Nuts over Pistachio

I’m often rather quick in my judging – occasionally too quick. And, sometimes it takes me a while to realize it. When I do, I always feel a little foolish – rightfully so. Oh well, I always think that maybe next time, I will be less rash in my opinionating. It’s a noble aspiration to offer more balanced assessments but – I just did it again.  And this time, it surprised me so, and filled me with such intense plant lust, that I felt compelled to post about my error. Nothing like a little humble pie here and there, right? Here goes:

When I first saw the little compact Hydrangea ‘Pistachio’ in all its tie-dye glory, I brushed it off with some snarky remark about indiscriminating hybridizers just pushing whatever new plants out there, as long as they are sufficiently odd or novel. I looked at those somewhat clownish, multicolored bracts with puzzled disdain, crinkled my upturned nose, and moved on, thinking no more of it.

This is what the blooms I so instantly snubbed, look like. Although I generally do have a thing for green flowers, I'm not a huge fan of multi-colored ones - I felt this one was a bit too much. Also, in my defense - the flowers I saw weren't this nice. This capture is by Peter, the Outlaw Gardener - from his own garden - who was kind enough to let me use his photo. Truly - they look a lot better here, than where I saw them.

This is what the blooms I so instantly snubbed, look like. Although I generally do have a thing for green flowers, I’m not a huge fan of multi-colored ones (or pink ones, for that matter) – I guess I just felt this one was a bit too much. Also, in my defense – the flowers I saw weren’t this nice. This capture is by Peter, the Outlaw Gardener (from his own garden) who was kind enough to let me use his photo. In all honesty – they look a lot better here, than where I saw them. (Or maybe my new assessment has changed the way I see them?)

Fast forward a few months. I just saw one again, and this time I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the tag, and realized what it was. Really? Could it truly be the same plant…? Wow – this thing is positively glowing in the overcast light of November – such phenomenal, vibrant color it sent me into a lust-filled tailspin.

There are several reasons I should not get one, even though I’m literally drooling over it. For one thing, it’s a shrub. I don’t have room for another shrub – however small. It is also a Hydrangea. They don’t do too well in my garden – I’m too stingy with the water. And heck, give it another couple of weeks, and some stormy weather, and it will have no leaves at all, until the new green ones start to sprout in spring. Then I will have to wait an entire summer until the leaves turn again… Those are the cons on my list. Oh, one more – did I mention that there is no more room? (That is a fact that cannot be overstated. That scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life comes to mind… “It’s only a thin wafer…”) To be fair – here are the pros:

This...

This…

The creamy white veining...

… and this. The creamy white veining is so elegant!

Even the newest leaves are adorned with red edges.

The newest leaves are lined with red edges.

I love how the bracts have turned a beautiful red.

I love how the bracts have turned a beautiful red.

Lovely, isn't it?

Lovely, isn’t it?

Oh well, I will be spending today mostly outside, playing in the garden. The goal (yet again) is to get everything hitherto unplanted into sheltered ground. (Yes, I’m sure most of you did that months, or at least weeks, ago – but this is hard to accomplish when you’re constantly rescuing plants…) I have little doubt enough room will magically appear, but I will keep it in mind. Wish me luck. And, if anyone is up for some plant adoption, please let me know…

 

 

 

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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14 Responses to Nuts over Pistachio

  1. I look forward to seeing where you put it 🙂

  2. Astrid Bowlby says:

    Hello, I had yesterday off and was able to visit a nursery having an end of season sale. I just finished planting some cone flower, goats beard, lady’s mantle, sedum, yarrow, heuchera, and bulbs in containers in my sidewalk garden (I have both shady and sunny spots). I just wanted to reassure you that you are not the only person still tucking things in! Best wishes, Astrid

  3. Alison says:

    Hah! You’re wrong about others having all their plants in the ground. Not here. They are going to have to fend for themselves for the winter, outside in their nursery pots. I’ll be lucky if I get my bulbs in before Christmas. I’m glad you came around on that Pistachio Hydrangea. It’s one of my faves.

  4. Evan says:

    I still have so many plants to place in the ground, including some I adopted from you. It’s dangerous for plant addicts like us to work at nurseries. The plants for sale are bad enough. Then there’s the freebies!

  5. Kris P says:

    If Hydrangeas had even the slightest chance of surviving here, I’d snap it up too.

  6. rindymae says:

    Ummmmmmm, clearly I need that plant!!!

  7. FlowerAlley says:

    Another name for my wish list.

  8. annamadeit says:

    Well, now that I’ve had time to think about it, I realize that I get the same incredible color both from my Parthenocissus quinquefolia henryana, or from my Stewartia pseudocamellia. So, before I buy another plant, I’m going to make sure these two are in their ultimate spots. One should be easy – it is still in a pot. 🙂

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