Late-blooming Clematis & name that bug

18 07 2008

This unknown (at present, to me) Clematis flowers well after the Nelly Moser Clematis grand showcase of blooms. This morning I went out to photograph the shaft of sunlight on this flower and as I was focusing, this little beetle-like visitor came into view…unexpected, tiny, and barely over an 1/8 inch long! While the depth of field is not optimal on such a tiny element, I loved the graphic pink and green wedges framing him, so I’m sharing it anyway!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

About a boy (and his blooms)

8 05 2008

About seven years ago, Michael planted a ‘Nelly Moser’ Clematis over our tiny pond in the backyard garden. Then we just sat back and ignored it (meaning we didn’t prune it, fertilize it, or attend to it other than watering during dry spells). It has been a prolific bloomer for us every year!

Today was a very damp day in Northern Virginia—with that perfect overcast lighting for photographing flowers. We took the ladder out back and I was able to get some overhead shots of the flowers growing on top of the fence. Michael counted 37 blooms (and that didn’t include the unopened buds). It’s such a beautiful sight—a cascade of big-as-your-hand intense pink blooms flowing down to the pond.

A Clematis plant likes to have its leaves and flowers in full sun, but its roots should be shaded and cool, in moist, well-draining soil. Ours is obviously planted in a perfect spot in our garden. A Bradford pear tree provides dappled sunlight, protecting the flowers during the heat of the day. ‘Nelly Moser’ is an heirloom hybrid that has been around since 1897. It was developed from Clematis lanuginosa, a species from China. The breeder was Marcel Moser from Versailles, France. It is easy to grow and blooms from May to late June for us. It can sometimes bloom again in mid-August, but the second bloom is less profuse. Because ours is planted in a more shady spot, the blossoms last for weeks.

The American Clematis Society has an elegantly designed and informative website: If you’re especially enamored with Clematis, join the Society for as low as $20 for an annual membership, which will give you access to more information on their site.

Growing tips:

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.