29 Jul 2013

Veratrum, Miss Nigrum if you please!

July 29 Rare and Unusual BorderMy ideal July border – the first cobalt blue trumpets of Gentiana scabra ‘True Blue’, the delicate pendulous buds of the weeks-away-from-opening Anemonopsis macrophylla, the swords and daggeresque foliage of Athyrium ‘Dre’s Daggers’ and the starburst whorl of Arisaema consanguineum ‘Perfect Wave’ – seriously folks, who could ask for anything more?


Well, now that you mention it….

DSC_0243‘One can never be too rich, too thin, nor ever have quite enough Gentiana in their woodland gardens….’  [Plant Addicts Anon] New to me this year is Gentiana makinoi ‘Royal Blue,’ whose trumpet shaped flowers seem to congregate at the tips of its upright stems. I’m lovin’ it!

DSC_0245 Gentiana dauhrica is a low growing [ground hugging] plant with clusters of tiny tubular fringed flowers. Definitely one that you can only fully appreciate from a hands and knees perspective. I have a habit of stumbling and falling when in the presence of near any member of this genus!


One of my only container plantings this year is made up of Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ and Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’ which has managed to completely engulf the front and sides of the round pot which houses it. I know that Joy is also an avid fan of this most beguiling ornamental Oregano. For me it is an annual, replanted every year with hopes of a performance like this year! Here it is up close and personal! Oh, and did I mention its intoxicating fragrance? It is Oregano after all!

DSC_0249 DSC_0251 It has been a cool, wet, drizzle-rainy day – my personal favourite kind, being the vampiric Heathcliff channeling garden geek that I am! I spent the morning putting Trillium, Arisaema, and Podophyllum babies [leftover stock now dormant] into a newly created stock bed at the nursery. Next chore is to spend a week dividing a large selection of rare and unusual perennials from my own garden to move to this new, larger location later in the Fall! Who knows, maybe one day soon our clients will be able to enjoy some of my personal favourite selections as well!

DSC_0257Speaking of which, I do adore the waxy whipped yellow shuttlecock shaped flowers of Kirengeshoma koreana – also known as, of all things, yellow wax bells! Imagine!

DSC_0263  Another one of those, ‘Sweet baby Jesus!’ moments transpired when I discovered that my Veratrum nigrum was going to bloom. I have to say it looks most attractive with a delightful of Cercis canadensis foliage as a backdrop! I have read that it can take up to seven years for this species to flower. The white flowering species are much more liberal in flowering but not nearly as mesmerizing. The rich burgundy wine infused flowers are intoxicating moreso than the wine in my estimation!

DSC_0264DSC_0276 For the client at work who asked how big my property is? Even my boss says I have a ‘problem’ – she was scoping out the inventory listing and could not believe the number of plants I have managed to find a home for here on my postage stamp sized property. As you can see, the camera can create quite a deceiving sense of perspective. Kinda’ like me….. shady character that I am!

DSC_0268DSC_0273I shall leave you with a posterity shot of Miss Veratrum![nigrum if you please!] She is most definitely worth seeking out if you want large, bold, softly pleated foliage……. add her to the garden and get rid of some of those bored to death Hosta! No offense…. well on second thought…….:0

1 comment:

Jeff White said...

Just love any true blue flower! That oregano is great, and the wax bells: you recommended this species to me once... have not found a source around here. And that Veratrum is wonderful. Caught a glimpse of a white/green one once in the wild, from a speeding car, somewhere in northern NB or eastern PQ. A local seed supplier has Veratrum album, but this dark one is amazing. Thanks for posting.