I’d read, some time back, about Clematis x durandii used as a cut flower in the Netherlands. It didn’t sound plausible. There’s something really stringy and splitty about its stems that makes you feel like it’d be useless at taking up water.
Years later I spotted Clematis integrifolia (or perhaps a hybrid thereof) in bunches in the floating flower markets in Amsterdam. I couldn’t stop looking at them. I wanted to buy them so bad (So why didn’t I? Cos I only had one more night in the hotel. Looking at them in the pic, it’s clear I really should have bought them anyway). But far more, I wanted to be able to grow cuttable quantities of them at home.
This year was the first time I had enough Clematis x durandii flowers to allow myself a small bunch. The following photo was taken a full ten days after they were picked. The flower on the far left is sagging a bit, but other than that, they’re still perfect. (The Ammi majus (Queen Anne’s Lace) in the vase behind was picked much more recently). Seems like the stems of the clematis, which feel like they shatter into separate, parallel stringy fibres if you bend them, are actually very efficient at taking up water.
It’s a healthy reminder. Intuition doesn’t count for much when it comes to gardening.