My little clematis vine has really outdone itself this summer. Although it's looking a little bit peaked from the summer heat, it is still blooming away. Clematis plants are within the buttercup family. The wild Clematis species native to China made their way into Japanese gardens by the 17th century. Japanese garden selections were the first exotic Clematises to reach European gardens, in the 18th century. Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners since 1862. These are the most amazing flowers. They go through so many stages and each one is beautiful. Most flowers have a bud, they bloom, the petals fall off, and their done. Not so with Clematis!
The bud, of course, is first.
I really got excited when I saw the heart-shaped bokeh in the background. It's my first heart-shaped bokeh, even if it is a leaf.
My Clematis is a double-blue variety.
Which is sometimes true and sometimes it is more purple.
The outer petals open first.
When the outer petals fall off you see only the inner ones.
In this photo the inner petals have started to fall off showing the stamen. I read that Clematis is sometimes called vase vine. I wonder if it got that nickname from the above stage. Doesn't the center look like a lovely vase of flowers?
The base is even beautiful with it's touches of color!
And lastly you get this fuzzy little thing. From what I read on the Internet, this contains the seed. It's amazing that you can see all these stages at the same time on the vine...from bud to seed pod!!
The Clematis reminds me of the stages of our life ~ baby, child, teenager, young adult, middle-age adult, and older seniors. Every phase in our life is beautiful, since we are created in God's image. But, we make the choice whether we're content and enjoy each stage. We can embrace it or we can become bitter and be miserable. I refuse to be bitter as I age. I embrace each new day, just because I've been blessed with it. It's not always easy, life is not easy. We have heartaches and body aches that sometimes seem overwhelming. I'm getting closer to the big "60" and this last year I've begun to feel my age more. It's harder to get out of the bed in the morning. I have joints and muscles that ache. I have trouble getting down on the ground to take the close-up pictures of nature that I so enjoy. Well, really, I get down pretty good, it's the getting up part that's hard. I may have to call for help or crawl to the nearest object to get up, but I'll keep on getting down on the ground and I'll keep on taking those photos!! I'm going to have my bad days. I know that. But, I will strive to be thankful for those days as well. In the scripture verse below, it says we are to rejoice in THIS day. Nowhere does it say we only rejoice in the good days!! We rejoice EVERY day!
This is the day which the LORD hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.