Clematis steals the show: six on Saturday: 26 March 22

Clematis armandii scampers along the wall

Hello from sunny Brussels! There’s no competition for the top slot on this week’s six on Saturday garden tour – it has to go to the Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’, full of the joys of spring, and the incredibly lovely weather we’ve been having makes it even better.

Its browning leaves are forgiven and forgotten. This year I will try to water it in summer, to help stop the browning of the leaves, though with no rain here for three weeks (apart from a light shower one night that hardly made any difference) it might want watering already. It’s been lovely to have day after day of sunshine, but I think it’s going to be challenging for the plants.

I’ve also really enjoyed these little Turkistanica tulips (only about 20 cm high), which are being admired here by my two little men in the front of house border. They are also popular with little ruddy-coloured bees (just visible in one of the middle flowers – bee experts do enlighten me). The flowers close in shady or overcast conditions, and then surprise you by opening up in the sunshine, so they have great impact despite their small size.

In the same border, I’ve got these shaggy narcissi, which I also find very cheerful. They remind me of Slash, the legendary guitarist from Guns n’ Roses, who had really big hair. They are narcissus ‘Rip van Winkle’, who I suspect was not in a rock & roll band.

I’ve got quite a few other types of narcissi dotted around the place, including dainty ‘Sailboat’ with slightly swept back petals, big, bold and reliable ‘Carlton’, and what I thought were ‘Albus Plenus Odoratus’, but having just looked that up, it must be something else that was mislabeled! I like its elegant clotted cream-coloured coronas.

It shares a tub with this rather natty little Muscari called ‘Grape Ice’.

Meanwhile along the front path, some dainty Anemone blanda is popping up (one minute they are nowhere to be seen, the next they are there), and a Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is just emerging. Soon this area will be a sea of blue forget-me-nots, which are just coming into flower now.

There’s your whistle-stop tour of the garden for this week. I apologise for not being very present on the blogosphere lately – I have been juggling many balls in the air, with the gardening workshops to run, and things are getting busy at the communal allotment, and, after 3 years on the waiting list, I’ve just been allocated my own little patch of allotment heaven right next to the communal allotment – all my Christmases have come at once. I will be posting on the new allotment area soon – it’s a start from scratch kind of project, my favourite kind – and I’d like to record the journey. I expect it will be accompanied by plenty of back ache!

Meanwhile, for a selection of lovely gardens and interesting plants, you could pop over to The Propagator’s Six on Saturday page. Have a great weekend!

30 thoughts on “Clematis steals the show: six on Saturday: 26 March 22

  1. I not surprised that the clematis has been forgiven any sins, what a beauty! Lovely little gems dotted about your spring garden, this year I seem to have a bit of a thing for wood anemones, I must get some for next year. Well done for getting your allotment, we have gone on the list but I am not hopeful for the foreseeable future. Is your bit well maintained, or have you got to do some clearing before you start? All very exciting!

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    1. I never thought I’d get anything, wasn’t even sure the list ‘existed’ in a real sense (LOL). Lots of work to do (weeds have had a year to grow) but luckily it’s not too huge!

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  2. The clematis is incredibly lovely. I really like the tulips and the thought of them closing in overcast conditions and reopening when the sun shines. We have also been experiencing a dry spring here, and I share your anxiety that it may be necessary to start watering very early this year. Exciting news about the allotment. I am interested to hear more about your gardening workshops.

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    1. Thank you, the workshops are aimed at beginners who want to learn more about growing veg and gardening sustainably – for the time being, I’ve advertised them to members of a group I run here in Belgium. Looks like we’ll get colder weather next week, and possibly some rain at last.

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  3. I just wrote the name of the muscari down, to add to my wanted list if I can remember where I put it. I don’t like it so dry at this time of year, things like maples come into growth expecting the ground to be moist and able to sustain a strong flush of growth; they hate it if the moisture isn’t there.

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    1. Never known it so dry for so long in spring! Next week we’ll get rain which will be a relief as the water butt is running perilously low. I really have enjoyed that grape ice muscari.

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  4. An allotment…how exciting! I’m looking forward to the reports as it progresses. Your Rip Van Winkle isn’t flopping over like mine. Meanwhile, my clematis isn’t as advanced as yours but there are masses of buds.

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  5. Good news about the allotment Sel… could be useful with times as they are. We are planting lots of potatoes! 😉 The clematis really is gorgeous. The sun has been out here too, but I saw with horror that our next weekend could be snowy and just 1°C!!! Turkestanica tulips are a fairly reliable favourite of mine too. I like the way your ‘men’ are admiring them. 😃

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  6. Congratulations on the new allotment. Looking forward to following it’s development. I have been watering the clematis here as I noticed one or two leavings crisping up! But as you say the flowers make up for it. Your wall is a great space for it to fill. Very pretty tulips too.

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