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:
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:
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.