Friday, April 9, 2010

Remembering Belly Plants

Primula marginata

Corydalis solida 'Blushing Girl'

Diphyllea sinensis

Deinanthe caerulea

Large sweeps of bulbs and big perennial borders are impressive and something to be proud of if you created them yourself, but there is a special place in my sense of satisfaction for the many small and demure plants that reward looking closely especially in intimate spaces. This spring my thrill for the understated is with a new (for me)primrose, Primula marginata . It bloomed for the first time recently in my rock wall. The color, the survival of a new plant, the successful colonization of my rock wall, and the fact that it was a new species for me all contributed to my pleasure, in addition to its beauty. Last year it was Corydalis solida 'Blushing Girl' and the fruit of Diphylleia sinensis, the year before I recall Deinanthe caerulea.

I am reminded of the enthusiasm my fellow botany students and I had on field trips for what we called belly plants, those plants that were so small we had to get on our bellies to enjoy them. These garden plants aren't tiny like belly plants, but they certainly evoke a similar sort of appreciation.

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