Thursday, September 9, 2010

9 Degrees of Separation

"Clematis" by Ernest Markham published in 1935

Clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchaud'

Commenting on my last post on Henry Correvon, EH suggested that there might be a likeness between HC and William Robinson, and being elderly nineteenth century gentlemen, they both wore suits and well groomed beards that were typical of that time they certainly were out of the same mold. But knowing that HC was also an anglophile and admirer of the gardening culture of the British Isles, I wondered if they knew each other.
The fact that the Clematis "Madame Julia Correvon' was raised by Francisque Morel suggests that they probably did. Correvon obviously knew Morel and Morel sold his wilt -resistant C. viticella and C. texensis hybrids to William Robinson. Robinson's head gardener Ernest Markham writes in his book on Clematis " I have vivid memories of the robust seedlings raised by Morel of Lyons which I have planted at Gravetye in 1914". One of the Morel plants grown on by Robinson and Markham was a texensis hybrid called "Gravetye Beauty'.
Morel is responsible for a large number of Clematis hybrids that are still popular today including 'Ville de Lyon', 'Perle d'Azur', 'Comtesse de Bouchaud' and 'Etoile Violette'. The full, extraordinary list can be seen at Clematis on the Web by searching the name Morel.
I have skipped the details of the history of the Clematis that were developed at this time, but if you'd like to know more there are many excellent books on the genus.


Edith Hope said...

Dear Barry, How extraordinary! You clearly have a copy of the 1st. Edition of Ernest Markham's 'Clematis' which I also have, having purchased mine as a very good copy complete with dust jacket some years ago for, I see, £15.

The hybridization of clematis is a fascinating subject and one which I find very intriguing. Did you ever visit Barry Fretwell in Devonshire? Originally most of my own came from him and I have thought, at some point, to do a posting about him, his nursery and his books.

I have missed seeing you on my recent postings. Have a happy weekend.

Barry Parker said...

Dear Edith,
So pleased you share this interest in Clematis, Books and gardening folk. My copy of EM's 'Clematis' not a first edition, but an old one (1939) and only 5 pounds!

Yes, I'm sorry for not being too active a correspondent this summer, but it has been very hot here, which I love, but too hot to sit at a computer for any length of time.

I look forward to reading your posting on Barry Fretwell.