Recently, I’ve started some of my summer flowers from seed and the potential for future colour and perfume laying dormant in those little packages has got me daydreaming once again about all of the inspiring and cheerful cosmos I saw in the Caribbean.
Today’s photo is a mixed botanical of sorts, representing tropical colour explosion at its best. I took this photo on a street corner in the town of Soufriere, St. Lucia. I can spot roses and croton (big colourful hedges) in the background, but what stands out most are the two red clerodendron (aka Clerodendrum) flowers up front.
I first saw clerodendron in Barbados but had no idea what it was. The plant was taller than the house it flanked with massive blooms that managed to stand upright, even in the wind. Very impressive! My friend David says it is a “tough as nails” plant that can be difficult to transplant due to its tap root. But once established it will grow just about anywhere.
I bought this adorable little Primula aricula ‘Pinstripe’ the other day at the Ontario Rock Garden Society sale. It was the one plant purchased there that I didn’t really need, but couldn’t bear to leave behind.
I’m currently keeping it in a little hypertuffa pot I made years back (molded around a plastic drinking cup), until I can find a new spot for it. Ariculas have a very dedicated, if not somewhat obsessive following and I’m probably breaking all sorts rules and generally freaking people out by growing it in this way — and top-dressing with grit no-less. However, it’s my first and I’m thinking of this as a learning experience/experiment.
Overall, I’m very taken with it and will be sad when the blooms have finished.
I didn’t intend to post another picture of hepatica, although I still have one more with pretty leaves to show. My sole purpose for choosing this photo today was so I could post the following two links to photos of really interesting hepatica varieties: 1 and 2.
I tried to select a favourite and couldn’t do it. So many incredible varieties! To think, I went from knowledge of a white flower with a few different leaf and flower forms, to colours, to discovering a whole new world.
Hepatica nobolis is a tiny early blooming woodland plant that does well as an under-planting and doesn’t seem to mind a bit of dryness now and again. I rarely see it in use — it seems to be overlooked in favor of the larger, more colorful bulbs that flower around the same time. Or perhaps it is because there is a general (and wrong) belief that woodland plants are boring?
I’ve posted here about a similar white-flowered hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) previously, but have to admit I prefer the more colorful species like the one above.