for garden interest at the moment
But long gone
is the great outpouring of high summer flower
So what is left in the way of flower?
Salvias: greggii, guaranitica, involucrata Mrs Pope and microphylla. Some dwarf Asters, tricyrtis, sedums and lots of miscanthus. Some hardy geraniums such as Anne Folkard and Rozanne. A smattering of flowers over all sorts of things -some hebes surprisingly – just what does Hebe ‘Midsummer Beauty’ think it is doing? And of course the winter stalwarts such as viburnums have begun to do their stuff. And the ‘graceful death’ of Hydrangea macrophylla glows away in the background behind it all.
So quite a lot really!
Yes and that’s just without really looking .
But what do we have that’s a real star?
Wasn’t it Napoleon in Animal farm who said ‘All animals are equal but some are more equal than others’. Its definitely true of plants. In theory they are all tools, but then you get one with class and you know it!
Friday’s touch of class was straight out of Mexico: Amicia zygomeris
Its six feet of the most unusual perennial you are likely to see. Its butterfly wing – shaped leaflets are set in pairs with large plummy stipules at the base
And now when the show is almost over this star sings out with large yellow pea-flowers.
I am sure my pics don’t do it justice.
And in any case now I am going to put you off.
Even here in South west UK – practically the banana belt – this is a warm wall diva with all the aura of cheating climates. Full sun, shelter, south facing, well drained soil – your best spot in short – and even then it’s a pile of grainy, free draining mulch, partly rotted bark chips and silver sand across its crown ahead of the winter. It will be due this benediction anyday sometime soon. I was ill last autumn and never got to do this – it just got through, but I am not risking it this time. We are on our third duff winter with ascending severity.
I might even fleece it too which is almost unknown. I did all that stuff years ago and really had said good bye to serious frost protection.
And after all why would I care so much?
Well, as Christopher Lloyd says ‘It is a plant that vistors notice without having it pointed out’. It provides ‘summer luxuriance’. I would actually go a whole lot further and say ‘exoticism’!
Nothing is quite like it. It has presence.
Lloyd talks of taking it in for the winter, potting it and doing cuttings. I would not be doing the lifting here, but now that he says it, I do remember doing the ‘belt and braces’ cuttings and then selling off the arising plants because the parent did overwinter.
The propagules sold on sight at about 6 inches high.
Its that sexy!
Category: The Planty Stuff