The PresidentSunday, May 21, 2006
I cannot abide showy flowers that don't have scent. Most of my garden roses are fragrant. Rosemary is in charge of clematis since I have no interest in them. Most are scent free plus they are fragile and you have to know higher mathematics (Rosemary does my income taxes) to find out when and how to prune them. The only clematis that I like is Clematis montana. This one is very fragrant. To me its scent is reminiscent of the sugar coating in the inside of Adams Chiclets squares. Not only that, but Clematis montana is an honorary bamboo. If you don't prune it back every few years it can bring down your house. The clematis shown here is Clematis 'The President'. It is even beautiful before the flower opens. Clematis is pronounced with emphasis in the first syllable. I often seriously ask the master gardeners (most are very correct older women) who have 'clinics' at local nurseries how they pronounce clematis. Their usual answer is with emphasis in the second syllable. At that point I ask them how to pronounce c-l-i-t-o-r-i-s. They shoo me away. The fact is that both words are emphasized in that first syllable.