Monday, June 11, 2007

Curating Plant Collections

The plant palette is a curious thing to work with. The longer I garden the more I learn about what to consider when combining plants, beyond the obvious color-form-texture complements and contrasts they present when first put into the ground.

This Fuchsia, for instance, was a discounted, leggy, penny-pot when I set it into the ground next to this Sago Palm. The Loropetalum that is now shadowed underneath was small, but I expected it to takeover the bed. Instead the Fuchsia has been the dominant one, and I am pleasantly surprised. I do have to be vigilant in pruning it back as it mounds across the pathway, but it is much more vigorous that I had known. My sister has had this plant in a pot for years, and therefore my growth expectations were warped.

Additionally, whenever growing plants in the bay area, it seems I have to add a few feet in both height and width to the Sunset 'mature' height given.

The other two plants that have been completely obscured in this bed are the two beautiful Japanese painted ferns and the black Mondo grasses, which are very happy and spreading by runners. Some day I'll figure out how to give them all some space.

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