The garden in July, for many, can be a time of transitional challenges. Exhausted bloom. Faded colour. Scorched foliage. All are part of the reason I am attracted to shade gardening. You can spend literally hours in the garden and not run into any of these issues, not to mention, without the need of slathering on the sunscreen. And on an especially auspicious occasion you might even run into these beguiling beauties!
Roscoea cautleyoides ‘Kew Beauty’ is but one within a genus of some twenty species [14 of which occur in China] distributed in the Himalaya and W and SW China.They are relatively small herbaceous perennials with an erect, reduced rhizome. I have been growing my collection for the past three years and find that with each passing July, the infatuation only grows stronger. I adore the whipped buttery yellow flowers that emerge from ruby coloured calyxs!
Five years ago I purchased a plant, unknown to me, based purely on the description that it was very ‘vampiric’ in its nature – was happiest in partial to full shade, preferred cool, damp climates, and best of all had shiny blue green gray foliage.
‘Anemonopsis macrophylla has a beguiling, precocious demeanor about it’ – or so states plantsman Daniel Hinkley who is one of the first plant authorities to pontificate about its beauty. Its nodding, waxen, light lavender flowers are a sight to behold – and one that will remain entrenched on the subconscious mind of anyone lucky enough to witness it!
Two years ago, when mine was planted in heavy shade, I was blessed with a solitary bloom. Last year, after transplanting it to a somewhat sunnier position, I had two blooms…. and this year, I count no less than thirty buds on two tall flower spikes. I can hardly wait. In the meantime, here are shots I took last summer!
Arisaema consanguineum ‘Perfect Wave’ was a late addition last year and I waited like an expectant Father, hoping he would make a joyous return this year. He is the last of the ‘jacks’ to emerge in my garden, but is oh so worth the wait in aces! A uniquely whorled starburst patterned foliage has leaflets that are rippled, waved if you wish, each with a sublime silvery blue infusion along the midrib! It makes the mouth salivate I tell you!