I try and make a point of stopping off and visiting the 'children' every evening on my way home from work. Its not a difficult task, as I have to pass beside the 'Border of Unusual Rarities' to reach the front step, and a slight detour between mine and the neighboring house, brings us to the 'Shaded Hollow' - the long narrow space where I cultivate three quarters of the plants that make up my somewhat eclectic inventory here at Teza's Garden. Arisaema consanguineum 'Perfect Wave' has tripled in height this year and never ceases to inspire comment! 'It looks like a jack, but that magnificent leaf! It looks like a rippled starburst!' Indeed it does!
Passing to the right of the front stoop, you enter into the peaceful sanctuary, known as the 'Shaded Hollow,' and it is here where I first undertook the adventure of creating a long, narrow space [the length between mine and the neighboring house] that would be home to as many rare and unusual botanical delights as was possible. It is here where some of my most prized possessions reside. I will forever be enamoured with Acer campestre 'Carnival' - a dwarf version of the ubiquitous 'hedge' Maple. His diminutive stature is accentuated further with heavily variegated cream, pink and green foliage. He prefers a more shaded location away from the scorching sun and sometimes unforgiving winds.
Because of its propensity towards partial to deep shade, I have come to rely on bold foliage plants to help create a living screen to disguise a small space at the end of the Shaded Hollow - the place where my excess pots and composter reside. Aralia has always been a turn to plant, and this year my Aralia cordata creates a perfect foil, and the flowers pictured above will morph into deep purple fruit as the season progresses. This year it is taller than I!
We have been blessed with what I consider to be the perfect Summer: cooler than average temperatures [we have had one day above 30 C [without relying on humidex] for the entire month of July!] and consistent rainfall. [Sadly, this rainfall has often come to us in torrential downpours] The residents of Shaded Hollow have burgeoned with a growth spurt that questions whether the past winter really existed at all. My resident Cercis canadensis which came to me as a whip four years ago is bowed over with new growth. The photo below shows but one branches foliage. Huge, heart shaped leaves that never fail to make my heart beat faster!
Forgive the lack of focus, but this was the one sight that stopped even me in my tracks. I grow Veratrum nigrum, a sublime foliage plant with wide, heavily pleated foliage. Truthfully it IS solely for the foliage, or WAS solely until I witnessed its stunning flower spikes last Summer. This year, it is the second of two Veratrum that has decided to wow me with yet another spectacular display.
A pair of starbursts in the garden! The photo above might help to explain my shocked reaction to just how large my resident Arisaema species have grown this year. Arisaema ciliatum var. lubiaense is one of the first species I bought when I discovered there was a plethora of Asian species available for those of us who were as addicted to the genus as I am! This year I could hardly believe my eyes when, after pulling the drooping branches of my beloved Cercis aside, I was confronted with absolutely stunning, massive foliage. My resident native species have equally impressive trifoliate foliage.
These are my most favourite days of all! When my children can cause a rapid increase of heartbeat and a catching of my breath for no other reason than that their staggering beauty!