Seeing all the clematis in bloom this week reminded me of a friend from that I've lost contact with over the years. Back in the mid 90s I worked to start a garden club that really bloomed into something extraordinary. As the club formed, I reached out to the current president (at the time) of the state Master Gardner's association who just so happened to live in our county. He offered to help round up incredible speakers for the first year so that we didn't have to pay speakers fees and it wasn't long before our club grew gaining some amazing members and plant experts. One of those experts was Lyndy Broder.
I don't really recall what I knew about Clematis before I met Lyndy but after spending time with her and visiting her gardens, clematis became an important part of my garden. First, I'll tell you a little about Lyndy and then share a few things about clematis.
Lyndy was a busy mom with career and four children so she didn't really begin to garden until her early 50s. Lucky for her, she was able to retire early and one of the first things she did was to complete the Master Gardner's program. Lyndy got involved with a number of the plant societies but one of the plants that captured her attention most was clematis. She began to study the plant and learned that there were varieties to be found on the tundra and in our woodlands. After hearing about Brother Stefan Franczak
Lyndy made a trip to Poland to meet Brother Stefan and to study some of his developed varieties. Over the years Lyndy has become an international expert on clematis and has more that 200 varieties in her garden in Stockbridge, Georgia. Most recently, she was a contributing author for a new book by Dr. Allen Armitage on vines and climbers.
At Lyndy's you quickly learn that this beautiful vine can be tucked in with so many other plants to create a multitude of unexpected blossoms. She will often tell you that she plants a clematis with, and at the same time as another tree or plant with the intention of additional blooms. The thought is that if the plant has bloomed, you can get a second showing with a clematis added to the planting.
A few years ago we moved and in planning our move, I rooted and dug up many of my plants in order to be able to take some of my favorite ones with me. Unfortunately only six of my clematis survived the process but that gives me an excuse to buy more! Just in case you are looking for a place to shop for clematis besides your local nursery, check out Donahue's Greenhouse.