I promised a follow-up photo of Clematis x cartmanii ‘Joe’ in full bloom and here it is.
This small clematis from New Zealand makes a gorgeous potted plant, but keep in mind that it is not hardy in a colder climate like Toronto’s (around zone 5b-ish) and must be overwintered in a cool greenhouse. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for climate context, cold hardy clematis that are grown outdoors are only just beginning to put out buds here in Toronto.
Two other varieties, ‘Cassis’ and ‘Vienetta’ also do well in big containers. They are a bit hardier than ‘Joe’, but here in Toronto still seem to require a protected place to spend the winter. My friend Barry (clematis enthusiast) says that if you don’t mind losing a plant to experimentation, it might be possible to overwinter either outside. He hasn’t tried it yet.
Check out Barry’s blog where he talks about how he has achieved the compact, spiral growth shown here (it’s his plant).
I took this photo of Clematis x cartmanii ‘Joe’ a number of weeks ago in my friend Barry’s greenhouse, just before the buds opened. In a day or two I’ll update you with a photo of what it looked like today, with the blooms wide open.
Meanwhile, Barry has also posted about his plant with a bit of background information.
By example and his own enthusiasm, Barry has really opened my eyes to the diversity in the clematis world. I finally get what all of those nutty clematis spotters are going on about.
I know it’s been a slow week around here. I’ve been fighting off the worst cold/flu/virus I can remember in recent history and have been in bed all week feeling like utter crap. Today is the first day I have felt confident about sitting up for more than an hour-long stretch or forming complete sentences (sort of). Poor me.
Not the best picture but I am very proud of my little ‘Chinese Ornamental’ hot pepper this year. I grew it from seed in spring 2008 and brought it inside over the winter. This is its second year producing lots of tiny peppers and it won’t be long before I bring it back indoors again.
I grow mine in a very small pot (about 5″ tall) as a test to see how well it will thrive and produce when pushed. Grow yours in a bigger pot and you’ll turn out a bigger plant and a lot more peppers.
Don’t let the word ‘ornamental’ fool you. These diminutive peppers are fiery, but definitely edible. My hot pepper days are long behind me; however, I like to put a few of these in my pickles to give to friends who like theirs spicy.
At the time I took this photo there was another plant flowering with the tag Cyclamen africanum. As this site indicates, they were indistinguishable from one another.
It’s difficult to tell from this photo, but this flower (and plant) is very tiny. Its pot can fit comfortably in your hand. Adorable.
Who knew there were so many interesting cyclamens out there? Who knew there were all of these tiny little types from Africa. My cyclamen knowledge has been completely limited to the few they sell in the impulse buy section of the grocery store. I know nothing. Nothing!
Visiting Barry’s garden is both humbling and exciting all at once. It makes me realize (yet again) that I can never and should never get too big headed when it comes to my so-called plant knowledge. There is just TOO MUCH. An inexhaustible lifetime’s worth of fascinating plants to discover.
This is optimistic though, don’t you think? I have met a lot of gardeners (sometimes myself included) both beginner and experienced who are perpetually wringing their hands around the feeling of not knowing enough. But really, if the knowledge available to acquire is limitless, we never have to worry about knowing enough or god forbid, knowing it all. You will never know it all! I will never know it all.
We can all just sit back now and enjoy what we do know, and what we will discover tomorrow.
Behold, the first of the non-cherry, indeterminate tomatoes that has reached maturity for 2009. And it’s a beauty. Incidentally, I’ve managed to grow several ruffled tomato varieties this year purely by happenstance. Well, that and the fact that I have a very obvious preference for that shape.
I’m yet to try it out, but I believe this tomato is a stuffer, which means it is fairly hollow on the inside and great for stuffing with veggies and rice and baking in the oven. I’m waiting for another to ripen so it can be put to the test.
And this is where I admit that my rooftop, container-grown tomatoes are doing pretty well this year despite the troubles that most in-ground gardens are facing with so much rain and cool weather. Don’t hate! These are the sort of conditions under which rooftop and container gardens have the upper hand (finally). I can regulate excess water, I rarely have to pull out the watering can to keep things moist enough, and the garden is warmer than gardens on the ground because it’s up high and exposed. In a typical year I am fighting the excess heat, sun, and drought but this year is almost too easy.