Once upon a time, I lived in my own little house in Pennsylvania. It really was quite small, but since it was MINE, then again, it seemed huge. To someone used to living in one bedroom, it was wonderful!
I also lived and worked on the grounds of a camp that ran year-round, with a mixture of camp-related buildings and real homes, belonging to real people that weren’t directly involved with the camp. This private, homey environment, along with my small house, gave you a feeling of safety that I’d never had in a bigger house.
So, during the spring, summer, and fall, unless my air-conditioning was running, my front door was open, with only the screen door keeping the bugs outside. Don’t panic, I locked it at night, but since my summer staff kids were welcome to walk in, as were my local friends, I didn’t worry about it. What was there to steal? My books? My ancient computer? Please.
Anyway, I give all that lead-in, because of one odd memory I have of clematis’ blooming in PA. I had one growing near my lamp post (yes, my house had a lamp post which I decorated with Christmas lights, in the winter), though I never knew how it got there. Most of my front yard was covered in ivy, so why plant anything else? A stray seed brought it there, I assume.
And I found it blooming, one day, and thought it was pretty. When I arrived home, that afternoon, it was in my kitchen sink. I never figured out if someone’s kid picked it, and they put it in my house, or if they thought they were being nice by putting it inside my house. But the mystery of the clematis-in-the-sink was never solved.
The other memory involves a dear lady who is English and used to teach it, too, and how she insisted to me that “clematis”, because of its spelling, really should be spelled “clemattis”, or be pronounced “clem-AY-tis”. Because that’s how the rules of pronunciation go, in our language. So, I smile and think of her, sometimes, when I see them.
Meanwhile, the purple clematis flowers are blooming and growing on our arbor, here in the South. We never can figure out why they don’t always have the same number of petals, but who really cares? They’re beautiful. The first couple got beaten up in a rainstorm, but for the most part, they’re doing gloriously. Enjoy.