Vine Gone Wrong, as it strings up our cable lines.  I have to drag out the big ladder and rip and destroy its clamp on the wires.  So why not just make a clean break?  I don't know.  I think it's the promise of those ridiculous blooms in fall.  Like a box of Junior Mints: I know they're no good for me, but I just can't help myself.  Take care that you don't get caught up in Sweet Autumn Clematis' irresistible snare.


Lyn said...

Oh, yes, I can identify, uh huh. With me it was Vinca major - they warned me, but did I listen? In the end, divorce was the only answer, but he still pops up now and then, and I regret we ever met...

Casa Mariposa said...

I have a love/hate relationship with my trumpet vine but pruned it into submission last fall and it's been well behaved this summer. Actually, it's just playing nice while plotting my demise. It's sending shoots up all over my garden and lawn with hopes that one will actually get close enough to the house to kick me out. My Felcos are vigilant and have vowed to warn me of any impending attacks. I'm grateful.

Design to Grow said...

I'm so glad to find kindred spirits in the Plants Gone Wrong department. I always think, "I can change them." When will I learn?

Lyn, we have Vinca minor, but I wasn't familiar with V. major. So I looked it up. Seems like minor, just larger and a BIT more FEISTY. Minor isn't invasive. I'm wondering if you could use that instead. Of course, it won't have the voluptuous growth (similar to my Clematis conundrum). What's a gardener to do? : )

Mariposa, what would we do without our Felcos? Actually, I know what I'd do. Come to think of it, I'm still doing it. And it's not fun. So treasure those sweet snips. I haven't experimented with trumpet vine. I have a neighbor who is regretting planting it, so I may keep my distance.....why do all the best plants have to be so wily?

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