Our Garden's Own Clematis

One of the Clematis I bought was the species C. viticella, which has been the parent of wonderful hybrids that perform well in warmer climates, including 'Viola', 'Venosa Violacaea', 'Polish Spirit', 'Etoile Violette' and many others.

Clematis viticella

In my garden, C. viticella reseeded itself with a vengence, so I pulled it out, nervous about the prospect of having them absolutely everywhere.   It was also overwhelming its neighboring, less vigorous Clematis, which I bought labeled as 'Will Godwin'.  'Will Godwin' looks slightly different than my version, but whatever--it's lovely, whatever the name is--or isn't.

Clematis 'Will Godwin', maybe

C. viticella managed to reappear, probably from one of the many seedlings it left behind.  And then a different flower appeared :

My Clematis seedling

My garden's very own seedling, very own hybrid, halfway between one parent and the other.  It's humble, it's ordinary, but born of our own garden.  This year it's back, bigger and better, using the climbing rose 'Shot Silk' as its ladder to the sky:

My Clematis seedling

I've informally named it in honor of someone I never knew and never met, never will know and never will meet.  On an Internet clematis forum I visit now and again, I posted a picture of my little original, and got gracious comments from someone in North Carolina.  I was touched by the commenter's kindness.  Other posts by the same commenter always showed inspiration and enthusiasm.  I was always impressed by the love and knowledge of the genus obvious in those posts, the continuous effort to always learn more, and to squeeze one more clematis plant into garden stuffed full of them.

On one of my infrequent visits to this year, another poster reported the early and very unexpected death of this Clematis enthusiast.  I will honor and remember that kindness and enthusiasm for Clematis.  I honor all the fellow plant lovers I'll never know and never meet.  Most of human advancement flows from agriculture, from the love and knowledge of plants.  I believe in knowledge, in learning, in  progress, in growing things, not in burning them down, nor in blowing them up, nor in drenching them with crude oil.  Like a drop of water striking a still pool, joy and enthusiasm have a way of radiating outwards and creating more joy and enthusiasm.

Here's to the growers and builders, and to 'Miguel':

Clematis seedling

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of ClematisTimber Press Pocket Guide to Clematis (Timber Press Pocket Guides)


  1. Dear Hoovb,
    Thank you so much for all your magnicent blog posts, & photos. You are both a gifted writer as well as photographer, but, most of all, I can feel your beautiful loving heart permeating it all. Just as you described Miguel, you too are inspiring & giving. You touch my heart.
    Warm regards,

  2. Sherry, your most gracious and kind comment--all I can say is thank you! Garden-lovers are the nicest people!


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