Clematis in Bloom
There is so a wide range of flowering plants in my yards (front, back, and both sides), that something is likely to be in bloom every week from, at latest, March thru late October. In recent weeks, the clematis has burst out. And my roses of Sharon are also blooming.
Clematis (pronounced both klém.a.tis and kli.máat.is — probably because of the ambiguous spelling, which points out again why I am a spelling reformer — is a vine of weedlike hardiness. Two varieties grow wild in my yards, tho I don't know if either was originally planted by the people I bought my house from 11 years ago. The flowers are the same, white, cross-shaped blossoms about an inch wide that grow in profusion all along the vine. But the leaves differ, some being solid green, others variegated.
Some years, there are hardly any flowers. This year, there were thousands, probably because of our wet (cold) August.
The vines infiltrate other vines and grow up a chainlink fence in the back yard. Grounds for Sculpture, the magnificent art park and botanical garden in Hamilton Township outside of Trenton, has large arbors filled with clematis. Here, in my own backyard, clematis interweaves with a grapevine that I planted several years ago but which has never produced grapes, presumably because there's not enuf lite in my backyard.
Here, the clematis grows up between strands of English ivy that are themselves growing up the trunk of an evergreen (spruce?) that towers over my house. Both spruce and English ivy are evergreen, so my yard always has greenery, even in the dead of winter (a big yew, a great spruce, ivy, azaleas, and rhododendrons, at the least).
Here, the clematis uses an oak sapling and other plants as its trellis. Once the clematis has finished blooming, I need to pull out or cut off that oak, because I have too many trees already.
Here, the clematis alternates with another lanky plant whose name I do not know, that produces tiny purple flowers that turn into red berries. I think birds can eat them. I also have red berries in the fall that birds can eat, on a few barberry bushes.
Apart from the visual delite, these plants also create biomass that I can harvest to create into compost for use as fertilizer. This biomass also sequesters CO2, which is probably not very important, considering how seriously, subnormally cold the weather here has been for a month. But for people who believe in "global warming", a garden more than a lawn is a good thing to have. When I lived in Manhattan for 35 years, I had neither. Now I have both, tho my lawn is only a three-foot-wide strip at the curb filled mainly with crabgrass. Should I win the lottery, I'll fill it with lush sod from the Newark Home Depot.