|The August Garden|
|While a lusty Helleborus orientalis reigns in early spring, Diphylleia cymosa lies hidden, giving the entire stage to early spring flowers.|
I expressed an interest in Japanese species hardy in Connecticut at a rock garden meeting. Ed generously invited me to his home. My jaw dropped. I tried not to drool too much at the Jeffersonia dubia, the Cypripedium japonicum, the Primula sieboldii, the Enkianthus campanulatus, and more. Upon my departure he packed me off with a car load of seedlings, all Japanese species, including a few epimediums!
|Trillium, jeffersonia and mertensia paint a flowing scene. All eyes dart to the erythronium hybrid. Still there is not much sign of what is to come|
By the time the trout lilies are spent, diphylleia jumps to life. Nearby Paeonia obovata alba puts on its spectacular show. Ferns have unfolded and Gentiana asclepiadea begins in its ascent.
|Tiny blossoms (right) are just the start to unfurling the leaves. Nearby the japanese paeonia is going by.|
And another, more weedy member of the family, Podophyllum peltatum, kept at the far reaches of the wild garden, also has a distinctive leaf. No, it has no prickers. It is lovely as a carpeter. But grow it only if you can give over a glen. It's cousin, P. hexandrum, seems possibly a bit more refined. Again I keep a close eye and a spacious location.
|Diphylleia takes a breath from spring and soon towers over every other plant in the area.|
|After bloom, the flowers give way to blue berries set in a red tiara of bracts.|
|Just as the Ligularia stenocephala starts to wane, the edge-of-the-woods bed is taken hold by a billowing flag of diplylleia leaves.|