INTOXICATING scent of Clematis armandii

I’ve been sniffing and sniffing since my Clematis armandii bloomed over a week ago. And nothing much. But today….today, the most amazingly intoxicating scent is wafting all over the garden, but especially under the pergola.  Heaven!!


What’s blooming today. 

Viburnum plicatum f. Tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’
NOID geranium, lavender coming, Brachyglottis greyi coming…
Alliums blooming, that Ligularia just has to go.  Bug munched, dries out sooooo quickly. Bye, bye.
Fading Darmera pelata flowers….fronting the waterfall.
Allium ‘Schubert’ just starting.
Peony just starting
And the Rhodos keep coming….
and coming….
and coming….
NoID clematis…
Close up of the viburnum. Luscious!!

Maihuenia poeppigii 

This member of the Cactaceae (Cactus) family hails from Southern Chile. It grows at high altitude (1500 m+) in extremely xeric regions of Patagonia mainly in volcanic ashfields in subalpine forests, thin grassland and stony plateaux.  The foliage is formed by a dense mass of dark green, cylindrical and prickly needle-like leaves. It keeps its leaves in the winter.  15 cm x 1 m.  Beautiful, large, soft, satiny, lemon-yellow flowers in late spring, apparently. This plant is courtesy of Mike – our local seaweed expert with an unbridled passion for cacti – preferably from seed.

Mike gave this to me Christmas 2016. I put it in a pot looking for a nice hot sun, crappy soil spot. But I do have a lot of shade and nice rich thick loam. Hmmmm.  It survived the Winter of 17 (shudder) without a blink.  So time to find it a spot. Ahh, right where a few Hebes bit the dust this winter. Fingers crossed we see flowers soon.

Clematis armandii and the horrid winter of 2017

I despaired when my Clematis armandii fell off the pergola this winter and landed in a tangled frozen mess onto the deck for 3+ weeks.  I waited for a titch of a thaw and then ever so gently tried to maneuver it back up onto the pergola. Not good!  But I managed to get it propped at least and once everything thawed I bungy-ed it back up to the pergola and let a few vines cascade over the Magnolia Stellata. But I had very little hope. But…a wafting scent is lingering over the pergola these days…lots of deader than dead leaves, but a few flowers and some virile new shoots!!!  It lives!!  Hallelujah.

Now I wish I’d taken a photo of the massive vine frozen to the deck….but here’s a mass of dead and fallen leaves from the last few weeks.
At least, I reasoned, the death has gone to good use. Our resident robin saw fit to include a memory of the vine cascading in death down her 2017 nest.
But….lo and behold…I must admit I saw the budding before I caught the scent. Usually the scent alerts me to the fact it’s blooming, but this year I’ve been checking and checking and checking. And suddenly….buds….and now blooms….and delicious delicious scent. Hallelujah!
And more!
And even more!! Happy dance!