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!!
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.
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.