From the shady side of the garden...
One group of perennial plants that stands out now are the Lenten Roses - Helleborus. The leaves usually deep green, some with silver overlay, leathery, glossy, serrate or spiny on the edges can make a statement by themselves. The flowers are just completing the perfect picture but we'll leave them for a spring discussion, although a few species and var. are supposed to flower in the winter.The one who earn a place in my small gaden: Helleborus 'Cherry Blossom' is from the Winter Jewels Series, a mixed strain of pink picotee hellebores with very large flowers. They will vary slightly as do all seedlings strains having a red starburst or an anemone centre and petals marked with red veining. Check our catalogue for other hellebores from the Winter Jewels Series.
A beautiful hybrid with silvery leaves, that we are actually sold out for now - Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Silvermoon'.
Now, assuming we won't have snow for quite a while (hope is always good in moderation!), wouldn't be nice to keep seeing in your garden summer shades of green, silver, cream and yellow? Here are a few ideas - pictures taken last week.
Cyclamen hederifolium - Hardy cyclamen, is native to wooded ares and rocky hills of southern Europe and Turkey. Characterized by summer dormancy, the flowers start to bloom in September-October, before the patterned wintergreen leaves emerge.They'll remain highly ornamental through winter in zones 5-9. A delightful, delicate groundcover.
Arum italicum - Italian arum, aka. Lords-and-Ladies, is a plant from the Araceae family. The leaves emerge in September and remain good looking through the winter. If really cold it wilts to the ground but then stands back up again, as if nothing happened. In May-June it blooms with a pale green-white hood-like spathe, covering a yellow spadix (remember the Jack-in-the-pulpit?), followed by cob-like orange seed heads in August.
Featured here, three wonderful cultivars: 'Gold Rush', 'Winter White' and 'Chameleon'.
Arum italicum 'Chameleon'
Arum italicum 'Winter White'
A not so usual toad lily: Tricyrtis macrantha subsp. macranthopsis - Weeping Golden Toad Lily. Large yellow bells on arching stems reveal the speckled inside when seen from below. We can imagine how good they would look trailing over a big, mossy boulder in the shady garden.....
August 29, 2011
Maybe I should have written about a plant that's now on sale, but only around this time you can see in flower yet another rare plant, hard to find even in its native habitat, according to Dan Hinkley (of the former Heronswood Nursery). Doesn't clump fast so there are always only a few divisions for sale - for the lucky ones !
Anemonopsis macrophylla - the only species of the genus Anemonopsis in Fam. Ranunculaceae, from the mountains of Honshu island - Japan, is a true woodland plant requiring shade and moisture to look at its best.
It flowers in late summer, with slender stems held above the foliage carrying delicate flowers with outer lilac sepals and inner violet petals forming a cup. Although not a small plant, as the flowering stems can reach up to 2', still has a sort of airy, dainty appearance among the others woodlanders. For the ones unfamiliar with D.J.Hinkley - The Explorer's Garden - Rare and unusual Perennials, it's a very good book to find out about many other unusual wonderful plants, that can also be found here at Lost Horizons.
The 'Extraordinary flower'
Deinanthe caerulea - an image of a mature clump from our stock beds
A relative of Hydrangeas, native to the woodlands of China, has nice textured leaves with forked tips and nodding blue-lavender flowers with a central boss of violet anthers. Hard to find to buy it, mainly on some mail-order nursery from UK and the States, it's that type of plant that everybody likes. Probably the ones who have it in Ontario bought it from Lost Horizons. Somehow the name seems to suit very well this marvelous plant and as we know that 'caerulea' comes from Latin meaning 'blue', I searched for Deinanthe and of course, coming from Greek -deinos wondrous, extraordinary) and - anthe (flower) - and we got the Deinanthe - The extraordinary flower !
Free flowering towers of Lilium martagon var. album
June 20, 2011
Bitten by a hundred mosquitoes when taking these pictures but " What good luck! " - to witness Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' in flower (watch for Issa's haiku showing at the bottom of the main page once in a while).
Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' leaf pattern
Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' - in November
And its perfect companion, in my opinion, described as: architectural, aristocratic, exquisite, elegant and stylish - the kind that will inspire mixed feelings of admiration and envy with its appearance. Yes, we are still talking about a plant - Disporum brachystemon.
PODOPHYLLUM PLEIANTHUM a.ka. The Chinese Mayapple and its long journey
A mature, flowering clump of Podophyllum pleianthum is a rare, astonishing sight. Have you ever wondered from where and how some of these special plants arrived in our gardens ?
The type specimen (the first recorded herbarium specimen) was collected from Tamsui, China in 1881 by T. Watters - the British Consul in Taiwan at the time. He passed the specimen to H.C. Hance, Consul on the Chinese mainland, who was a passionate botanist and plant collector. Hance was very excited to see a Podophyllum having more than a solitary flower from each shoot (like our native Mayapple), hence the epithet - pleianthum (in Greek 'pleio-' meaning more than usual and 'anthos'- flower).
Living plants of P. pleianthum were sent to Kew Botanical Garden from Hong Kong Botanical Garden in 1885 and were cultivated first in pots, in a cold frame. From there it was just a matter of time....For more about this interesting plant group see - The Genus Epimedium and other herbaceous Berberidaceae including the genus Podophyllum by William T. Stearn.