Posts

Showing posts from August, 2016

Nymphaea, nenuphars but alas, no nelumbos in this one...

Image
Yesterday I strolled Denver Botanic Gardens for a while with John Greenlee and Neil Diboll--two of America's premier plantsmen. It's hard to convey the sort of pleasure that a curator derives from listening to connoisseurs comment favorably on the workplace where you have lavished many decades of love and concern. Both were generous in their observations and praise. One thing that John said that struck me was "there's a heck of a lot of water in this place"...the waterways and ponds and water features are undeniably present: I wish I'd asked him if he meant that having so much in the way of water features was a bad thing. Or if he was referring to the enormous impact that our water gardens have thanks to the abundance, variety and artistry of the plantings of water plants. The Victoria water lilies in particular--positioned strategically in several areas--attract a great deal of interest and fascination.


I think that the simple elegance of water lily foliage…

Gadding about Globe thistles...

Image
I doubt many people would be globe thistles too high on their favorite lists: more is the pity. I love the thistle-like foliage and wonderfully prickly flowers. I have admired these over the years in the wild--from all around the Mediterranean to the Altai Mountains in Central Asia--everywhere they stand out in the landscape and provide wonderful closeup images, often bristling with insects. And they are endlessly variable, as this picture I took a year ago shows.


And they are much more diverse than first meets the eye: here is a tiny monocarp from Kazakhstan. We collected this on steep screes in the Altai. It bloomed, but we didn't get viable seed in the garden--so alas, it's a memory!



A closer view of the unknown species from Kazakhstan.

An especially vibrant sapphire colored form growing in the El Pomar Waterway at Denver Botanic Gardens--planted only a year ago!

 A closer shot of the same...


And from further away: I find this planting to be utterly delightful! Credit goes…