WOW ! What fabulous things are emerging in my own garden. I forget what I have planted over the years – so many treasures ! I brought some from my old garden, and some are relatively new to me. Spring is the absolute peak of exciting foliage in my woodland beds – here are some end-of-March treats:
Below: This Podophyllum is a hybrid between P. delavayi and P. pleianthum. It is called Podophyllum Red Dragon and is a very large plant ! It is impossible to get hold of….. sorry !!
Another absolute dream perennial is Podophyllum delavayi itself. I have a few different plants of this treasure, and each one is different. I have to say it – this is my favourite perennial. Kooky red flowers dangle under the 12” leaves in early summer.
Below : Cold tolerant and phenomenal foliage at this time of year is produced by the hardy Arums. Arum italicum and Arum marmorotanum have crossed with each other and shocking patterns have popped up in the seedlings . Huge clubs of orange berries are produced by summertime, and sprout all over the garden. At the nursery, dozens and dozens grow all along our fence and front gate area. each seedling is different, and the leaves are 12” long !
I have many forms of Solomon’s Seal , the Polygonatums . They are one of my very favourite family of plants, and Spring is their time. I have one with orange flowers on 6’ stalks, one with brown stripes, an all-purple foliage one, a red-stemmed dwarf clumper, several white variegated forms….. they are addictive ! Rare ones can fetch hundreds of dollars for a small division.
A spectacular spontaneous mutation appeared at our nursery of a very tall Solomon’s Seal. The leaves are striped in bright gold ! I transferred this treasure out to the farm to keep my eye on it. It is a stunner !
Below: Not-a-plant-snob plant , and I like it very much ! The lowly Vinca minor in an all-gold form. Wow – what a lightbulb it is in the shade garden and it grows like a weed – I mean a Vinca. I am using it here and there as a weed-proof groundcover. The bright lemon foliage darkens with age. The cute soft blue flowers are an uncommon Muscari called ‘Valerie Finnis’, a big improvement on the Grape Hyacinth seen everywhere.
Erythroniums are easy to grow but seldom encountered. They are commonly known as ‘Dog’s Tooth Violets’ , but are in no way violets…. they are bulbs that you can purchase in the fall, if you shop early. Charming and trouble-free rarely go together !
Below: Erythronium ‘White Beauty’
Below: Erythronium ‘Pagoda’
These little perennials form a mat of rhizomes and bloom, leaf and then disappear by hot summer. Shown is the double white form ‘Vestral’. There are gorgeous pale blue ones such as ‘Allenii’ and ‘Bowle’s Purple’, I can’t get enough of them ! They are less than $5.00 each, and form a lovely colony in only a few years.
Trilliums take a few years to become mature, but when they do, they are carefree and spellbinding. There are North American and Asian species – more proof that our continents were once joined…. I think this is Trillium sessile.
Better than Christmas !! Look at the baby Podophyllums over to the left !! I think that underground rhizomes are sent out by the original plant and in the wilds (of China) form mind-blowing colonies. Each little plant is worth about $50.00 !