Yesterday whilst walking in the garden I found mid-July depressing – for the first time ever. Usually I still revel in the reduced palette and the open views and the birds moving in the branches. Yesterday seemed all dead leaves and frost-scorched grass. So today I set out to capture that. My first subject, a wintery hydrangea bush, I discarded almost immediately. This Hydrangea quercifolia sporting the last of its autumn leaves was less relentlessly wintery. In fact the delicate tracery of its faded flower was quite poetic. But it was the sight of Japonica in bloom that made my spirits soar – and so I include what I believe to be Chaenomales x supurba ‘Rowallane’ …
July 15, 2010
July 8, 2010
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Two plants are on this week’s top-of-mind list, both for flowering so willingly and unexpectedly in dull mid-winter. The first is Iris unguicularis or the Algerian iris. Noel Kingsbury sums it up neatly when he says of it “It tends to look as if it should be somewhere else…” Or perhaps sometime else. From scruffy wintery leaves perfect irises appear and year after year surprise me and fill me with wonder.
Primula malacoides surprises me for different reasons. Primulas are notoriously difficult in South Africa. Ask me. I’ve had and I’ve lost. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. But this little blighter is yours for life. And it seeds itself in unexpected and charming places, and is every bit as delicate as all the special ones that I have broken my heart over. I’ve reached the age of the easy option, and this little tyke helped me get there…