This old-world clematis goes back at least three generations in my family.
It originally grew in my grandmother’s yard in Maryland, then was transplanted to my parent’s home when I was a young man, and finally came with me to Virginia when I moved here with my own family many years ago.
In all, I figure it has been cared for by a Wright, in one place or another, at least sixty years.
It is now in full bloom, densely spanning about twenty feet of fence around our pool.
Unlike most modern clematises, it is extremely fragrant. When in bloom, the aroma of sweet licorice fills the nostrils fifty feet away.
Today, we are so quick to embrace all that’s new, while discarding treasures from the past.
Don’t get me wrong. I like modern clematises, and have some also growing in my yard. They have big, showy flowers, but don’t seem to last or have much character.
For all their vibrant display, they will never match the understated permanence and grace of this fragrant inheritance, passed down from prior generations.
~ Jim Wright