Thursday, the second day of the Show. I've done it for thirteen years and for some reason Thursday is always the day I feel tired. There are moments when I want nothing more than to be curled up at home with my cat, under a warm blanket, falling asleep watching Food Network on tv.
Yesterday and today the Display Garden area has been crowded. Lots of people taking pictures, asking questions: where does the stone come from, is this plant hardy, will the container break during the winter.
Above is a picture of the glider in my garden seen through the twiggy branches and pink flowers of an ABELIOPHYLLUM roseum. Everyone walking by wants to know what this plant is.
Abeliophyllum blooms in January and February. When we brought it into the Center on Saturday each branch sported minute pink buds. By Wednesday morning, the first day of the Show, every bud had opened and become a small, sweetly scented flower. It looks delicate, almost wispy, but this is a winter blooming shrub, standing up very well to our winter rains and wind and gloom.
At the Show the plant shares a pot with some mondo grass and AJUGA 'black scallop,' which looks like miniature black cabbage. In the garden, black-leaved HEUCHERA (coralbells) and black flowered hellebore planted beneath the shrub would create the drama of black and pink together, and some green and white variegated foliage--in an ornamental grass or shrub--would lighten the vignette.
I like to plant a small summer-blooming CLEMATIS to climb on the shrub. In that way, Abeliophyllum becomes a plant with two seasons of bloom.