Thursday, July 29, 2010


Roscoa 'Red Gurkha'

Clematis 'Odoriba'

Clematis 'Roguchi'

Clematis sp. ( viorna ?)

Yesterday I attended a Toronto Botanical Garden lecture/demonstration "Summer Pruning in the Jarvie Garden' given by Marion Jarvie in her own garden in Thornhill, Ontario. Earlier in the week while having coffee with Deborah Mills, we discovered that we were both signed up for the course and so arranged to drive up together. We arrived with a warm welcome from Marion and quickly got down to the course itself.

The lecture was excellent and well demonstrated by Marion's helper David Leeman, but as it progressed it tended to be somewhat upstaged by the garden itself, there were so many new, rare and unusual plants to see that one was constantly distracted by eye-catching combinations of well grown plants. This being the later part of the Clematis season, I was surprised to see how many were still in bloom, no doubt Marion had selected these for their long growing habit. "Roguchi' was perhaps the most dramatic with dark metallic purple ( darker in life than in my picture here) pendulous blooms in great profusion and another which I think is 'Odoriba' was equally prolific. Another beautiful clematis that I have trouble identifying I think maybe C. viorna or perhaps a viorna cross, it had the dark purple/red of C. addisonii but without its glaucous foliage.

The final distraction was a plant that formerly I would have dismissed as over-rated, I've never really liked Roscoea, finding it rather scruffy looking, but I've obviously been looking at the wrong cultivars, for in the Jarvie garden we discovered R. 'Red Gurkha' a spectacular plant dramatic in all its parts, stem, leaf and flower.


Edith Hope said...

Dear Barry, What a wonderful day you appear to have had and I am so pleased that you were able to share it with D of Kilbourne Grove. I am sure that she made an ideal companion.

Obviously there was much to see and learn. I should have particularly enjoyed the later flowering clematis. You picture C. viorna. I do wonder if this is a cross as by my recollections the principal colour of purple should include much more red than you appear to show. Indeed, Barry Fretwell describes it as 'the usual colour is reddish-purple'. It may, of course, be the colour reproduction on my computer which gives it predominantly purple.

kilbournegrove said...

Ha, ha, great minds think alike. I posted on out trip to Marions today. Mine are all long shots of the garden. I am glad that you got some macros of the clematis, they are lovely.

Mallikarjuna said...

wonderful natural blog sir

Barry Parker said...

Dear Edith,

It was a wonderful day, although one of the hottest and most humid this summer, However we had rented wheels and AC , and nothing was going to stop us.

I think you're right about the C. viorna. It seems that every time I see an unfamiliar clematis these days the owner says " Oh, that's just one of my seedlings" .
I think I'd better start growing on those clematis seedlings that, I have in the past, thrown in the compost.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Deborah,

I think between the two of us we described the day with complete detail!

Barry Parker said...

Hi Malikarjuna,

Thanks for your comment.

Barry said...

Ah, the wonderful Roscoeas..... I grow R. alpina and R. cautleoides 'Kew Beauty' and find them most enchanting. I was worried that mine had not overwintered, and while they are showing no sign of blooming yet, their glossy, lance shaped foliage is one of the happiest signs in the garden. Seems that you and Deborah had a wonderful time in the Jarvie garden, but then, who wouldn't?!?

Barry Parker said...

Hi Barry,
Wish you could have joined us. If you're free on the weekend of 18th and 19th of September, Marion's garden is open to visitors.