Monday, May 16, 2011

Pleated, edged

Lately, I've been drawn to plants with less than obvious charms. Certainly, I do enjoy a gorgeous flower, but subtle nuances rather than explicitness increasingly catch my attention.

I guess the buttercup winterhazel, Corylopsis pauciflora, is an excellent example of a plant that I'd probably had walked past for ten years ago, not really noticing its many merits... Its buttery, delicately scented flowers appear in mid-winter like tiny lanterns hanging from its bare branches. After they fade in late March or April, its bright green, pleated leaves unfurl and reveal their elegant, burgundy edges; I think they are even more striking that its flowers. Slowly, its slender branches grow into a sculptural vase-formed shrub that seldom exceeds breast height. This winterhazel  looks striking with early spring ephemerals, like cyclamen, Helleborus, snowdrops and crocuses.

Maybe it's my age (somewhere in the middle of life, with a bit of luck...), but there's something soothing to realize that it is not only about the grandifloras, but that the paucifloras can have just as much to give.

Photographed at the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden, May 5th 2011.

6 comments:

Gardener in the Distance said...

I couldn't agree more. Gardening for friends today, the view over the back fence into the neighbours' back garden, with its old chook shed, big trees and lack of order, was more inviting than most of the front gardens thereabouts. Sometimes intended gardens, especially with their specimens, lack a bit of reality. 'Weeds' can be more delightful than planned planting. It's reassuring to know nature's getting on with its own work, regardless of our appropriations.

Sophia Callmer said...

Vilken elegant hassel! Jag tror det är ett annat skede av ens trädgårdsliv som gör en uppmärksam på helt andra saker. Jag tittade aldrig speciellt på buskar och träd innan, nu är det det jag tittar mest på och funderar mest på i min egen trädgård. ha en bra vecka!/Sophia

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Faisal, I completely agree - I'm addicted to self-sown plants, too, I love to be surprised, positively. Soo manicured gardens leave nothing for the imagination.

Sophia, jag kollade precis din nya tidning, vad fin den är. Lycka till, det är underbart att ni driver allt som har med kultur att göra framåt! Ha en bra vecka, du med!

Charlotte said...

Totally agree that manicured gardens leave nothing to the imagination! Lovely blog and glad I found your garden visits section. Charlotte

Ruben said...

"Härdighet till zon 1", läser jag. Attans också!!!
Väldigt vacker! Skulle velat ha.

Ha det gott!
/Ruben

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Charlotte, I'm happy to see that you visited; I love your blogs, and your work with healthcare and children in India. Have a great week.

Ruben, jag glömde ens att kolla; man blir lite bortskämt här, eftersom det mesta går att odla. Men på en skyddat plats? Fast man blir ju så ledsen om de inte klarar sig...