Clematis alpina ‘Blue Dancer’

So it’s come to this. Any of you who have been following my Confessions of a Clematis Serial Killer will know that my compost heap consist of 99% clematis remains. Literally, if forensics were to investigate, they’d find skeletons of the clematis-kind that would make the antics in Arsenic and Old Lace seem like a tea party.(Anybody else in this pickle? Or is it just me?) Indeed, the only clematis that I haven’t managed to summarily dispatch (yet) is ‘Betty Corning’. The windowsill is my last resort.

That’s right, I’m growing clematis in my south-facing window. But before you feel too sorry for me, I’ve got to tell you — a few clematis flowers on a windowsill in February are worth a whole garden of Eden in midsummer. For a couple of weeks now — starting before Valentine’s Day, in fact — Clematis alpina ‘Blue Dancer’ began blooming. Even before that, I witnessed the intrigue of the swelling bud. I mean, I was rapt. After all, how many times have I attempted ‘Blue Dancer’ outdoors? Enough to make enough compost for the herb garden.

‘Blue Dancer’ is just the right size for containing. And as recently as 4 weeks ago, it was looking suspiciously like all the other sacrificial clematises. I was two steps away from hauling it down to the official clematis burying ground when I noticed the slightest sign of green. Snatching at straws-r-us as far as clematis is concerned. So I postponed the funeral. And I sat vigil. Sure enough, it sent out eyes and then leaves. Then it started up its mini-trellis and now the little sweetie is on its third flower. Think of it. All is forgiven!

Sure, it’s got a drinking habit that would sink a sailor. Absolutely, it’s not a shadow of the outdoor version. But can beggars be choosy? Can someone with a clematis criminal record like mine turn their luck around? This is probably as good as it gets for me. I’m reformed. I’ve got several catalogs open and the wallet is equally unplugged. This could mean trouble…Stay tuned for The Revenge of the Clematis…

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