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Welcome to all Clematis Lovers.


Sally Geist - to 2020

It is with sadness that I have to report the death of Sally Geist. Her husband, Howie, died in 2016.

Sally and Howie hosted an evening to celebrate the birthday of Brewster Rogerson during the visit by the Society to Portland in 2010. Their garden was quite a challenge, being a steep hillside, though they had put zig-zag paths in to make life easier for people to enjoy the wide ranging planting.

Sally moved to an apartment in Portland and Fiona and I took the opportunity during the visit by the Society in 2019 to visit her. She was very welcoming and we spent a lovely hour or so talking about many different subjects.

Sally and Howie travelled a lot during their former years. Sally had a map of the world in her bedroom with flags marking the places they'd visited. It was covered with marker pins!

Sally was a lovely person, easy to talk to, interested in other people and well informed on a wide variety of subjects. To me, she'd had an interesting life and had lived it very well.
Sally Geist in her garden, 2010©Ken Woolfenden

Sally Geist in her garden in 2010


Sally Geist with Fiona Woolfenden, 2019©Ken Woolfenden

Sally Geist and Fiona Woolfenden in her apartment, 2019


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The Society sends our best wishes to clematis lovers all round the world, to their families and their friends. We also salute those in the essential services, especially health services, for their dedication to duty, often at risk to their own health. Take care and stay safe.

It is now the end of May. Here in Great Britain lock-down continues, though has been relaxed a little. We are now allowed out of our homes for exercise every day as many times as we want. Our government is reducing some of the restrictions, with effect from 1st June.

Finding places to walk from our front door has been interesting and rewarding. We are fortunate that there are footpaths, country lanes and parks relatively close. When on foot, you notice so much more - interesting houses, well tended gardens, hedgerows. Being montana season, we have found some wonderful examples cascading over fences and walls, many with beautiful scent.

Fiona has been doing all those jobs in the garden that never normally get done. So as well as well-pruned and fertilized clematis, the piles of old flowerpots have been sorted, with a sack of those to be thrown away and the ones to be kept nicely washed. I found time to wash the patio, something I've had on my "to-do" list for longer than I can remember. We have found pleasure and escape in our garden, to do some of those jobs that never normally get to the top of the "to do" list, but also to sit back and enjoy nature. This includes, we believe, the birds who until recently have been in our nesting boxes as we've seen some young ones in the garden, waiting to be fed by their parents.

As Editor of our journal, Clematis International, I am pleased to report that it is now with our printer. I hope to have it published and posted before the end of June.

Finally as has already been reported on this site, Denmark 2020 has been postponed to around the same time next year, i.e. July 2021. All attendees have been informed. If you have questions, please contact our Secretary.

Unfortunately though perhaps not unexpectedly, the Delaware Clematis Meeting in the USA, planned for September 2020, has also had to be rescheduled for September 2021.

When it is available, you will find more information on both of these rescheduled events on our Future Events page.

Clematis on the Web

This website, invaluable to all clematis enthusiasts, has been moved to a new host service. To access it you should use the URL www.clematisontheweb.org. A version of the website, frozen as it was in December, will remain at the old URL for a short time. So change your favourites now.

2020 Seed Exchange

The latest Seed Exchange List has been distributed to all members. Our new Seed Exchange Administrator, Benedikt Herian from Germany, has worked very hard, sorting, preparing and cataloguing the seed which members have sent in.

As we mentioned previously on this website and also in the October 2019 Newsletter, new regulations should now have been introduced (they were scheduled for 14th December 2019) which require a phytosanitary certificate to accompany seed sent into the EU from an outside (non-EU) location. We are still trying to confirm exactly what the position now is. We will update members once we've been able to do so, but note, this may take some time! Up-to-date and verifiable information is difficult to find.

The International Clematis Registrar, and the International Clematis Register and Checklist

There is a new Clematis Registrar, Sarah Holme. Jeff Jabco, President, asked her to write a few words about her role and you can read these in the latest newsletter.

The International Clematis Register and Checklist 2002, which went out of print some time ago, is also available in electronic format. One benefit of this is that it allows text searching.

Details for The Register and all six supplements can be found via the RHS website at https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/plantsmanship/plant-registration/Clematis-registration/Clematis. However because of the file size of the Register itself, approximately 25 Mbytes, it cannot be downloaded from the RHS web site in the same way that the supplements can. To help the RHS and reduce their workload, Society members wanting a copy should email Ken Woolfenden, I.Cl.S. Webperson and Editor, at icls editor, who will return a download link.

The Society fully endorses the work of the International Clematis Registrar, The International Clematis Register and Checklist 2002 and the six supplements published so far. We recommend all clematis lovers use the standards they describe.

There is, of course, still a need for all Clematis breeders, both professionals and amateurs, to register your Clematis cultivars with the Registrar to continue to keep the International Clematis Register up to date. If you want a copy of the form, information about it is available at the Clematis Registration Form.

General Data Protection Regulation - GDPR

This European Union Regulation came into effect earlier this year and applies to any organization, large and small, that stores personal data of EU citizens electronically.

A draft Privacy Policy was drawn up and discussed at the Council Meeting in July 2018. We are still working on modifications and amendments. Once completed and the resulting document is agreed by your Council, it will be released to all members and posted in this website.

The Society is committed to complying with this regulation. Should any member have any questions or concerns regarding it, please contact our designated Data Controller, Ken Woolfenden.

International Clematis Society on Facebook

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page for updates on what's happening in our garden, as well as clematis news from other members. All you need do is click      or use the button to your left.

Clematis for Beginners List

The Society's Clematis for Beginners List gives a list of cultivars that are very suitable for clematis novices around the world. It was reviewed and revised during our meeting in Devon and Cornwall in 2015. It has been available online for a few months and also as a downloadable version from our Clematis for Beginners Download section. Recently we have added a German language version to the English and Dutch issues, thanks to Heidrun Kläser.

All the clematis on the list are easy to grow, easy to look after and resistant to common pests and diseases, and whilst there are no absolute guarantees where gardening is concerned, most people should have success with all of these.

Because space is not so much of a problem, the online version of the list now contains more information about each clematis featured within it, along with a simple menu bar to let you see each group and then pick the clematis you're interested in. The downloadable version (no illustrations, I'm afraid) folds into a handy booklet, very suitable for taking with you when you visit your local nursery or garden centre!

Journal Index of Clematis References

A reminder of a facility which I'm sure many of you will find most useful - an index of references to all the clematis mentioned in the journals of the Society, both in the text and as pictures. I am indebted to Ton Hannink for all the work he has put into producing the first issue of this index. Initially it covers the years 2005 - 2010 inclusive. Further years will be added as they are completed. Whilst it is quite a large document, some 29 pages, it is not a particularly large file to download should you wish, about 290 Kbytes. You can find it by visiting the Previous Journals page.

RHS Clematis Catalogue Collection

The Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain holds a collection of Nursery Catalogues and have been keen to add to it. A number of years ago the Society was asked to canvas our members for any Clematis Nursery catalogues which they had and would donate to the collection, which we did. Quite a few have been donated so far.

Whilst he was the International Clematis Registrar, Duncan Donald extracted a list of catalogues from Clematis Specialists which are currently within the collection and a list of catalogues which feature clematis, but under such headings as "climbing plants" or "climbers". You can find them at RHS Clematis Catalogue Collection and RHS Climbers and Climbing Plant Catalogue Collection. Links to both these files can also be found via the "Information, Answers and Questions" link on the left of this page.

The Society has asked where further donated catalogues should be sent. As soon as we have this information it will be publish here.

Clematis Nomenclatural Standards List by Wim Snoeijer

Wim Snoeijer has provided another update to this list, and added a few more images. You can find it at Clematis Nomenclatural Standards List. I've changed the format slightly and the images, instead of being embedded within the list which made it a little disjointed, are now available by clicking on the link to make them appear in a separate window. The list is also available as a downloadable .pdf file.

Over the next few months I hope to add many more images, and at higher resolutions than currently displayed.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Nomenclatural Standards you may wish to read the article by Wim Snoeijer that was published in Clematis International 2010.

Nursery Membership

The Society offers a second category of membership - Nursery Membership. So far we have been very pleased with the support that many nurseries have given by renewing as Nursery Members. We thank them all.

These Nursery Members can be found on a special Nursery Members page on this website.

The Society hopes you will recognize that, as members of this Society, these Nursery Members have a particular interest, knowledge and love of clematis and can be expected to provide a range and quality of plants, and informed knowledge, not usually available in non-specialist outlets. Please check this page regularly for additions.

Whilst it is now too late for your nursery details to be included in Clematis International 2011, any further Nursery Memberships will be published on this website as they are received and also in the List of Members when it is reissued at the beginning of next year.

Trialing New Clematis

An example of a Clematis Trial contract, mentioned in the article in Clematis International 2008 about trialing new clematis by well-known clematis breeder, Wim Snoeijer, can be downloaded by visiting the A.O.B. (Any Other Business) page accessible from our Information, Answers and Questions section.

How do you pronounce .....

If you're uncertain how to pronounce some clematis names, why not visit Clematis on the Web. A number of cultivar entries now have a helpful "how to say" feature.

A classic example is probably C. 'Mrs Cholmondeley'. How do you pronounce this? Just take a look at Clematis on the Web - Mrs Cholmondeley, click on the loudspeaker icon and find out for yourself.

This is an extreme example but I'm sure there are many others that people may be unsure of, but don't like to ask. Now you can find out in the privacy of your own home.

And finally ....

The ethos of the Internet is to be an open forum for ideas, views and opinions. Sites should encourage visitors to link to other sites, it's a two-way process. So if you've got a few moments, why not look at our Clematis Links page and follow up one or two. You may find a lot more than you were expecting!

For any non-members visiting this site, have you considered joining the Society? With plans for some very interesting meetings over the next few years there couldn't be a better time. For details, visit our How to Join page.

Last message - for any new visitors. If you cannot see a set of menu buttons down the left hand side of your screen your link to this site may be incorrect. Please re-visit by calling www.clematisinternational.com.

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