22 January 2008
Bright colours to chase the chill
Still in the deepfreeze, and still dealing with wicked winds blasting more cold in. It's enough to make a person--feline or human--want to just stay close to the stove and snooze, isn't it?
That's true enough, but I figure our longing for colour and garden dreams is at its pitch peak when the weather turns this stolidly frigid. So to help drive the cold winter away--or at least warm the gardens of our minds--here are a few brilliant blooms for your viewing enjoyment.A few rainbows to begin; first a flower arrangement done by someone at a garden show a couple of years ago. I don't know who did this, just liked the colours. And because we can never have enough rainbows...a brilliant presentation of potted Asiatic lilies caught my eye this summer at the Truro Farmers Market.
Although my ericas and callunas are presently slumbering under a blanket of hay and snow, some of them turn to blazing colours over winter, like this copper-foliaged wonder, possibly Cuprea or Con Brio.
I was salivating over epimediums in one of my earlier wishlist posts last week, and this is why. Look at the wonderful froth of flowers they produce, and that heartshaped foliage is beautiful all year long. If my notes are correct, this is simply Epimedium X rubrum.
I find that St. John's Worts, or Hypericum, are underused, both as shrubs and as perennials. This particular wonder is 'Brigadoon', and while its flowers are fantastic with those long stamens (this one is also called Aaron's Beard', the foliage is the real prize--gold to bronze leaves that keep their interesting shades all season long.
Some gardeners don't care for cranesbills. I'm not one of them--I LOVE all that we have, which include various species like this G. phaeum, mourning widow, but also somewhere around a dozen others. This plant's flowers are more subtle in colour than others, but I think it's great. Last spring I got a second cultivar, 'Springtime' with varigated foliage and the deep chocolate flowers...I see Tony Avent's Plant Delights Nursery carries that particular cultivar, for those of you in the US.
Won't it be nice when we can lose ourselves in the rich colours of bearded irises like this?
Or rejoice in the jewel tones of Corydalis elata and Meconopsis x 'Hensel Violet'? Okay, that was a tease. But isn't it a beauty, especially with the corydalis's electric blue to compliment it?
Well, that's about enough for this post...it's heading for 4 am (it's just too windy to sleep, so I've been tending the stove and reading instead) I think it's time to opt for the snoozing option, like the sweetly sleeping Simon, catching the rare bits of sunlight yesterday.