Monday, April 11, 2011

Iris henry and Anemone nikoense in the GCA Perennial Border

There are large perennial beds below the GCA Circle in Asian Valley, and they have several issues.In my memory they have been shady beds, though when the circle was first built there was plenty of sun. In recent years we have lost a number of trees so that what were shady beds are now quite sunny; actually last fall I moved a rose, 'Hume's Delight' into the border and expect it to do well. So there's an issue with transitioning from shade plants to sun lovers. The other issue involves the beds being contaminated with the fungus Southern Blight. Wow. Double whammy.

Anyway I'm still planting. I'm going to cut back on the watering and hope for the best. Some things clearly are happy. I've divided many of the Primula sieboldii cultivars to create masses where there were spots. Amanda divided and replanted Hellebores and Hostas to the same purpose. I brought in a tall Polygonatum and a Disporum to add some vertical structure and we're going to move in some Hedychium for the same reason. The hardy gesneriad groundcover, Hemiboea subcapitata, has come through the winter raring to go; I'm almost worried it's a little "too enthusiastic", but if it is we can reassign it to the outlands of China Valley where we need ground cover.

Iris henryi is a cool little plant. The Pacific Bulb Society: "This rare iris is a choice little Chinese woodland species..." And so it is. the evergreen leaves are narrow, less than 1/4 inch wide; the powder blue flowers are the size of a quarter. Still, it seems like a tough little plant, it's grown a lot in just a year, and I've already got plans to divide it and places for it to go!

Anemone nikoense is a pleasant small woodland anemone. It seems not to have grown much since last summer, but the leaves it has are healthy and it has flowered, so I expect it will eventually grow.

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