Late Spring Surprises

Rodgersia pinnata 'Chocolate Wing'

I'd begun to think my Rodgersia pinnata 'Chocolate Wing' hadn't survived the winter, and had even planned its replacement, but then on the very last day of May there it was looking all green and perky. That greenness is a bit worrying as the foliage is meant to be brown (as indeed it was last year), but hey I'll take green foliage over no foliage any day.

I've decided to add a lot more interesting foliage to my garden this year, and I'm investigating the possibilities ferns might bring to the shady parts of VP Gardens courtesy of Richie Steffen and Sue Olsen's new Plant Lover's Guide.

Other plants raising themselves like Lazarus are my beloved Salvia 'Amistad' and loads of blowsy begonias. Keep your fingers crossed that the lovely Salvia 'Hadspen' isn't that far behind them.

What surprises has your plot brought you this year?


  1. I have a Lazarus plant too but mine is a fig tree. My Amistad didn't overwinter

    1. Mine is such a small shoot, so I'm hopeful on your behalf...

    2. No need to be hopeful VP. The plant didn't overwinter several years ago.

  2. We also thought we'd lost our Rodgersia this year. It's only just appeared, and my husband's decided to move it. We got it after that visit to Great Dixter and the lesson in layering, but he's decided it needs a layer of its own as it's getting lost in the rest of the undergrowth. Simple ideas rarely turn out so simple in execution, it seems.

    1. I've learnt since that Rodgersia is one of the very late plants to show itself. Fingers croseed that the move suits yours better.

  3. Perhaps the green will brown as the year goes on VP but you must have been so excited to see its return. Similar delight here yesterday when I saw that aquilegia 'Nora Barlow' had made an appearance and then I remembered that she is late every year compared to my other aquilegias :) 'Amistad' did not survive but the cuttings did. The same ferny book is winging its way to me at the moment.

    1. I hope so too Anna, though I'm wondering if the shady spot is the reason for the colour change. Time will tell...


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