Plants I Love
The Best Season Ever: Black False-Hellebore
This perennial is one of hardy horticulture's enduring unicorns: It's rarely available for sale, is famously poisonous to every creature but the favored polinators, blooms with thousands of sepulchrally-dark flowers, and bears large obsessively-tidy, pleated green foliage.
Did I mention that it's painfully slow to mature to flowering age? That it's fatally at risk if the soil is anything less than deep, rich, and moist? Unicorn, indeed.
Pink-leaved Chestnut, Leafing Out
Five days from the first picture of April 19, and we've had some warmth and (just as important) a serious rain. It takes a lot of water to inflate the large leaves. And—who knows?—maybe it takes some special energy to turn them pink too.
It's Spring, and things move fast: Excitement might be afoot Tuesday but gone by Saturday. And you won't want to miss it.
Certainly not this plant, the pink-leaved chestnut. You read right. Pink. Look closer:
Every April, strange almost alien green eggs appear atop the gravel at the shady side of the driveway. When they open up into spheres of countless cream flowers here, they don't look much less alien. In fact, they look more like the compound insect-like eyes of some unknowable but intensely-observant Other than actual flowers.
Well, let 'em look.
Osage Orange in Winter
I seem unable to resist thorny, spiny, and prickly plants not in spite of those painful features, but because of them. Inch-long spines of osage orange are profuse as well as effective deterrents to casual contact with humans, let alone the nibbles of any and all browsers.
On this basis alone, the trees should be ideal for the unfenced portion of my garden. But this osage cultivar, Cannonball, has another irresistible talent: producing enormous fruits that are literally cannonball size. Why have just the normal grapefruit-sized ones?