3 Jul 2011

After the Storm: Another Wonderful Surprise!

Gale force winds swept through the area last night, toppling more trees and wreaking havoc at the nursery, but luckily everything survived yet another of Mother Nature’s muscle flexing! There was a moment when I was tempted to run out and check that my recently installed Larix decidua ‘Horstmann’s Recurva’ was securely where he had been planted two weeks ago, but the too close for comfort lightning strikes kept me inside cowering beneath a favourite blanket!

DSC_0610 I lost a favourite Penstemon this past winter, most likely because the eave of the neighboring house. directly above the border where it is planted leaked like a sieve last year and it drowned. I was more than surprised to find this seedling about 1m from where the original clump disappeared. Its sky blue flowers….. well, you know!

DSC_0619 Three long years I have waited for this! I fell head over heals in love with Morina longifolia, a delightful Himalayan plant that is difficult to locate in commerce. Mores the pity!

Its appearance is visually contradictory as upon first glance one might mistake it for a rambunctious thistle, with its dark, glossy, spiny foliage. When bruised, the foliage emits a delicate citrusy aroma, making it difficult not to scrunch a leaf or two every time you walk past, just to confirm that your olfactory sense is working!

DSC_0617 Stout stems appear in mid Summer, rise to 45cm and carry whorls of pale pink and white tubular flowers. While the flowers seem to darken with age, it is actually a visual indication that the individual flower has in fact been fertilized! Stay tuned for pictorial updates as Miss M unveils her astounding beauty!

Morina are named in honour of Rene Morin, a French nurseryman who has the distinction of having produced, in 1621, the world's first plant catalogue, Catalogus plantarum horti Renati Morini. Morina longifolia originates from the Himalayas, where it grows at about 9,840ft in an area from Kashmir to Bhutan.

DSC_0613I love the soft, feathery blooms of Trifolium!

DSC_0622Bar none, Cassia marilandica has one of my favourite foliage presentations. I love the pleated fan shape, and the unique folding that occurs towards that time of day that I refer to as ‘the Gloaming!’

DSC_0631   The newest addition to the family is Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sikes Dwarf’ – another one of those long lusted and coveted plants that I could wait for its presence in the garden no longer! A diminutive selection within a species that houses some true giants, Sikes maintains a manageable height and spread of 1.25m. I love the panicles of flowers that emerge a lime colour, fading through white to pink, atop traditional Oak leafed foliage that turns shades of red, purple and burgundy as the seasons wane towards Winter’s inevitable return!

DSC_0635 The first of the stately Campanula species is beginning to bloom. Odd, since I am used to its more rambunctious and lax cousin, Campanula Sarastro to bloom first! Sarastro is there, but he’s not nearly as eager as he has been in past years! Patience is the name of the game!

DSC_0629[How did I miss those yellowing Aconitum leaves when I took this photo?] If you look closely, you will notice that I have three potential blooms on Acanthus mollis this year! It bloomed three years ago and then seemed to languish in its shaded placement along the Shaded Walk. I have been tempted to move it to the sunnier border, but love the wonderful contrast that its foliage provides.

DSC_0637  I all but missed Arisaema consanguinium’s remarkable striped spathe this year, but he has gone shy on me, hiding not only beneath his own dazzling whorled, star shaped foliage, but beneath the tropical foliage of his native cousin. I am forever reminding myself to look beneath the obvious to find the true inner beauty that my garden contains!

DSC_0632 Happiness abound along the Shaded Walk. Saruma henryi has spread his roots and is now a magnificent clump, and I am more than thrilled to see that Triostrum himalayanum is also settling in! Two more shade garden essentials~!


Andrea said...

lovely plants, textures and photos. Are these grown in that space in between the walls?

Barbarapc said...

B. don't tell me there's a baby H quercifolia.....Have I got a space for one of those!

Denise said...

Morina longifolia! I've read of this plant but it never turns up on blogs. Quick research says it likes the same conditions as dierama and may reseed. Thank you, Teza!