Treasures from the Past

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


2 responses

  1. As a young bride, I remember seeing this clematis growing up the post of the old wooden porch on your grandparents’ house. It was a small one bedroom house with no bathroom, kitchen or running water that stood near the house they lived in (also one bedroom). We would sleep in that old house with the smell of the clematis wafting through the open window by our bed. Then we’d visit with them in their house which was a house of love full of Mimi’s garden flowers and home cooked meals. They loved us so much and were so proud of your dad’s accomplishments. How proud they would be of you, Jim, and all you do to help others. Thank you for keeping the memories alive!


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