Mar 17, 2012

To Be or Not to Be

 Last fall my husband and I tore out our small side yard and installed a tall trellis above the fence. It's a lot of bare wood to look at, so we decided to cover it with vines. We planted three different kinds of tall clematis, one against each of three posts supporting the trellis. Last summer they got a few flowers, which I snipped off to direct more energy to the roots and stem growth. I sacrificed those poor beautiful flowers to the future betterment of the plant. 

Like a lot of the west this year we had almost no rain for months late last fall and over the entire winter. We're used to not having to water the yard during this time because the ground is usually frozen. This year, though, in addition to no rain and snow, it was unusually warm and the ground didn't freeze much at all.

The established plants in our yard have roots that can reach the water down deep in the ground and withstand a dryish winter, but our clematis roots were still not much deeper than the pots in which we purchased them. Therefore, we should have been watering our new clematis pretty regularly, but we never even thought about it. 

I remember walking outside one day earlier this month, looking at the vines there with their brown winter-withered leaves and stems, and all of a sudden having one of those head-slap moments that we SHOULD HAVE BEEN WATERING THEM!!! 

So what? Big deal, you might be thinking. Plant some more. But the thing about clematis is that they hardly grow the first year you plant them and not much more the second year. It's not until the third year, they say, that they take off. (There's some saying gardeners have for it, but I can't remember what it is.) So, it's not just the expense and idea of planting three more clematis that had me down, it's losing a whole year of growth. We want that trellis covered, and we want it covered NOW! (stamp foot!) I was bummed at my neglect and carelessness. 


...hang on...

     ...look what I found today...

 They're alive!

I found new leaves on each of the three Clematis vines. And I'm stoked!

 I had planned to post about planting radish seeds today, but it has finally been raining here the past few days, and the soil is too wet to plant. 

Hope you're having a wonderful Saint Patrick's Day today! I am, and the best Irish green I've seen all day is the green growing on my Clematis vines!  


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