James Oswald (1710-1769), a dancing master and cellist, was originally
from Fife, although he ended his days in London. He composed ninety-six short sonatas, each named after a flower or shrub, to include in his Airs for the Seasons. The Virgin's Bower comes from Airs for the Summer (2nd set, 1761). Virgin's bower, or Clematis virginiana, is native to eastern North America. It was brought into cultivation only a few decades before Oswald wrote the sonata. This vigorous vine bears fragrant, small, white flowers in mid-to-late summer. With the right support it easily grows into a leafy shelter.