June is almost behind us, and for the most part I am gladdened. I found it a trying month! As a Gemini, I find it near impossible to concentrate on anything longer than it takes me to blink, and this past month I feel as though I have been blinking incessantly! I languished from the heat – man, when it was HOT is was near suffocating! – and felt as though I was growing webs between my fingers and toes! Of course the garden provided the one solace for me – it absolutely flourished for what I refer to as the first half of the season!
A few of my ‘children’ decided it was the year to reward their patient steward with a bloom or two! I have been waiting four years, four long and sometimes torturous years for Glaucidium palmatum to decide whether she was ever going to bloom. Irony of ironies, I came this close to missing the knee dropping show, and what a spectacular engagement it was!
May 19th was the day that I found two freshly fallen stars in the Rare and Unusual Border! I’d invested a pretty penny the Spring before in order to have Erythronium in the garden – even though all of the ordered beauties were supposed to be pink – and could only gasp in astonishment to see that they’d safely overwintered! Some things in life are truly priceless!
I was all but certain, and feeling slightly crestfallen to boot to think that I’d accidentally troweled through the darling and diminutive Anemonella thalictroides ‘Cameo’ – a superlative double flowering species that always brought a smile to my face. Imagine my delight to discover this solitary seedling approximately 1m from where the original plant resided.
Last year I’d installed the stunning Abies koreana ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ – renowned for its bluish purple cones that appeared on young specimens [within the first five to ten years supposedly…..] Imagine the absolute thrill of being able to watch the ever so subtle metamorphosis first hand!
This was finally the year that I dug deep so that I could add two more long sought and lusted from afar specimens as well. It was L, at his sublime plant nursery Lost Horizons, that first introduced me to Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ – that beguilingly demure and diminutive variegated ‘hedge maple’ – the exact one that stirred more interest [ ‘It’s so beautiful, I’ve never seen one before!] and controversy than one could ever imagine! [ What do you mean you don’t have any for sale??? Can I dig up some of that one?] I knew he was going to cost me, and when all was said and done, he has become the shining beacon of the Shaded Walk!
Larix decidua ‘Horstmann’s Recurva’ caught my eye last winter while perusing the web for new and exciting cultivars that I was tracking down as possible new inventory selections. I have always been enamored with the genus, and when I discovered that this one was more ‘twisted’ than ‘Diana’ – I knew we were a match made in heaven!
I was finally able to replace my yellow flowering Roscoea cautleoides ‘Kew Beauty’ and add another of the species that surprised me with its totally uncharacteristic bloom shape. Not that I was disappointed…… just pleasantly surprised to say the least!
Shhhh! He might hear you! This is also the year that I’m managing [fingers and other appendages crossed please!] to keep three Meconopsis plants alive and relatively [knock wood please!] healthy as well. Two M. grandis, and one M. betonicifolia!
And leave it to my horti-hero Daniel Hinkley to introduce perhaps the most electric blue of the genus Corydalis! It was added to the garden the first week of May and knock wood, it continues to bloom its fool head off!
Of course I know I am forgetting something, but this pretty much sums up the 2011 Season of Surprises! Has your garden been equally rewarding? Do tell!