Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Acanthus mollis

Tomorrow I'm going out to the nurseries on Long Island to select plants for a design project.  While there, I'm planning to pick up a few choice specimens for my own garden.  I have been enamoured lately with the Acanthus mollis (from the Greek 'akantos' = 'spine') or "Bear's Breeches"(I don't think they look at all like breeches, bear's or otherwise).  There is something just stunning about the size and unctuous color of the leaves and the tall spires of its flowers.  A semi-shade plant, I have read that it needs to be "protected from hot afternoon sun", although my sources do not tell me how long in the afternoon or how hot.  Oh well, I won't know until I try.

Here's the scoop on those ole Bear Britches:

Common Name: bear's breeches
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 3 to 5 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White (sometimes pink)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium (the proof of the pudding is in the eating, I think)
Flowers: Showy Flowers
Other: Has Thorns (ouch!)

I think a big clump or two of Acanthus will give great texture and form in my garden.  Cross your fingers for this experiment....

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fiddling Around

Fiddleheads are coming up in some of the gardens I visited this week.  The young sprouts of ferns have one of the most magical shapes I can think of.  "Why can't they stay that way?" is my initial response, the same as when I see baby animals.  Nonetheless, the ferns are as magnificent completely unfurled as they are in their infantile state, so I can forgive the short time they spend in spiral form.

Of course, there are times when these gems can only be appreciated in their young state.  Below is one of my favorite ways of doing so.  
A delicious fiddlehead salad is one of my favorites.  I also like to steam and serve them with pasta.  They have a very "green", slightly bitter taste which goes very well with cheeses for some reason.

I think I'll go and hunt for them at the local Farmer's Market today.  If I were a rich man, I would buy ever fiddlehead sprout up! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekend Roundup

My dog Max...rounded up

Hello All,

Just wanted to share a few of my favorite recent posts from other blogs from the last week.

  • The Darwinian development of James Golden's garden at Federal Twist.
Enjoy!  Michael