Tell me about Teska

LindyB(z8 OR)October 28, 2008

I bought this beauty at Joy Creek this past summer but there was no information tag on it. I love the blooms and it seems to be one that will bloom throughout the summer. Can anyone tell me more about it? What pruning group is it? My guess is 3 but I'd like to know for sure. And how tall with she get? There just doesn't seem to be much information out there about this one. I hope someone on this forum can help me.

Linda

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gardengal48

That would be 'Teksa' - the name means "denim" in Estonian, which is exactly the coloring of this beauty. This is a selection that was grown and distributed by my wholesale nursery to Joy Creek. It IS a pruning group 3, is relatively compact at 8-10 feet (good for containers!). And it blooms like a maniac - at least in my garden - and this is only its first year.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 2:58PM
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LindyB(z8 OR)

Thanks! I don't know why I have such a hard time keeping the name straight on this one. The name certainly is fitting. I plan to put it on an arbor with a pink rose, probably Mme Ernest Calvat.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 2:32PM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Does anyone know if it is or will be available in Canada? I love the color of this one and a type III is a bonus.

Joan

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:08PM
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janetpetiole(4b)

Gardengal,

I'm curious about something. How does a wholesale nursery determine what varieties of clematis to grow and sell? Does a place like Joy Creek request certain varieties or does a nursery like yours decide?

Is there anything a gardener can do to put pressure on whoever, to get more varieties of clematis into the retail market in the US?

I've tried to get the nurseries in my area to carry more than just Nelly Moser, Jackmanii and Sweet Autumn, but most of the people at these places can't even pronounce clematis correctly, so I gave up. Several nurseries told me that they just order x-amount of clematis without specify varieties.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 9:00AM
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gardengal48

Janet, I cannot speak for other wholesale growers, but what we carry is based primarily on customer demand with also a bit of experimentation and the whim of the GM :-) He travels to Europe on a regular basis and has contacts with many breeders and horticultural sources there and he is not afraid of trialing new plants, provided it makes $$ sense.

We currently grow a LOT of different clems - too many according to the GM and he intends to cut back on the selection. Of the 200-300 selections or so we now grow, maybe half are in very low numbers, more or less experimental choices that may or may not be continued (Teksa would be included in this group). Places like Joy Creek (and Chalk Hill, previously) are really the only big buyers of these less well-known or well-distributed clems. They do get distributed to our regular retail customers if they buy under an "assorted clematis" heading, which generally will include anything in bloom at the moment and looking good and that's how they get out into the general market, but many of the less common selections do not show up on open availabilites simply because we don't have the numbers. Many of our retail customers, like the local nurseries and garden centers, buy by named variety. What they select to offer depends on their customer base and how knowledgable their product buyers are and also if they have the numbers to show up on the open availabilites that are sent out each week. Like your own experience, many of these do bring in a lot of the standards - the Nellys, jackmaniis and many of the popular large flowered hybrids. Since we are located in a zone 8 climate, we do carry a full range of clems and some of the biggest sellers are the evergreens - armandii 'Snowdrift' and 'Appleblossom', 'Early Sensation', etc., which are hugely popular in this area.

I just got done processing a lot of spring preorders for our regular retailers and the choices are pretty standard - large quantities of the evergreens, a bunch of montanas (we carry 11 different cultivars of just montanas), some of the Atragenes, but mostly the better known LFH's.

Like many wholesale growers, what we have on our fields at any given moment may not be there for long! Some plants are just more durable and easier to care for in a wholesale growing environment and the fussier plants simply do not make the cut. But we do trial a lot of new introductions to see how well they perform and if they are good, strong plants, flower well and are relatively easy to grow, we try to push the demand - this happens with our regular perennial stock as well. If they don't meet the standards or are too tricky to grow, they are discontinued. We have maybe as many X'd out plants (discontinued) in our inventory data base as we do those we are currently growing. And with clems, the standard is a bit higher - they require much more labor to grow and bring to market than do most of our other plant inventory - in fact we make no money growing them - but they are one of our most popular product lines and the GM is committed to growing them for that reason. Maybe just not so many different selections in the future :-)

So I guess the bottom line is that unless you have access to a local nursery that carries a wide selection of clems, including those that are somewhat less common, your best bet for obtaining newer introductions or less common varieties would be through the mail order specialty nurseries like Joy Creek and others. Btw, Joy Creek buys from many other sources as well and does some of their own propagation too - I've bought clems from Joy Creek that I haven't seen elsewhere myself. And I'd much rather be buying from my own place, with discounted wholesale pricing, than paying full retail plus shipping from a specialty nursery. But then we clematis geeks will do whatever necessary to satisfy our obssession :-)

PS. just brought home a C. cirrhosa yesterday. I think that brings my clematis count up to the mid 50's now (??) mostly species or species cultivars. I've got to stop!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 10:37AM
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janetpetiole(4b)

Under 60? I think you are using a lot of self control considering where you work. If I worked there my yard would be a jungle.

Thanks for all the info. It's nice to know that someone (the GM) is continually making the effort to bring new varieties into the US.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 5:09PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

Thanks for the information, gardengal. I love taking a peek inside other people's businesses. I just find it fascinating to see how things work on the inside and how that shapes the world.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:47AM
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