It was a sprinkling of snowy Four O’Clock flowers, Mirabilis jalapa, that caught my eye one evening, not too long before sundown. My two Four O’Clock plants (the other one blooms a stunning hot pink) are pass-alongs from a gardener and former blogger. This old-timey, Southern garden addition-by-way-of-Central and South America, is a night bloomer and grows from a fleshy root which can become quite large. The creamy flowers brighten a shady area close near my pond; the flowers open in late afternoon, bloom all night, and close by late morning.
But it was the metal bird, standing in a diversity of foliage, that resonated as a garden story. Even though I planted this crew, I didn’t recognize just how different the various leaf forms are and how well they complement one another as they mature.
Sometimes, it’s challenging to see consciously what will be as a garden evolves.
Clockwise from top left, the blue-tinged Soft-leaf Yucca, Yucca recurvifolia, sits next to the tropical green foliage of the Four O’Clock. To its right, another grey-blue foliage plant, Drummond’s Ruellia, Ruellia drummondiana, serves as backing for three individuals of strappy, stripy Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’ sedge–and that’s where the quirky bird perches. A couple of iris straps and dangles of autumnal seeds of Inland Sea Oats, Chasmanthium latifolium complete the oddball group.
The Drummond’s Ruellia and ‘Sparkler’ sedges will grow and will require management: the ruellia will need pruning and the ‘Sparklers’ transplanting. Maybe the bird will migrate elsewhere.
For now, the group is simpatico and the gardener is pleased.
It was Anna’s own lovely foliage photo which reminded me of my foliage and bird. Check out her Wednesday Vignette for garden happenings.