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Clematis for All Seasons

Clematis for All Seasons
John Feltwell
Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books
Publication Date: 

paper, 128 p., $19.95

Reading this book, I fell in love with clematis. It's hard to imagine a more beautiful book, in a category where beautiful photography is the norm, nor a more comprehensive one, for every size, form of flower and variety of clematis seems to be covered here. Clematis alpina, montana, macropetala, orientalis, viticella, early, late and large-flowered hybrids, texensis and herbaceous clematis are all given their due. Did you know that there is a New Zealand clematis? A Polish clematis? And that some clematis have double flowers in the spring and single ones in the summer? Well, there are, and they do. If you love clematis, this book is full of such interesting facts. As for colors, there are white, cream, yellow, pale, medium and deep pink, red, maroon, purple, lavender, light and dark blue, even candy-striped clematis. The author suggests ways to use them, too, on pillars, posts, trellises and walls; in containers; and laced through the branches of other vines and shrubs. Nor are the practical details ignored, for there is detailed information on how to plant, fertilize, water, prune, support, propagate and keep free of pests and diseases. Four hundred species and cultivars of clematis are listed. The author of over 30 books, and the photographer of this one as well, Mr. Feltwell obviously knows (and loves) his subject.

— Jim Kemper