This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Four more plants with nothing in common except that they are in flower now

Gillenia trifoliata: how this plant first got to my attention is lost to my memory. It's in the rose family, it is native to eastern North America (but probably not Michigan), and it sports very crisp, attractive foliage and flowers with slim five-petaled white starry petals. I don't recall ever seeing it in another garden. It seeds around lightly, which is how I like things to seed around, and, all that being said, what more could you possibly ask of a garden plant? The 'common' names include Bowman's root, Indian-physic, and American ipecac, none of which mean anything to me.

A friend in Ann Arbor sent this picture to me. It's Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus. It grows to 16-24 inches tall and, as she reports, is much easier to use in a mixed border than the typical store-bought gladiolus. Neither of us recall ever seeing it grown in local gardens.

An iris. Maybe someone can tell me what iris this is. The flowers are on short stems and surrounded by much taller leaves -- definitely not a species you'll find on the short list at your average garden center. Even so, they are of a nice cool color, and I'm happy to include them in my garden.

Here's an odd species of solomon's seal (Polygonatum) that was shipped to me from a 'nursery' in China some years ago. Nothing at all showy about it, but it is of interest for the twisted hooks at the ends of the leaves that allow it to scramble up neighboring plants. I've got several other exotic examples of this genus in my garden, and I extirpated one or two others for reasons of being overly rambunctious. But not to worry, I have an electrified fence around my property that prevents anything from escaping the perimeter and polluting the natural environment. Not true, but I do keep an eye on these things.

Gillenia again!! Same picture, more or less, but this one taken with the little camera that came imbedded in my new iPhone 4S. The picture has more detail in the shadows and highlights than the ones I have been taking with my digital Nikon SLR and with my Canon whatever-it-is. Every single picture in this blog (minus the recent Alliums) had to be adjusted in my software to bring in some detail to the highlights and to increase the contrast. And neither of the aforementioned cameras would capture the magentas and light blues that seem to populate my garden. The iPhone manages just fine. So, there is my plug for one amazing pocket-sized gadget.

If the color of the flower of this Geranium does not display as a brilliant magenta on your screen, it's not the fault of the camera on my iPhone.


  1. I believe that is a rare iris endemic to Michigan

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