I know the correct expression is plat du jour which is French for “dish of the day”, but I think it’s the perfect description of how certain plants go in and out of fashion over time. Currently the trend, especially here in Southern California, seems to be succulents, succulents and more succulents and of course, the bevy of water-wise and native plants. I do like succulents, in the right places, but I’m not going to mince my words here, I’m not a fan of xeriscaping. I suppose it is because this is the type of gardening regimen that focuses on restricting water usage, which means my clematis wouldn’t be happy and prosper. Clematis aren’t the water hogs that some people think they are, but one does have to remember that they don’t like to be parched. I would be remiss though if I did not mention that we all need to conserve water and not waste it, so please make sure you use one of our precious resources wisely, which in my mind is using it to keep your babies alive and well.
Even though clematis are not being heralded as a “hot” plant lately and may not be as cool and as hip as agaves and grasses are touted to be, you can count on me to keep spreading the word about their shining attributes. If clematis were regard in terms of fashion, I would equate them with the iconic classic LBD (aka “little black dress”) which looks so good in so many situations and has stood the test of time. Clematis too are very versatile and elegant, not to mention long-lasting, making them definitely a worthy garden investment! So, I hope you will continue to add more of these indispensable vines to your garden and not get bogged down with what the horticultural trendsetters say we should be planting because when all is said and done, you should be able to choose off the menu and pick your own Plant Du Jour.