I said I would tell you the story of my clematis, so here it is. I think I’ve told this before, but it is so amazing it bears retelling.
Overly Rambunctious New Homeowner
Right after we’d bought our house I was so excited to have a yard all my own that I went a little crazy buying plants. As soon as they were available at the big box home improvement stores I started buying them. One of the plants I picked up was a clematis. I had always dreamed of having a clematis growing up over my mailbox, covered in flowers.
I proudly came home with my purchase of one small container with a little root clump in a plastic bag. The next day was really warm, with more warm weather predicted, so I decided to go ahead and plant it. That way it wouldn’t sprout in the house and become a problem.
I carefully dug the hole and put in the amendments and fertilizer. Planted my little clematis and went in dreaming of my flower laden mailbox. Everything was fine for about two days. Then winter weather struck again.
I woke up one morning to find a light dusting of snow on the ground and it was bitterly cold again. I didn’t think too much about it, because my plant was snuggly tucked into the soil and sleeping soundly.
About ten or so in the morning I looked out and there was this big brown glob in the middle of the road. My first thought was that one of the neighborhood dogs had killed a squirrel or something. However, there was this little niggling voice that compelled my to go out and take a look.
To my horror there lay my little tiny clematis. It had been dug up and dragged out into the middle of the road, where you could see the tire imprints of the school bus in the soil around the roots.
Hoping For A Miracle
I was heart broken. I was sure the plant was toast. Not only had it been run over, but it’s roots had been exposed to freezing temperatures for who knows how many hours. However, I decided to just put it back where I’d planted it and see what happened.
I was just about to pull it up when, very late in the spring, a tiny sprout emerged. It grew and grew. Not nearly as big or rapidly as I think it would of if it hadn’t been left for dead in the middle of the road, but it grew. Then it put on its first little flower. I was elated.
Plants are some of the most amazing things on earth. They live outside in freezing cold and blistering hot and still produce flowers and fruits. They get eaten by pests and fight back as best they can. They have such a will to live and reproduce it is awe inspiring.
It’s now about six years later and every spring I enjoy a colorful cascade of lavender clematis adorning my mailbox. Oh, by the way, I’ve learned to never use any fertilizers with animal products in them. The plants will invariably be dug up by some wild critter looking for a tasty dead morsel. To their dismay and mine, all they find is a plant and me a dead one, usually.
Share Your Plant Stories
Do you have any incredible survival stories for your plants?
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