Foliage Follow Up – June 2015

Last year, I attended the Garden Blogger’s Fling here in Portland. It is essentially three days jam-packed with visiting the most fabulous gardens the city has to offer. In the very last garden we visited (Bella Madrona) I saw a small tree that damn near made me wet my pants. What is it, I whispered, with a hard-to-control quiver in my voice. I learned it was an Itea ilicifolia. It looked like this:

Itea ilicifolia

Judging from two recent acquisitions, I have a thing for long, dangly things. (Shut up William – I know what you’re thinking…). Anyway, the other day, when I visited our local rockstar nursery Xera, I had barely set foot inside the gate when I saw this:

Itea ilicifolia

Instantly, I recognized the long, dangly things. Could it be…? Yes, oh my god- YES!!! It was!!!! Supreme strategic product placement in this fine retail establishment turned me into a total sucker in a matter of a split second. Although I had had no real aspirations to shop, (I was only idling my time away while the kids were playing tennis) I walked out of there with my very own Itea, a big grin on my face, and practically drooling. Only, what now? Now, what do I do with it??

Once I collected myself enough to take a closer look at the whole plant (not just the danglies), I realized that the leaves are pretty cool too. They are a nice, glossy green, and quite geometric in a stretched-out hexagonal way, and rather holly-esque. And this, my friends, is the reason this post is my contribution to Foliage Follow-Up – a meme hosted by Pam at Digging in Austin, TX. Click over to her to see what other fab foliage is celebrated around our Globe.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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19 Responses to Foliage Follow Up – June 2015

  1. Alison says:

    I have a thing for long, dangly things too. Do you have a Garrya elliptica? They have wonderful dangly flowers. Kudos on your score of the Itea.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh yes, I love Garryas… I don’t have room, though – would LOVE to have one. Mind you, I don’t have room for the Itea either. 😦 The other score I got at Hortlandia was a Stachyrus. That too has green danglies. I really should get a Garrya, shouldn’t I? Three would make it quite a collection… Hmmm… now you’ve got me thinking…

  2. Mark and Gaz says:

    That’s a beauty, have taken note of the name!

  3. Pauline says:

    A beautiful plant with fantastic flowers as well as leaves. Yes, do find room for a Garrya, then you will have dangling flowers in the winter!

  4. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Yowsa! That gorgeous plant caught my eye, heart, and had me working to keep my bladder in check as well! Oh, the problem of limited space! Thanks for the lead. I’ll call Xera and see if they have more!

  5. mattb325 says:

    What a wonderful shrub – congratulations on your purchase!

  6. rickii says:

    That was a show stopper, wasn’t it? I have killed three Iteas, but will that stop me from trying again? No way! I also killed a Stachyrus salicifolia,,,maybe the danglies have something against me? Just added a Garrya eliptica in the same bed where I have the Hydrangea you gave me. Something is bound to work out, don’t you think?

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh no – I hope they aren’t prima donna plants…. if they are, I’m likely to kill them too. Fingers crossed the Garrya will work out for you (and the Hydrangea). That is one that is on my wish list too – it is so darn gorgeous! My guess is that it will reward you handsomely! 🙂

  7. Loree says:

    Plant lust indeed. Buy now, think about where to plant it later.

  8. Pam/Digging says:

    You HAVE one?! Fantastic acquisition! I’d try it too if I had the climate for it. It was a showstopper at Bella Madrona. Ah, missing that garden now…

    • annamadeit says:

      Yes, I couldn’t believe my luck! So excited! Now to find a spot for it might take some work, but I did borrow a chain saw to take an old lilac down. Perhaps this is my moment…?

  9. Evan says:

    Love it! I like long, dangly flowers, too. I should pick out a spot for one.

  10. Hollye says:

    Well, before I posted my stuff on FB, I should’ve checked your blog. Figures you would have written about the Itea. I will say that mine has been very hardy and now has completely covered the little support I gave it. I love it. It will probably outgrow its space, but that’s when I’ll start making cuttings …

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