Week 20 - our plant of the week is Clematis Ville de Lyon - our first climber and not before time. I could have chosen any of a number of Clematis which are in flower now, but as a large flowered red Ville de Lyon, dating from 1890, is hard to beat. This French varety is one of the worlds most popular and was bred by Francisque Morel from 'Viviand Morel' x C. texensi. To keep the roots cool I like to grow Clematis through shrubs, in this case Vitex agnus-castus.
Also called false indigo for the rich blue shade of its flowers, this hardy perennial fills the spring garden with elegant spires of pealike blooms. It withstands drought -- and deer, rabbits, and other critters leave it alone. The bluish-green foliage looks great all summer long, and the charcoal-black seedpods create fun contrast in fall. Name: Baptisia australis Zones: 3-8
Week 19 - Plant of the Week - Peony Bowl of Beauty (Paeonia x 'Bowl of Beauty'). Peonies are late this year but the first have just started flowering. Great for cutting, this is a classic cottage garden plant and not at all difficult to grow in dappled shade or full sun. Avoid planting your peony too deeply and be patient with it as it can take a few years to settle in before it begins to flower - the blooms are well worth the wait!
Cleome..A perfect cottage-garden plant, cleome bears spikes of fragrant flowers in shades of white, pink, magenta, and purple. It's so easy, it practically starts itself -- in fact, in many gardens it self-seeds year after year.