About the C’s


Canary ‘rosa’ Bird and Clematis are in flower this week in my garden and I’m really glad they have bloomed so well this year. To me, the beautiful yellow flowers of the canary bird ( pictured here in my garden) are very cheery and remind me of sunshine. We got the Canary Bird plant as a gift for our wedding anniversary a few years ago. Although I didn’t put it in the ground myself but relied on my husband to do it as I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and was taking things easy at that time I’m quite happy to take the credit for it.

Canary Bird flowers

Some people might describe this plant as a one hit wonder only flowering in May but to me it’s worth the wait. Although I’m yet to see a flush of second flowers as some attest to in September but l would say that if there was a plant to have in your garden as an amateur gardener this would be my choice. The carnary bird ‘Rosa’ is very hardy shrub rose and although it prefers moist well drained soil , can still do well in very poor soil. It does spread its stems well but these are quite thorny as indeed all in the rose family. The Canary Bird also has small fern-like mid-green leaves which are slightly scented.

Canary Bird ‘rosa’ in full bloom in my garden

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d actually start to collect plants as I now seem to be doing with the clematis. To be honest, I really like the clematis plant and wish they could flower for longer and last throughout summer. Unfortunately, the Clematis Montana (Rubens) pictured here flowers for a really short while and then disappears.

Clematis Montana ‘Rubens’

To make up for it I now having a growing collection of clematis that flower at varying intervals throughout the year. I did a count the other day and turns out I have had a total of nine clematis in my garden but sadly three are now dead. I’m still puzzled as to why though for at least about two of them. Like I might have mentioned in an earlier blog , the soil in my garden is not the best, it is clayey and has poor drainage. However the Clematis Montana (Rubens) has done well compared to the two others which were planted at either side and have never really taken off. I’m still hoping somehow they will resurrect themselves and keeping looking for any new shoots, a tell tale sign of life.

C. Montana ‘Rubens’ , Spring 2016

However, I must confess at this point that the last of the 3 clematis that are dead was finished off by myself. I did the one thing you must never do as a gardener: plant a pot without drainage or poor drainage. Last year I transferred the clematis Mazowsze (I think) into a bigger pot but I must have forgotten to punch some holes for it to drain. It flowered so beautifully especially after I got some advice from my father in law about watering it with tomato feed. Unfortunately, with the amount of rain we had over the winter, the plants roots started to rot because they was no where for the water to grow. Sadly I’m not going to have such blooms this years from this particular plant.

C. Mazowsze (Now deceased) in flower in August 2015

Since not all clematis flower at the same time I’ve made my list of the ones in my garden and when I expect them to flower.

Common Name                  Origin                                                        Flowering time
Dr Ruppel                             Morrison (for less than £2.00)            June to August
Hagley Hybrid                     B&Q (for £1.00).                                       June to August
Comtesse de Bouchard      B&Q (for £1.00)                                       June to Sept
Freckles                                   Jersey plants                                           Nov to Feb
C. Montana(Rubens)           Probably barrats plant shop               May to June
C. Montana (Majorie)                    ”                                                         now deceased
C. Montana(Alaba)                         ”                                                         now deceased
C. Tangutica                           Definitely Barratts Plant Shop           June to October
C. Mazowsze                           Jersey Plants                                          now also deceased

You don’t have to spend a fortune on good plants like clematis if you are prepared to be patient for a year or two. I bought these two pictured here for £1 each as they were on sale at the end of the season.

My finds from local store : C. Hagley hybrid and C. Comtesse de Bouchard

I’ve planted and watered them and in one year they have grown. The equivalent plant would be anything from £10 upwards in a good garden shop so you could say mine has appreciate by a 1000% if my Maths is right. Not bad for an investment right? To be candid I can’t claim to remember all the names of the clematis plants I have without looking at my list again but I know I’ll be enjoying seeing them bloom all throughout summer and into winter this year. So for me this week it’s been really all about the C’s for my canary bird and the clematis. Maybe I should do an alphabet themed blog of plants or maybe not.

Copyright 2016 Rachel McIlvenna


5 Comments Add yours

  1. olumannix says:

    Thanks Ray! l think you can start selling flowers. I got some down from Kenya and planted them in Falolu recently. Is it possible to have some good flower seeds or the sticks from your garden? if yes, wrap some for us and send through your dad when he coming back to Nigeria. Thanks for the cake you sent to us while I was in Kenya. Wishing you success in your gardening activities. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. gardenraf says:

      Thank you!! Happy to share my experiences. I’ll have think about some of plants from my garden that may do well in Nigeria and let you know. The Kenyan climate is similar to the UK so I’ll be interested in seeing if the plants you took back grew well. Thanks again for your comments and reading my blog.


      1. olumannix says:

        I am sorry to reply late. How are things? Only one of the flowers I took survived. May be if planted in pots could have been better. thanks


  2. photosbyrola says:

    Hmmm… maybe that’s why our plants didn’t grow. Cos the pots didn’t have drains. Learning more about plants by the day. Thanks Racheal for sharing your experience xx


    1. gardenraf says:

      possibly one factor.. Another might be the type of soil used. The other might be the season you planted and the type of plants or seeds . I’m looking forward to doing some planting with you and the kids soon

      Liked by 1 person

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