Overblown clematis usually don't appeal - I mostly grow more modest clematis like the sweet, bell-shaped alpinas . But I couldn't resist Clematis 'Crystal Fountain', with flowers so over-the-top I didn't even believe the photo when I first saw it in the White Flower Farm catalog. And now 'Crystal Fountain' is blooming luxuriantly in my Langley garden....three years in the ground and it's scrambled to the top of a six foot high hog wire screen.
The thick fluff of ethereally pale stamen in the center is the wild part about these lavender striped, 6" flowers; the effect is stunning and belies the fact these are tough perennials that bloom in mid-May and then flower again generously in late summer. Give them plenty of water, shade at their roots, a strong structure to climb. 'Crystal Fountain' is long-lasting cut for arrangements, and (knock on wood) I've never seen a sign of clematis wilt; these are vigorous vines smothered in delectable flowers.