by germinatrix | February 28th, 2010
There is a shrub in my garden – a particular shrub that I let go a little crazy. It wants to be big and lazy. It wants to lay its stems on my Agave wilmoriniana, it tries to bear hug my Aloe hybrid ‘I Don’t Know What’. for most of the year it is just a pushy, leafy thing – and then it starts to shine. Somewhere around the New Year it changes its character. The new stems are red and the leaf tips blush crimson.
This year I noticed that my back yard garden is actually set up to be a winter garden!
How funny that I’d never noticed that before – since the backbone of it is succulents, grasses, and evergreen shrubs, it always looks strong. But when other people are enjoying their roses and irises, their lilies and other assorted spring and summer flowers, my garden is trucking along on it’s structure. I can get jealous. But then I think about the fall, when my giant miscanthus raises it’s feathery blooms, and winter, when the aloes start spiking, and early spring, when the leucadendron does its thing and takes my breath away.
Leucadendrons are incredibly versatile, beautiful shrubs from South Africa – they are related to Proteas, and have become just as valuable to the flower trade. I’ve said before that I am not a cutter – I rarely clip and bring things in to arrange inside, but when I do, these are at the top of my list. (Were they at the top of my list? Because there WAS a list, in this month’s Fine Gardening magazine … yes I think these were at the top of my list, along with marjoram and Zantadeschia ‘Green Goddess’)
The fact that my Leucadendron and my hybrid aloes bloom simultaneously is a thrill – and should tell you EXACTLY what kind of flower hater I really am. Really. Who could possibly be a hater when confronted with all of THIS?
XOXO Your Germinatrix