A trip to Hughes Water Gardens last week on behalf of a client, yielded the most thrilling surprise! In a place so well stocked with fantastic plants, making me jump like I did is no small feat. Sure—as some have remarked—when it comes to plants, I am often very easily seduced. But, even in the blurry brain windings of a mesmerized hort addict, this one was special. For one thing, it was as tall as I, its tips glowing with fantastic, scarlet flowers, right in my face. How could I possibly resist?
Everything about it is perfect! For now anyway… Fabulous, palmate leaves that silhouette beautifully against the sky , and those marvelous, silky petals. Almost better than the flowers are the buds and seed heads, both of which are supremely elegant, pointed marvels that reportedly provide both winter interest, and fodder for autumnal bouquets. Anyway, I am hooked. Hibiscus coccineus makes me smile every time I see it. And, it’s hardy too—all the way to Zone 6—which makes it almost possible to share this beauty with my mom! What about you? Any particular horticultural heartthrobs this time of year?