You may remember photos of a lush Melianthus ('Antonow's Blue') from a recent post.
Its tall stems were weighted down by the snow and ice we had in early January, but they popped back up quickly.
Lots of new foliage pushing out...but...
It was time to chop it all off...
Why? Well look at those branches. They're 6-7 feet tall, mostly bare. My garden is small, if this thing can grow that tall in a single growing season just imagine what it would look like this summer. Nope. Not going to happen.
It's this tall now.
But fear not, there is already new growth, see the green nubbins? I've done this every spring but one, that year we had a mild winter and I could see flower buds forming, plus the plant was smaller then.
I did toss a few leaves over that new growth, we've had some cool nights predicted and I didn't want to shock it with it's new exposure.
Hard to believe that area to the left of the palm, and the right of the Loquat, was full of Melianthus just a few minutes prior. Of course a smart blogger would have taken a photo before she started chopping, sorry, didn't even occur to me. There are a few from late September here, if you're curious..
I'm sure the Magnolia laevifolia will enjoy the increased light and air circulation.
I'll enjoy being able to see those cinnamon buds.
Look there's a nice trunking Yucca back there too!
And a hidden Hellebore, which really isn't a tragedy because I know it's back there and cut bits to bring into the house. I can never bring myself to cut from the Hellebores that I can see out in the garden, preferring to enjoy them in place.
After cutting back the Melianthus monster I also discovered the Correa backhouseana is blooming away, unappreciated. Well, it was unappreciated, now it's very much appreciated.
The little caps left behind after the flower falls are terribly cute.
There's one other thing I discovered hiding, this one wasn't near the Melianthus, but in a different part of the garden – hidden by Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass) that also got the chop. Curculigo sp. JSM...
Strange name right? From Far Reaches Farm (where I got mine): "Ornamental species of unknown hardiness collected by Josh McCullough in North Vietnam. Broad pleated leaves with yellow six-petaled flowers clustered near the leaf bases. A lot of the plants coming out of the mountains there are proving hardier than thought. This would likely survive in a mild garden here but surviving and looking good are two different things. Best to treat this as the outrageous container plant that is bringing it inside for the winter. A cool sun room is fine. This carries an aspect of tremendous refinement and would cause any container designer to salivate."
It's been in this spot for a couple of years now, so it's seen the low 20's, snow, and ice. I would love to move it out where I can see it better (cause it's cool!) but I don't want to lose it. Ah the difficult, never ending, questions that a gardener has to deal with...
All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.