‘Patience dear Prudence!’ It is something my Grandmother would say when she found her youngest Grandson [yours truly] ‘chawing at the bit,' a phrase she used to describe a sudden moment of frenzy that would leave me totally exasperated!
I’ve been having a few of those moments of late, patiently, or not so patiently waiting for the multitude of miniature globes that adorn the wiry stems of my most beloved Anemonopsis macrophylla to open!
It didn’t help matters that my camera has a way of creating its own horticultural witchcraft – I swear I am but is willing enabler – just point and shoot!
The very next morning, on my way to the nursery I was greeted by this! The squeal heard throughout the neighborhood not to mention the instant supplication – dropping to my knees to better appreciate its stunning beauty. Oh camera, wherefore art thou?
For me it has been an arduous, four year wait. Patience, dear Prudence….. sweet baby Jesus, you have no idea! I’d first stumbled across it in the pages of what I have come to refer to as ‘my bible – the tome of all that is rare and unusual!’ This is of course Daniel Hinkley’s wonderful, ‘The Explorer’s Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials.’ If a demigod exists in the world of horticulture, it is he!
‘…[It] is one of those plants that takes you away when you first see it! And unlike so many plants that so soon become old hat in the garden, this species continues to excite the eyes each and every year as it comes into blossom in my woodland. The plant has a percious and beguiling demeanor about it, as the nodding, waxen flowers of light lavender, appearing like those of a somewhat modified Aquilegia begin to blossom in the late days of June and continue through most of July.’
Here, in my Zone 5 garden, the excitement begins to build mid July, and by the first weeks of August you are rewarded with this stunning display! It was four years ago that I brought one home. Its gorgeous, fern like pinnate foliage of a glossy blue green is was what first caught my eye, and after confirming that indeed it was the same plant that Daniel so eloquently pontificates about in his book, I added it to the shaded garden I was creating in the narrow space between mine and the neighboring house.
Mr. Hinkley had warned me: ‘…This species does not ask politely for a sheltered and cool location – it demands it! The flowers and foliage will scald if exposed to full sun and wind, even if provided supplemental water and a rich edaphic environment! Prudence, why its a plant after stealing my own heart….. another shady vampire I dare say!
Alas dear Prudence, methinks I have lost it among the larger, bolder plants! At the end of year two I decided I needed to move him. He was getting lost, quite literally, and I would never be able to bear witness to his stunning beauty without first having to push back the foliage of his garden mates. The logical spot would be in the partially shaded border along the side of the garage. It is here where I house the more rare and exotic of my plant collection. Garden visitors refer to it as the million dollar border! I know not what they speak of! Could you, would you, should you dare to put a price on one of your own children? I rest my case!
This is but one of what I estimate will be close to thirty blooms! Many of them remain tightly closed, ensuring that this monumental event will continue throughout the remaining days of August. Dear Prudence, our patience has paid off most handsomely I would say!
Having recently switched over to a MAC, I have found it most troublesome locating a blogging platform that comes close to WLW. I have, in the meantime, created a new TUMBLR page, whose icon [this very same plant] is located at the top of the right sidebar. While I will continue to periodically post here, the emphasis and bulk of future postings will be to TUMBLR. I encourage my readers to follow me there as well. Kind thanks!