Tuesday, 16 December 2008

My Signature Plant Is...


My picture may look like a clue, but I've been having a bit of a think lately about what my signature plant actually is. It's all Tina's fault really, as she posted about hers a while ago and finally plumped for Acers. Hmm, that could be a strong contender for me too, after all one has followed me over several house moves in 24 years. However, builders recently damaged my tree, so it's not the magnificent specimen it was. Let's see, Patient Gardener decided it's annual Rudbeckia for her - sadly gone until next year. Well, I've yet to grow them (though I'm having a go at growing the perennial kind from seed next year), so they'll have to remain Helen's province for now. Mr McGregor's Daughter's undecided as she has so many candidates to choose from. Whilst I do grow many of the plants on her list, none of them chime that well with me, so I'll muse a bit more and see if you agree with my final choice.

As I have both a garden and allotment, I'm going to pick a signature plant for each. Aha, I hear you cry, the garden one's easy, surely it's Heuchera? After all, Emma mentioned you in her article on them in The Sunday Independent didn't she? Ah yes, but consider my Clematis mystery, kindly solved for me back in September by the expert Raymond Evison. He says I have not one, but two sports in my garden. As Karen said at the time I could name them for myself. Isn't that the ultimate signature plant? However, I haven't named them yet so perhaps that disqualifies Clematis - for now at least. And maybe there's further evidence in Heuchera's favour. Which plant did Patient Gardener give me when we met at Malvern? Heuchera. Which plant did a friend who reads this blog give me last week? Yes, it's the pictured Heuchera 'Blackbird', from the lovely Hestercombe Gardens to boot. That'll be 3-1 to Heuchera then.

So let's consider my allotment - should it be apples or 'Autumn Bliss' raspberries? The apples aren't really allowed on my allotment as the rules don't allow trees. Perhaps that disqualifies them? But they're being trained over arches and as cordons and do set my plot apart from the rest. We've just finished this year's crop and NAH said last week that the shop bought russets aren't a patch on mine. A spontaneous compliment must put them back into the reckoning. However, my raspberries are award winning and the only crop regularly asked about by my fellow allotmenteers. I even have a waiting list for next February's thinnings. So on balance, I think my 'Autumn Bliss' win by a short head.

Mind you my actual signature is changing - it got challenged recently when a PIN machine wasn't working and I had to sign for my credit card purchase the old fashioned way. So perhaps they're all my signature plants? What do you think - do you agree with my final choices?

14 comments:

  1. I think you have got it write VP ! I have a thing about heucheras too so off to find out more about 'Blackbird'- it looks rather tempting.

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  2. Autumn Bliss sounds right to me. I liked reading how you started off with one plant, hopped over to another and in the end decided on your award winning raspberries.

    Be kind and don't ask me about my signature plant because I don't have one, I have zillions. ;-)

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  3. I guessed both those before I got to the end of the post. I did wonder for abit whether the Clematis or Fuschia would win you over but no it was good ol' Heuchera. As for the apples - I remember how many you could recognise when we saw loads of different varieties at Malvern. By the way thanks for the mention in the post.

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  4. I had you down as Dahlia 'Moonlight'! It just seemed to suit your personality! I have been trying to figure out which I am too, Roses feature most on my blog, but I am more a weed than a rose lol.

    It is tricky choosing isn't it?

    Zoë xx

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  5. Hi Anna - it's one of the darker leaved ones, so if you like Obsidian, Licorice or Ebony and Ivory, you'll love it!

    Yolanda - I thought you'd like the mention of Bliss ;)

    PG - I toyed with Fuchsias, but I haven't written an article solely about them yet, unlike Heucheras and Clematis. Hmm, must remedy that next year.

    Zoe - how could I forget Dahlias, especially as Emma nudged me into joining the Dahlia Society at the Inner Temple show?! They also need a separate article next year, I think. I must admit, I had you down as a rose gal ;)

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  6. VP ... I am still trying to figure this out too ! I'm happy to see some one pick Heuchera though ! I have to look those ones up : )
    This is a difficult choice .. Helenium to Hydrangea to Ninebark .. BIG sigh ! which one ????????

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  7. Great choices, VP! I love my heucheras and raspberries as well. But gads, a signature plant, or even two?! How does one even begin to choose? Vintage peonies and heirloom radishes? 'Aconitifolium' Japanese maple and arugula? 'Rosa Mundi' and 'Yellow Pear' tomato? Cardamom and Rudbeckia triloba? I... just... can't!!!

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  8. VP,

    Love your choice of heucheras. They are treasures in almost all gardens! When you get a chance check out Autumn Bride (Heuchera villosa)...big evergreen maple shaped leaves!

    When I read the Signature Plant post at Tina's blog, two questions came to mind...1. What plant is identified with me by others? and, 2 What plant is identified with me by me! Are they the same? Not always for many bloggers! In my case, it's a good thing I do love Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and The Susans, because everyone identifies me with them!

    Gail

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  9. Hi VP - Obviously I am very disappointed that Clematis VP is not your signature plant ... but the two you have chose a great choices.
    I have been pondering this question since I read Patient Gardeners post and I am still wondering. I think it is a great question - and one which I hope to answer for myself.
    Oh - we could start a blogging quiz - which plant goes with which blogger!

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  10. This is so much fun!
    The heuchera is such a great choice. I love the wands of flowers above those wonderful leaves. I just divided one last spring, which is great as I love plants that multiply.
    I like the quiz just mentioned: which plant goes whith which blogger!

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  11. Thanks for the shout out. I still haven't decided on my signature plant yet. I'm going to be contrary & vote for the Clematis for your home garden. As Gail noted, there are some plants that others associate with the blogger, & I always think of your gorgeous Clems & your Clem mystery. Heucheras are too universal to be a signature plant, in my opinion, unless one has gone above & beyond the usual use of them. I like the Rasberry as the allotment signature, it's such a special thing.

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  12. As for me, I shall always associate heucheras with you. I agree totally. A wonderful wonderful choice of a signature plant for any gardener. Good idea to choose another one for your allotment too. Raspberries surely fit the bill! It is hard to choose only one plant since we all want to choose them all:)

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  13. I can see why you had difficulty choosing, VP, but I think you've made the right choices. Yummm, I'd like to have some of your fresh raspberries right now.

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  14. Joy - it was a pretty tough call. Almost as bad as choosing 6 desert island plants that JAS challenged us to do a couple of months ago.

    OFB - that's OK, if you can't choose then why not choose them all? ;)

    Gail - I knew the PPPPs and Susans would have to feature with you. I wonder if people think of Heucheras as strongly with me?

    Karen - it was very close with the Clematis. I think if I'd actually investigated naming them, then that would have swung it. And I love your idea of a blogger/plant quiz! :D

    Philip - it would be great fun wouldn't it. I must see if something can be done about it!

    MMD - I see your jury's still out for you. As for disagreeing with my choice, I think that's great. I like a bit of a debate around here :)

    Tina - thanks so much for visiting and for coming up with the original idea. It was fun to do, even if my brain did hurt a little afterwards ;)

    Rose - I'd love some raspberries too. Whilst we get loads, we're very good at eating them at the time rather than freezing some for later!

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