Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Clematis Time...

There are few plants in the garden that can create as much impact as well grown clematis. Success with this beautiful vine eluded me for years until the day I saw a meadow vole pop out of the garden and 'light dawned'.  It turns out that voles consider clematis roots to be the height of epicurean delights.  So began my battle with these pernicious and destructive rodents. So far we're about even... I began planting the clematis vines with oyster shells lining the planting holes... The shells are sharp and can cut the feet of these little diggers so they don't go after the roots.  Well, that works for a few years but long term it eventually breaks down and loses it's effectiveness.  The next, and better solution to the problem is to plant the clems in hardware cloth cages. That seems to have done the trick and I now have some lovely specimens. 

Some of my favorites are.....

Polish Spirit


Combination of Betty Corning, Ville de Lyon and Polish Spirit

Ville de Lyon

Betty Corning


 I used to have some fabulous Arabella but sadly that's one of the garden battles the voles are winning. I'm planning on replanting it in a cage at some point so it will hopefully get back to its 2009 glory....

As with everything in gardening it's win some, lose some but it makes the wins more precious... 


  1. I finally got a few blooms on my Betty Corning this year but pulled it out a few weeks ago anyway. What's the point when clematis are supposed to look like that!? I don't think I even know what a vole looks like -- must do a Google image search. Sounds like they must have horns and pitchforks though...

  2. Aren't clematis fun!!!This is a great year for them too. Your photos are stupendous! I'll return to look at them throughout the week I'm sure!

    (If you figure out a good easy solution to earwig damage, let me know!)

  3. Oh Deanne, these are just to die for ! Beautiful photos as usual . So sorry to hear of your struggle with Arabella. I have snails to deal with here, but it's easier to win the war with them..once the Clems get tall enough they head off for greener pastures..i.e. the damn daylilies.

  4. Thanks all, I absolutely adore clematis and it frustrates me to distraction to have them full and gorgeous one year only to have them all but disappear the next. Grrrr.....

    Denise, yes they are Rodents from Hell....

    Marie, the earwigs are driving me nuts this year and I have no good ideas on how to controll them either.

    Kathy, I'd rather deal with snails than voles but I suspect the snails do as much damage in your gardens than the voles do here.

  5. Glorious, glorious, glorious! You made my day with all that beauty. Blankety-blank voles--here, it's gophers...