Through pure neglect, we enjoyed a clematis tower this year. 
In the fall, especially after a scorching hot summer, I find garden chores to be especially 
loathsome. So instead of cutting the year's vines back, we just left them to flap in the winter storms. 
Yep—I busied myself with all things pumpkin and never gave it a second thought. 
Until April. 
And then ... it was too late. 
You see, jackmanii clematis grows from the ground and sprouts from leftover old vines.
So by the time I approached it with my shears this spring, it was already hard at work ...

... making itself GLORIOUS. 
What resulted was a huge tower of dark-purple blooms—probably ten feet of jaw-dropping, 
breathtaking, botanical wonder.
Sometimes neglect turns out to be the best gardening strategy after all.

Side Notes 
* Tips on how to grow a jackmanii clematis here.
* Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day around the table with my parents. They live nearby, so gathering with them is not such an unusual event. Yesterday though ... something was different. I sensed an air of mystery overhead as the old stories were shared "just one more time" and old jokes were told from yet another angle. Childhood memories of visits to our grandparents' farm were re-examined, as one tests the frail fabric of hand-me-down table linens. And for the thinnest moment, I caught a whiff of that old farmhouse kitchen. For one second, right at the edge of my sense of smell, it was there—then vanished. Has this ever happened to you? 
* A marauding horde of tiny chipmunks devours every single sunflower seed I plant.    Every. Single. One.
And so I will not have any sunflowers this year. I hope you're growing some in your garden for me to gawk at.


Meghan St. Clair said...

Hi friend! Just letting you know that I started my own website. After our long road trip, I decided it was time to get serious about writing. If you're interested, it's www.meghanstclair.com. No pressure! I have not been following blogs too much over the past year, but your's is one of my faves. Hope you are well!

Susan Simpson said...

Thank you for the encouraging words! It is SO good to hear from you! I found your beautiful blog and joined the mailing list. I've missed hearing your voice in print - I'll visit you there often., Susan