For Green Thumb Sunday – If I were a flower

…I would want to be an Epimedium. It is hard to keep them alive in this climate, but I have been successful with this gem.

Although my Hepaticas (Liverlilies) are lovely and I delight in their arrival in spring (see closeup of a bloom below left), I am more confident that they will reappear in spring. Not so with the Epimedium. I hold my breath each spring that I will see a sign of life. It is truly a cause for celebration, since this is a Zone 4 plant and I live in a 2/3.

In my garden in Ottawa, I had many Epimediums of different varieties, some with red, others with yellow, white or pink flowers. Each spring they would be there – looking rather raggedly, but quickly sending up new foliage among their elegant, delicate blossoms.

As with other woodland plants like my Wild Ginger, Epimedium flowers are not particularly showy. That’s what I love about them. One has to look closely to admire their intricate design. In a recent article, “Elegant Epimedium – Foliage and Flowers of Subtle, Sophisticated Beauty” in Plant and Garden News, Barbara Ashmun describes the flowers in this manner:

Some Epimedium blossoms look like miniature columbines or tiny daffodils, while others appear more like spiders or stars. Species with long sprays can even resemble orchids.

My enthusiasm for Epimediums was fired further when I read that Timber Press published The Genus Epimedium, by William T. Stearn in 2002. It is a book that I am itching t0 add to my garden book collection.

Yesterday while out in the garden, I noticed that Hazel’s corner was bright with yellow flowers that looked wonderful with my yellow metal cat sculpture. I could sense her nearby – all the bright cheerful tulip faces reaching up for the sun made me smile.

And then I moved to the other side of the garden, which has less sunshine and there were the Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa ‘Pink Giant’) enthusiastically opening their pink star-shaped flowers.

In the evening, I enjoyed taking my friend, Kerry, on a garden tour. Kerry is a gardener too, and so it was great fun discussing various plants and pointing out some of the flowers that are not common in most gardens here. It was made all that much better by the New Zealand Sauvignon blanc, Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush. As we passed Hazel’s Corner, I silently lifted my glass and toasted her. I think she would have liked that!

16 thoughts on “For Green Thumb Sunday – If I were a flower

  1. Anita says:

    What an interesting GTS post, Kate!I had no time to participate to the GTS this week-end: no time for posting due to the wonderful sunny weather we are enjoying since weeks. Happy gardening and best wishes from Germany!Anita

  2. RUTH says:

    My Epimedium has yellow flowers; they really are like miniature Daffodils and seem to thrive quite happily here. I’ve long admired Hepaticas but never actually tried to grow any.

  3. Clare says:

    I really enjoyed reading about the Epimediums — the I love the name of the wine! That cracked me up. Happy Sunday.:)

  4. gardenmomma (Chris) says:

    Hi Kate,I get it! You want to be the silent, mysterious exotic type, huh?! 🙂 I think I’ll have a glass of wine and help you toast her. They are beautiful. Hope you are having a wonderful GTS!

  5. Abby Creek Art says:

    Hazel would have loved that, Kate. And her beautiful sweet face was definitely looking up at you in the form of a precious flower.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yo, happy to hear Hazelnut Pumpkin’s flowers are blooming – I guess you’re having some nice weather – just wondering how your friend Marion’s? Do tell! PS What the heck’s GTS?

  7. Anonymous says:

    PS: I get the GTS thing now – Green Thumb Sunday! Duh, as if I shouldn’t have known that, being that I’m such a green thumb…

  8. Green thumb says:

    The epidemiums have me hooked too!You are right dear Kate the best things about epidemiums is that they are simple yet so elegant.Your garden seems to be growing into a herbal drug house-first there were those lovely liver lillies and now epidemiums, which I believe have numerous medicinal properties!

  9. Ladyseashells says:

    Greetings from Vancouver. Hi Kate, Im back to your site and i see you got some collection of unusual plants that i don’t notice here in my area. I like that blue Epimedium. By the way thanks for coming to my garden site. I added yours in my garden blog list, you can check it out. Have a good month of May.

  10. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    Love that yellow cat sculpture, no surprises there! ;-)The Epimediums are precious, aren’t they, just because you’re never sure they will be there next year. Very elegant dainty little flowers.

  11. Mary says:

    Love you for naming your wine hilariously and for toasting Hazel…I’m sure your friend had a delightful walk with you. Your garden is full of life and color!

  12. Simon says:

    You write such a good blog, Kate! If I were a flower. what a great concept…And isn’t it fun to explore the delightfully off-beat and new names that vineyards are concocting for their wines!!tcS

  13. Kylee says:

    Oh, I love epimediums, too. I have two different ones, and one does much better than the other.Love your yellow cat! It looks great with the yellow flowers!

  14. Lilian says:

    Thought I would leave a comment here, too. Your flowers are lovely! You definitely have a green thumb, or ‘green fingers’ as we say here in the UK.

  15. Gotta Garden says:

    I’m sure your friend was delighted! Who wouldn’t be! I’ve gotten my first epimedium…can you believe it…and, of course, now have four…lol! We’ll see how they do with me. What a nice way to spend the afternoon. Zone 2/3!! No! You have my admiration!

  16. Ki says:

    When I first saw the photo of your epimedium, I thought it was poison ivy! 🙂 I also like epis and luckily can grow several kinds.

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