- Author: Erin Mahaney
Despite my vow to avoid purchasing any more clematis —well, this year at least—I couldn't resist snapping up Clematis ‘Little Lemons' when I saw it on sale. This charming super-dwarf clematis has yellow nodding blooms that turn into fluffy, silvery-gold, Dr. Seuss-esque seed heads that shimmer in the light. The lacy leaves are dark green. The plant is a non-vining variety that does well in containers, hanging baskets, or as a groundcover in the front of a border.
‘Little Lemons' is a Clematis tangutica variety. While the full-size variety can grow up to 12-15 feet, this variety is a “super-dwarf” plant that is described as 18-20 inches tall and wide. My plant has grown much wider, approximately 36 inches with its trailing stems, but the height seems to be as described. It has bloomed all summer, from May into September, and will likely continue into early October.
As with other clematis, ‘Little Lemons' prefers well-drained soil and regular water. It needs full sun to part shade. The plant can cause contact dermatitis for some people, so it is best to use gloves when handling it. The clematis belongs to Pruning Group 3, which means that it blooms on the current year's growth. In the winter, plants in this group should be pruned back hard to 8-12 inches from the ground. This variety, however, will typically bloom earlier and longer if the plant isn't cut back so hard.
While I would love to see ‘Little Lemons' in a hanging basket where the nodding flowers could be better appreciated, it's not feasible to maintain a hanging basket in my windy yard. But so far, the plant has done well in a pot tucked out of the wind. While the cheerful blooms are a welcome addition to the yard, it is the silly, fluffy seed heads that make me smile when I walk by. They provide an interesting addition to floral arrangements too. All in all, I'm glad that life handed me ‘Little Lemons!'
- Author: Jenni Dodini
- Author: Kathy Low
As you move through the different phases of your life, you find yourself invited to many different occasions. When you're in your twenties, you find yourself invited to many weddings, and then after a few years baby showers. Unfortunately, I'm now in the phase of my life when funerals are all too common. This brings me to the topic of sympathy flowers. If you have ever wondered what flowers are traditionally sent as sympathy flowers and why read on.
Flowers sent in sympathy for the passing on of an individual are generally white but can also be pale colors. Bright colored flowers are generally not sent in sympathy because they're considered too cheerful for such a somber occasion. Because different colors are often associated with different feelings, white flowers are most frequently sent.
Both living flowers and cut flowers are often sent. Flowers sent in sympathy often include white lilies because they're often regarded as symbols of purity and innocence. It's also said they're symbolic of the soul of the departed and the hope offered by the renewal process.
Other popular sympathy flowers include white carnations that are said to represent purity, innocence, and pure love. White gladioli are symbolic of sincerity, moral integrity, and strength of character. White roses represent reverence and remembrance. And white orchids are symbolic of everlasting love. White chrysanthemums represent grief. But it should be noted that in some European countries' chrysanthemums are only sent to be placed on gravesites.
Regardless of the sympathy flower or arrangement of flowers you chose to send, I'm sure they will be appreciated and comforting to the recipient.
- Author: Launa Herrmann
- Author: Nancy Forrest
My sister-in-law Sandy has always grown the best heirloom tomatoes ever. We would go to her house in San Jose and the plants would be 6 feet tall. No kidding! She had tons of them, they tasted so good. She recently moved to Washington State. Lucky for us she wanted to keep her heirloom tomatoes in the family. Sandy's heirloom tomato seeds are about 40 years old. I am amazed she trusted me with them.
The story from her neighbor is that the tomato seeds were removed from her home and were smuggled into America when their family migrated here 40 years ago from a small village in Italy. The variety is not exactly known, so they just called them Paesanella (meaning "country peasant girl" in Italian: per Google).
Sandy gave us seeds that we planted indoors for about 6-8 weeks until they sprouted. We transplanted those small pots until they reached about 4-5 inches. We waited until the average outside temperature was about 65F to place in our planter box which gets full sun. When we transplanted, we thinned the seedlings and pinched off the top. Once the plants become sturdy enough, we staked them for support. We have been watering them regularly and fertilizing them as needed.
Below are the pictures were taken at each stage of development. I am happy to report they are thriving and taste delicious.