"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
It's the afternoon following Valentine's Day and I thought I would keep romance in the air
by showing you a lovely rose garden.
Visitors to this country property pass through an arbor that divides the public front yard
from the more private fenced backyard.
On the left, at a back corner of the house, is a small fountain and shade garden. Encircling the fountain is an attractive array of hostas and other shade loving perennials.
To the left of the fountain is a large Ligularia. I am not certain of the exact cultivar, but I will give you reference to a plant that has the same dramatic black stems:
Ligularia 'The Rocket': Ligularia like moist conditions. Sun and somewhat dry soil can cause the leaves to wilt as you see in my photograph above. You can attempt to compensate for somewhat dryer conditions by insuring your Ligularia has some afternoon shade. 'The Rocket' forms a large clump of jagged edged leaves. Purplish-black stems and yellow flowers appear mid-summer. As with hostas, slugs can be an issue for this plant. Ligularia is one perennial that is quite happy in clay. Height: 120-180 cm (47-70 inches), Spread: 80-90 cm (31-35 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.
Another interesting plant in this area of the garden is this Bugbane, Cimicifuga. When I bought a Cimicifuga for my own garden last spring, I found that there were a number of similar cultivars with the main distinction being price. Below is a reference to the one I purchased. It has the same deep purply-black foliage.
Cimicifuga ramosa 'James Compton': has deep purplish black ferny foliage and fragrant bottlebrush-shaped white flowers in late summer. It likes rich, moist soil and part to full shade. Height: 120-150 cm (47-60 inches), Spread: 60-75 cm (23-29 inches). USDA Zones: 4-8.
This plant with its white berries is a mystery. Any ideas?
Update: Carolyn of Carolyn's Shade Gardens has identified this as Horse Gentian or White Feverwort, Triosteum pinnatifidum. This is a rare plant is a native to the woods of China and Japan. It has lobed leaves and unspectacular flowers that produce interesting clusters of white berries in summer. It likes rich, well-drained soil and part shade. Height: 60-90 cm (24-36 inches), Spread: 22-30 cm (9-12 inches) USDA Zones: 6-9a
A pathway leads away from the corner of the house into a little rose garden. Though it is a fairly new garden, it already has great promise.
Lush green foliage makes the perfect backdrop for
this traditional garden sculpture.
I dwell in possibility.