20 May 2011

At Long Last… When a Star Falls From the Sky

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However and whichever way you choose to look at it, the genus Athyrium never fails to impress! While hesitant at first to add this showstopper to the Shaded Walk, it is now one of the first displays of beauty to leave me breathless!

DSC_0624Kirengeshoma koreana, with its cool, waxy, whipped buttery yellow tubular flowers is a long lived, must have perennial for the woodland garden. I love the silvery patina that covers the newly emerging foliage at this time of year. but alas, so do the damned slugs! A roll of copper mesh has thus far been the best garden related purchase of the season thus far! Cool, rainy weather has created a veritable breeding ground for theses damnable nasties, and I refuse to risk losing even one of my children to their voracious, unbiased appetites!

DSC_0586 More gardeners need to be aware of not only the beauty, but the amazing versatility of the genus Epimedium. If you’ve got dry shade, this delicate yet resilient plant would be my first choice. I love that its foliage remains handsome throughout the season, long after its stunning flowers [sometimes spurred, sometimes not] that come in a fantasmagorical rainbow of colours, have faded. Be forewarned, its another one of the many genera that for some easily becomes addiction forming! [Thanks in part to the tireless work of breeder Darryl Probst!]

DSC_0593There WAS a time when you would not find a yellow flower in any of my borders. In the early days of growing this wonderful woodlander, Saruma henryi, I told myself it was because of the wonderfully tomentose, heart shaped, burgundy infused foliage, but as the years pass, I find myself being almost hypnotized by its brilliant yellow beacon-like flowers! Who says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick every now and again!

DSC_0594  … and it was only yesterday that I realized I must be doing something right….. why else would a star fall from the sky and land in the rare and unusual border?

4 comments:

Ginny said...

What a lovely star!
I think I'm going right out to buy some copper mesh. For the first time, I lost a plant to slugs a few weeks ago. And then I'm going to try to find epimedium for my dry shade!

Grace said...

And a beautiful star indeed. Your plants are doing beautifully, Barry, yellow and all! :)

Barry Parker said...

How right you are about Athyrium. Your tip about A. nipponicum 'Ursula's Red' was very helpful. I almost gave up on mine, but sure enough, in the third year it has really been brilliant.

cheryl said...

As always your blog is a wealth of information. I'll be seeking out the Epimedium tomorrow !