Monday, June 18, 2012

A Shade Garden Surprise

Day 148
The Daily DuBrule

I am a plant peddler. If I ever really counted the number of different plants that Natureworks sells in a year, it would boggle my mind. I am constantly seeking out new and unusual varieties. I thrive on the diversity, love the thrill of the hunt. That's why, when I go to an event that has a plant auction, I can't resist. It doesn't matter how many gazillions of plants I have back at the nursery to sell before the snow flies, if I see a plant that I can't live without, I join the fray and start to bid.

Arisaema fargesii falls into that category of bidding with wild abandon. I saw it on the table at a CNLA Summer Meeting two years ago. Hmm... Maybe no one knows what it is. BUT, if I put in a bid, everyone knows I love unusual plants and that will be a tip off. What to do, what to do. There was nothing I could do but place a bid. I kept checking back during the day and was surprised to see there was not a lot of competition for this plant. It wasn't in bloom, and there were much flashier specimens everywhere. I did a final pass right before the bidding was to end and realized I WON! 

Lucky for me, I had the perfect spot for this rare Chinese form of jack-in-the-pulpit. They love shady, cool spots that are high in organic matter. That describes the little shade bed right by my back door under my giant wisteria vine to a "T". I planted it and forgot about it. I mean, I really did forget it was there until the next year in late June when, in a matter a just a few days, this giant pointed bud erupted from the ground and opened to the amazing flower you see in the picture above. I took that picture today, as it has come back nicely to put on a show for me again this year. The solitary leaf that grows with it is like a gigantic umbrella. What an awesome, low maintenance plant, jumping it to add drama after the hellebores and blue double primroses and other spring gems are finished. 

I can't wait for my next opportunity to bid on a rare plant. "There goes Nance with the Plants" is my motto, and one can never have too many!

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