A Celebration of Clematis: From the Gardens of Chalk Hill Nursery by Kaye Heafey & Ron Morgan and Photographed by Keith Lewis
The story of Chalk Hill Clematis which is tucked among the oak-studded hills of Sonoma County, California.
Chalk Hill grows clematis as field-grown specialty cut flowers. Although clematis has been long-valued and written about as a garden flower, there was no reference explaining how to encourage them to stand up straight enough to make a suitable cut flower. Grown as a cut flower, clematis never entirely lose their natural suppleness. That a large part of the appeal of clematis; this airy architectural elegance, combined with profusion of jewel box colors that makes them irresistible to floral designers.
Get ready to see the most glorious photography of clematis and clematis flower arrangements by Ron Morgan. Has a 35 page glossary (with photos) of each clematis from Abundance to Yukikomachi.
Ron gives tips for clematis as a cut flower including prep, display and aftercare.
A beautiful gift and a great coffee table book you will get lost in time and time again.
Clematis, a type of flowering vine, is a favorite with flower-lovers due to its bright blues, purples, and magentas as well as its huge variety of shapes, hues, and blooming seasons. Chalk Hill Farms in Healdsburg, CA, grows over 80 varieties of premium clematis in open fields, and photos of the farm make a gorgeous backdrop for useful information on how to grow, cut, arrange, and care for this well-loved woody climber. Award-winning floral designer Ron Morgan provides inspiring arrangements.
A Celebration of Clematis is not the usual “how to book”. Instead, unless there is one in another language that I am not aware of, it is the first coffee table book for clematis I have come across and Ms. Heafey has done a fabulous job. There are over 322 mouth-watering pictures taken by photographer Keith Lewis that are stunning to say the least.
This mostly picture book is a tribute to the clematis of Chalk Hill Nursery and the Mary Toomey Clematis Garden as well as flower arranging. The insert inside the front cover says it best, “This book is a pictorial journey around a unique farm”. It gives the reader a chance to see a glimpse of what is involved in growing clematis for cut flowers for the wholesale floral trade, the mail-order portion of their nursery and producing award winning olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
A Celebration of Clematis features a chapter on cut flowers entitled “The Flowers”. The arrangements are masterfully designed by Ron Morgan. With the help of some gorgeous containers, he has made many lovely free-form creations utilizing clematis, seedheads, roses, fruit and foliage. Having been a floral designer for over ten years, I can tell you from experience that there is nothing more joyous than to see my favorite genus featured in flower arrangements. They are, in my opinion (even if it is biased), the finest cut-flower known to mankind. They are knock-down-drop-dead-beautiful flowers (okay I warned you I am biased), not to mention they have a fabulous shelf life. And that is an area where clematis definitely outshine roses.
At the end of the book there is a clematis glossary which features 300 clematis (162 include pictures). The small descriptions include breeder, color, size, flowering times, height, light aspect and USDA Zones. (It sadly does not include Zones 10 and 11 where most clematis can grow.)
This book is also a charming love story between its author, Kaye Heafey, and her husband, Richard, as well as her friends and clematis. She also shares with us an abbreviated glance at what it took to create Chalk Hill Clematis. I think it is always very uplifting to know that dreams do come true!
I cannot think of a single coffee table that would not look 100% more attractive with a copy of A Celebration of Clematis on it.