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 12, 2012

Six oddballs in flower

None of the plants in this post are going to stop traffic, unless you are an insect, such as the one that took the picture of my towering  Nectaroscordum siculum. 'Towering' if you are an insect. I've had this Allium relative for many years. If I had proper soil, it might have seeded around more, but as it is, it has made a nice well-behaved clump. Nobody in my household has ever noticed it.

A late-flowering barrenwort, the flowers are actually a soothing pale yellow in color. Wish I could say more about it but I'm still searching for the Excel file I created to keep track of my Epimediums.

The umbrella magnolia, Magnolia tripetala, grows in the Smoky Mountains and at my house. It only has a dozen or so flowers but they are big, really big, and are pleasantly fragrant -- not sweet like sweetbay but a bit dirty, with hints of pear blossoms, burnt chocolate, and vinyl seat-covers. Great in dry soils.

Enkianthus serrulatus (common name 'Enkianthus') is a rhododendron relative that is easy to grow, not requiring acid soil, and managing fine in droughty situations thank you very much. Mine are about 6' tall and 20 years old. It is beloved by all who know it, unlike the following. . .

The truth is, I don't know what I am talking about, but I have a recollection of reading someone commenting on what a useless plant Tellima grandiflora ('fringe-cups') is. Is it because this native of the Pacific northwest has become an nuisance escapee in Great Britain? Or because there are many better Heucheras, which is somewhat resembles? Supposedly it self-seeds generously (but not with me). I grow it mostly because I harbor a fantasy of the different northwestern natives in my garden somehow recognizing each other and having a conversation like 'Wow, fancy meeting you here, old friend. Hey, what's with this strange climate and where are all the doug-firs?'

This isn't the first time I've photographed Euonymus cornuta, which looks more like a bamboo than other euonymuseses. But this is the first spring that it didn't have to recover from being eaten by the local deer herd, so it's looking quite nice. And it has flowers of measurable size. Pretty neat for the genus. 

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