Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Perfect Day

The weather was beautiful today with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. It reminded me a lot of San Diego in terms of perfect weather; not too hot and not too cold. I wasn't at the gardens today but wanted to share this image of an Asian jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema sikokianum) that I took Friday in our gazebo garden. This plant always amazes me as it emerges from the ground (from a tuber). The five-lobed mottled leaves are of interest themselves but the flower structure is quite odd. The spathe is the "hood" of the pitcher, while the spadix is the "stalk" inside the flower. Reaching only 15" or so in height, the foliage looks good until the plant goes dormant in mid-summer. This perennial is fairly expensive but I've never heard anyone (that has it) say that it wasn't worth the expense.

The perennial below is a spurge called Euphorbia cyparissias 'Fen's Ruby'. It has a great haze of chartreuse blooms in early spring and very delicate blue foliage with hints of maroon. It has seeded around a bit but has created a nice colony that has become one of my favorite, full sun groundcovers. It's appearance after the blooms fade is just as interesting.

This week will begin our epic journey(s) to pick up plant material from the various nurseries that are growing plants for us and/or have plants ready to be picked up. We have to be diligent in making these trips as we're trying to hit these places when they have maximum availability. With everyone having spring fever, plant purchases out in the nurseries should be good this year. By the way, why don't you have Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) blooming in your garden right now? (see below)..

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