French Drain Bed - Spring

One wouldn't expect to see clematis growing in a French drain bed, but they do well in this planting pocket between the retainer wall and swimming pool, because the neighbor's yard sits three feet above ours, bolstered by the wall. The clemmies' roots grow under and behind the wall where it is constantly damp and cool, thanks to downhill seepage. Fortunately their top growth is in the sun which is just what they need: face in the bright sun - feet in the damp deep. Six varieties of clematis grow along the fence line that has become our Clem Utopia. The 'Ernest Markum' variety above, is the earliest to open along with the iris, then others join in soon afterwards.

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