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June 17, 2004



I love that catchfly, too, and I got it the same way, except my wildflower mix was free in some junk mail. I just discovered another catchfly: Lychnis viscaria 'Plena' sold by (and viewed at) Seneca Hill Perennials. (Well, she had some in her greenhouse for sale, but I can't see it in the online catalog.) Anyway, it was a shorter plant, but the flowers made a bigger impact. And have you ever tried Dianthus armeria? (Deptford pink) Also got that from a wildflower mix. It's a true magenta flower, but tiny; the overall texture is similar to baby's breath. Looks great in front of my purple-leaved smokebush, with some Lychnis coronaria (also magenta) thrown in for good measure.

Chan S.

Ooh, these all sound wonderful (especially the Dianthus armeria--my garden is sorely lacking in fine-textured flowers). Thanks for the great recommendations!


Is that trellis going to be tall enough for the Comtesse? Have you ever heard the little maxim for vines (especially clematis): the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap!

Chan S.

The trellis is already too small. :( I thought this would be a "sleep" year, because it was only in a small pot when I planted it last fall. I'm delighted that it's flowering and vining so vigorously ahead of schedule, but we'll need a much taller structure before next season.


Hi - I have a wonderful clematis (Comtesse de Bouchard) with tons of leaves and NO FLOWERS. i WONDER WHAT IS GOING ON. Any suggestions anyone? I would really appreciate it.

Chan S.

I barely know enough to be dangerous, so I'll just tell you the conditions in which my Comtesse has done well so far (as of all of 9 months): SW exposure but with a small wall to the east, so it gets some shade in morning and bright sun thereafter; its roots are shaded by lots of other plants in the bed at its feet; the soil is no great shakes--Wisconsin clay with some amendments from other plantings (a bit of peat, even though clematis is reported to prefer alkalinity). There's a Clematis forum on Gardenweb (http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/clematis/) that is sure to be much more helpful than my inexpert, anecdotal take above! Best of luck.


My mother was no gardener but she nurtured her clematis that bloomed beautifully around her mailbox and up the rail to her house. Like her, I am no gardener but in her absence I have planted a clematis in her memory. I was so excited to see it growing and carefully entwined it along our fence. I was so dissapointed to see that they are in bloom now and we have not one bloom. Any diagnosis?

Chan S.

Keeping in mind that my enthusiasm for plants far exceeds my experience with and knowledge of them, you may just have to give it time...I've got a couple of new clematis without blooms, and I don't expect to see blooms for at least another year, and not vigorous blooms until a year after that. If you scroll up a couple of comments, there's a link to the GardenWeb forum on clematis where you can see what some experts have to say! Good luck.

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