First One Thing, Then The Next. Systematic.

When my sister and I were little, my sister used to tease me about the way I ate dinner. I'd eat all the vegetables, then all the potatoes. First one thing and then the next. Systematic.

My sister thought that was hilarious. She would loudly describe in detail, in public, to total strangers, to friends, to relatives, how I ate my dinner.

If I was after revenge, which maybe I am, I would announce to the world that the only vegetable my sister would eat for the first 18 years of her life was corn (canned!), and the only soup she would eat was Lipton's Chicken Noodle. Because of my sister, for many years I didn't realize that there was more than one kind of soup. No wonder I turned out this way.

It was not until many years later, when I started growing Clematis, that I noticed I am not the only living thing on earth with a systematic, one-thing-at-a-time way of doing things. Clematis have a distinct procession of activities:

1.) the stems shoot up, then
2.) the foliage spreads out and grows, then
3.) the flower buds appear, then
4.) the plant explodes into bloom.

This week, and for the next two or three weeks, 1.) is taking place. Here's 'Viola' on Tuesday:

And here's the same stem, just three days later:

Looks like a little over an inch a day. Impressive! They will all be 8 or 10 feet (3 meters) tall in just a few weeks.

Clematis 'Wisley' on Tuesday:

And three days later...

Of course, if you think that's impressive, wait until the end of May...

So there, Sis! System isn't so bad, is it? Though nowadays, once in a while I will take a bite of potato between bites of green beans. Not often, just once in a while.


  1. Sooo beautiful! I am envious!

  2. Beautiful colors! So wish my blue/purple clems would come back. They are the only colors that do not come back for me :(


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