Garden Plants

Clematis Offers A Variety Of Vines

Clematis: A Flowering Vine

One of my all time favorite flowering vines is the clematis. They just add a lovely color to any garden area that will take your breath away when they are in full bloom. What I did not realize is that there are a variety of colors and shapes to this lovely flower that will bloom at different seasons of the year.

Some varieties of the popular flowering vine will bloom in the early spring while many bloom in the summer months and still others offer color in the fall garden.

Blooms Begin In The Spring

A very pretty variety of clematis that begins to bloom in the spring and continues through to the fall is the Dr. Ruppel. Large 8 inch flowers in deep rose pink with a center of carmine red make this a lovely choice for an area in full sun. It will grow in zones 4 through 8 which makes it good for Indiana landscapes. It likes moist soil and will grow as tall as 8 feet under the right conditions. You can train it to grow on a trellis or any sturdy area that will support the vine.

Compact Size Clematis Blooms All Summer

I love the Bourbon Clematis for areas that need a more compact vine like around a mailbox. It grows to about 6 feet and offers the most gorgeous red wine blooms. This variety works well in a large pot on the patio as well, you just need to give it some kind of support structure for it to vine around that can hold the weight of the plant when it is full of blooms. It grows with a moderate amount of moisture in zones 4-9 in full to partial sun.

Late Summer And Fall Blooms

What a pretty little clematis the Sweet Autumn is! The first time that I saw one, I did not recognize that it was even a clematis. The flowers are not as broad as most clematis but don’t let that scare you because these showy little flowers that bloom in late summer and into fall are worth the effort. We don’t see many of these here in Indiana because we are about as north as you can grow to grow them successfully. Zones 5 through 10 works well with this citrus fragrant beauty.

Trellis Or No Trellis?

That is a matter of taste with most clematis vines. All work well on a trellis but you do not have to limit yourself to one. If a surface has something for the vines to climb around or attach to, most will grow on just about anything. Stone walls, standing mailboxes, fences, and the smaller varieties can be staked in a large pot and grow on the porch or patio. The lower growing varieties work best in the pots.

Be sure to read the directions for whatever variety of clematis you plan to use in your garden area. Most prefer full sun but some will tolerate partial and even some shade. The different species also have different watering needs. Some like moist soil, some moderate and some want well drained soil for their growing needs.

Also, make sure you understand the best time of the year for pruning your clematis. The best time to prune is dictated by when the plant blooms. Pruning is a necessity for any clematis as the blooms are formed on new growth. So, if you flowering vine is a spring bloomer, you can prune it after the blooms have stopped and give the plant plenty of time for new growth for pretty blooms the next season. That is the basic formula, after it is finished blooming for the year, prune it then for the best results for the next year.

Consider A Rose Groundcover

Groundcovers Do Not Have To Be Just Green

There are so many types of groundcovers available to plant in our landscaping. Many come in different shades of green and some will produce a flower but none will look as striking as a rose groundcover!

Did you even know that there is such an option for your landscape? Well, there are some options for a rose groundcover that will work here in Indiana. From my research it looks like we might be at the northern most acceptable climate for these lovely groundcovers.

The sweet little apricot variety shown above grows from 1 to 2 feet tall and will spread about the same in width. Plant it in full to partial sun in an area where you need some fill but do not want a tall plant. The variety of rose groundcover like the Apricot Drift is disease resistant and likes a soil that drains well.

Once established your rose groundcover will start to bloom in the spring and provide lovely color throughout the summer months. You will even get a slight fragrance from these little beauties!

The blooms are what I would consider on the frilly side when fully bloomed out. I think the little roses would look lovely in a small little rose bowl when you cut them. Don’t you?

I didn’t find a huge variety of color when it comes to a rose groundcover. Pale apricot, peach, pink and a pale red was what I found. But, honestly any of those colors are going to look striking as a cover for the ground!

My concern would be our cold winters here in Indiana. I know in the past when I had regular roses I needed to cover them during the winter. I’m not sure how one would go about covering an area with ground cover that would be protective enough during the cold and snowy months that we get here.

Still, I think I would love to give this a try in the front yard where people could see it from the street. Perhaps my local landscape shop could advise me on what to do for winter months.

Accenting Your Easter Bouquet with Dark-Hued Flowers

When it comes to making beautiful floral arrangements and centerpieces for Easter, most people think of white flowers, or perhaps an assortment of pastel colors. Few people realize that you can make a truly stunning floral arrangement by incorporating black flowers or dark-hued flowers into the mix.

Black flowers are not actually black, but rather very deep, dark shades of reds, burgundies, or purples. These dark colors can be added to a floral bouquet with white or other light colored flowers to add a dramatic accent to the piece. The use of black flowers within the arrangement will help to create a piece that is truly unique looking that will add a festive touch to your home decor or holiday table.

Featured: Deep Purple Queen of Night Chilled Tulips

Color Symbolism

When it comes to choosing colors for an Easter floral arrangement, it is important to keep in mind that there is a lot of symbolism behind the colors that are commonly chosen for Easter bouquets. White flowers typically represent the resurrection, passion, and rejuvenation. Good flower choices in white include Easter lilies, daisies, tulips, and Azaleas. The color red represents life and being victorious over death. By keeping this symbolism in mind, you can come up with some beautiful white flowers and add some dark-hued flowers in rich red tones to create a striking combination. One of the “black flowers” known as the Black Star Calla Lily, is a very dark shade of red, which would look perfect among white Easter Lilies.


Black Star Calla Lily

The color green symbolizes hope, while purple stands for spirituality. Consider adding some Queen of the Night Tulips to an Easter floral arrangement, for a dramatic touch of greenery and deep purple color. Orange and yellow flowers symbolize wisdom, light, and happiness. With these colors in mind, maybe add some Black Dahlia flowers with their dark-hued purple color to a mix of sunny yellow tulips, white Easter Lilies, and greenery.

Tastefully Using Accent Flowers

When creating Easter floral arrangements using black flowers, remember to use them sparingly. This will create a much more dramatic effect, while still keeping your bouquet looking festive. For example, if you are wanting to use a red flower, consider something like the above mentioned Queen of the Night Tulip or the Black Star Calla Lily instead of the usual “red” color most people would think of. Mixing one or two varieties of black flowers into the arrangement here and there among the lighter colors will really add a dramatic flare and draw attention to the bouquet. Be sure to include any combination of white, yellow, purple, orange, and red flowers, along with greenery. Pick the dark-hued flowers as a companion to or replacement for lighter shades of the red and purple flowers that are typically used for Easter arrangements.

Possible Flower Combinations

Imagine a bouquet with white, yellow, red, and purple tulips, with the addition of a dark red Queen of the Night Tulip. Or, picture an attractive centerpiece using bright yellow Lilies, white Easter Lilies, greenery, and the dramatic Black Star Calla Lily. Try adding some dramatic flare to your Easter floral creations this year and see what beautiful and striking combinations you can come up with.