Plant of the week
Clematis 'Sweet Summer Love'
Why you should plant it
What could be more glorious that a clematis that's both fragrant and covered with intense purple blooms at this time of year? I can't guarantee this one is going to live up to the hype or that you can find it easily. But it looks really good to me and I have just planted it on a trial basis. The promise of two months of blooms is just too hard to resist.
Where to plant it
Like most clematis, it's going to need a sunny spot where its base is in the shade, such as on a south-facing fence, where the Zone 5 plant can expand to about 3.6 metres high and 90 centimetres wide. Do not crowd it. When planting it, dig a good-sized hole with excellent drainage, add lots of compost to the surface of the soil and keep it moist.
What it offers
The allure of the new: It's like a siren call. Personally, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this smallish vine that is supposed to bloom for months at a time. I have partnered it with a C. 'Betty Corning' just to see how the two mix it up on my fence. It has lots of support and an amazing variegated Pokeweed – Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein' – to shade its feet with beads of seed that will harmonize with the clematis bloom. But of course that won't be until next year (I hope).
Source and cost
Get it through www.gardenimport.com for $22.95 plus shipping.
For more plant and garden information, visit www.marjorieharris.com.