In the last two months I have received several emails inquiring about Clematis ‘Sweet Summer Love’. I wondered why I was receiving this sudden surge of interest since it has been over a year since I first wrote an article about its introduction into the U.S. titled Clematis ‘Sweet Summer Love’. So, I did an Internet search and discovered that this year it is now being offered by at least 5 different American mail-order nurseries instead of only one. I also have found that there is still no information available about how it is performing here.
So because of the added attention it seems to be garnering I have decided to weigh in on what little I do know so far (which isn’t much) about C. ‘Sweet Summer Love’. I ordered mine from White Flower Farm on January 7, 2013. On their website it stated it would be: “Shipped for Spring Planting”. When April rolled around I started to wonder when they would be shipping it, so I emailed them on April 11, 2013 inquiring about its ETA.
Here is their reply:
Dear Ms Malek,
Thank you for contacting White Flower Farm. There has been a delay in availability of this clematis.
We estimate mid/late April and we do apologize for this inconvenient delay.
If we can be of any further service, please let us know.
White Flower Farm
A few weeks later I received this postcard:
I ultimately received my package on May 24, 2013. After waiting for its delivery and since it was stated that “…they would benefit for more time in the greenhouse.” I expected a relatively robust plant. Since I am a huge proponent of always buying the biggest rootball possible as that they have a better the chance of growing into a healthy plant and it will ultimately bloom sooner, I have to admit that I was disappointed with the size of its rootball (see picture below). I think that this little preemie should have spent more time in its incubator (i.e. greenhouse) because I would have preferred a better developed root system to start off with. Even though I am not opposed to testing clematis I still want to give my clematis a fighting chance to survive, and a healthy-sized rootball is a big step in the right direction.
Currently (10 months later) my plant is still quite small, so I am not holding my breath that it will produce any flowers this year. However, I am keeping my fingers crossed that maybe next year it will grace me with some of its gorgeous, fragrant blooms. When it does finally decide to bloom I will be sure to let you know.
I welcome hearing from any of you who are growing it here in the United States. Don’t hesitate to let me how yours is coming along. Please include your state and USDA Zone.