What?!? The ground hasn’t frozen yet, and more importantly I’ve successfully orchestrated a ‘friendly’ takeover of part of the display gardens at work, so YES Doug, there is room for my latest additions. Wink! Wink! A recent whirlwind visit to Darren Heimbecker and his amazing nursery Whistling Gardens was all it took to ensure that I came home with these latest family additions! If you’re near Brantford next Spring, make it a point of interest to stop in for a visit. [For those who share my inclination for the rare and unusual, you might want to bring a pick up or hell, rent a Uhaul for that matter!]
While his smashing foliage is currently as green as green can be, with hot, humid weather and plenty of full on sun, my Albizia julibrissen ‘Summer Chocolate’ will one day look something like this:
In the meantime, he resides in a ceramic pot in my room. Rumor has him hardier than the species itself, but with a strict Zone 6 window for over wintering, I’ve decided to forego the ‘King of Zonal Denial’ moniker and play it safe! Getting soft in my old age one might assume!
As a child. pink was my favourite colour. [Foreshadowing of a divine friendship to come with successful author-friend Grace perhaps?]
I have always been enamored of the Acer palmatum family – those sublimely gorgeous Japanese Maples that can bring you to your knees with a sucker punch, all the while playing the diminutive chanteuse! Such was the case with Acer palmatum ‘Hana Matoi’ which is touted to be the cat’s meow and a whole lot more when it comes to variegated, cut leaf species within the genus. Needless to say he made me fall in love with the genus all over again.
A boy and his larches! I simply adore the feathery, bluish green foliage present on most of the members of this somewhat confusing genus. To the untrained eye, it looks like a conifer, but for those more familiar, it is in fact deciduous – losing its needle like foliage every year!
This is Larix kaempferi Wolderdingen [also referred to as Wolterdingen] – a sweetheart of a guy with elongated bluish gray green foliage. I’ve seen him grafted onto a standard, but fell in love with a sprawling specimen on my inaugural visit to Whistling Gardens last year! Darren was sold out but hoped he’d have a shipment for Spring 2013!
Both he and ‘Hana Matoi’ now reside in the recently installed display gardens at work where I can share their beauty and intoxication with fellow garden enthusiasts.
Is this the end? I should mention that I’ve scored a trio of Acer palmatum ‘Mikawa Yatsubusa’ to add to the nursery repertoire next year as well as a trio of Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’ as well…… its true what they say of good fortune, it always comes in threes! Just something for my equally obsessed collector/connoisseurs to think about over the long, cold winter months to come…….