Spring Accent Plants ~
Here’s a sampling of accent plants in my backyard doing fun spring things…
I love this time of year. Well enough into the year to see leaves at their fullest size, but not far enough to see damage from insect, sun, or disease—all those things that say, ‘Yep, this ain’t spring no more.’
But not yet. Today we celebrate clean, unsullied, pristine spring-
Dwarf Iris. One of the odd perennials that won’t bloom unless repotted.
Sword fern (right) and Lady fern. Both of these were volunteers, I rather liked their placement. Free beauty always accepted (if well placed…)
Coral Bell, a saxifrage. Dug out of my front yard. Been blooming nonstop for about four weeks.
A rush, and a number of Giant Helleborine orchids coming up.
Juncus and Giant Helleborine in a lump of roots. Later there are usually some spiral orchids popping up in this one.
Twin flower (the thing snaking off to the left), which isn’t blooming yet. This one I planted in there. The saxifrage, the upright thing, blew in from somewhere so I kept it. It doesn’t eat much. Or snore. Adoption can be a good accent plant policy…but only if it adds to and enhances the design.
Sword fern, Licorice fern, and Fragile fern growing on a mound. I think this was a chunk of bark I broke off with ferns in it years ago. Ferns are nearly indestructible. They fall in with cockroaches and things like that.
Collected this years ago, not sure what it is. Makes a very simple, innocuous accent that can be quite useful in display.
I was so surprised to see succulents and ferns growing naturally together when I collected them, near the coast. Just seemed like an oxymoron.
Evergreen penstemon with an indigenous small fern called Parsley fern (bright green) and Polytrichum moss.
Evergreen penstemon about to bloom (purple dot) and Sword fern. Lava. Wood. Painted backdrop. Bobby out of the picture to the right, preparing another accent plant to shoot. Lunch in about 30 minutes.
Collected this in the mountains a couple years back, not sure what it is. I do like using pots with some green in them sometimes, like this olive colored one. It can often show off the foliage and make it a brighter, more accurate, green.
A rush in a Gary Wood pot. Gary is tall…the rush is tall…do other people make decisions this way?
A rush, a grass, and a hiding (rather shy) orchid. The ‘pot’ is a lid from a rice bowl. It has a nifty steam hole in it so, in this orientation, excess water drains out. Perfect!
Hawkweed. Once, long ago, I made the mistake of accepting one of these from Boon Manakitivipart, and its progeny have been pestering me ever since. It’s pretty though. Bright yellow. I don’t remember planting it in here, I think it moved in and slaughtered whatever was peaceably growing there. Only the strong survive in my yard.
Dwarf Iris. The pot is boat shaped, so it’s not actually on there askew, the pot is just built weird. Blame the potter. I do every day. (I made it.)
Fern, heather, huckleberry.
A small clumping Saxifrage and a curious spidery non-thalloid liverwort, possibly a Porella. At any rate, it’s a green terrestrial cryptogam.
Vetch, grass, Giant Helleborine, and a yellow flowered thing that blooms in the summer. With older, fuller accent plantings such as this, often our most powerful design choices are by subtraction with a scissors. There was an ugly poof of grass growing off the top of this one, before this photo was taken.
Lily of the Valley. (Mary was busy elsewhere). Curiously, these all grew pointing left. Or right, depending on where you’re standing.
Nice tall Lady ferns! A few tiny Licorice ferns near the bottom, too. This accent is beginning to look old, with fern growth adding bumpy mounding from year to year, roots pushing it out of the pot, moss growing down the sides—all things we want in an accent plant. Many accents such as this are not repotted more than once every 10 years.
One of my favorites this spring. Very springy and wild-looking. Actually, of the four things in here, I only planted three. The saxifrage (blooming) decided (without asking) that this was home. Fair enough.