In the U.S., April 15th is Tax Day. Here’s a letter from Sylvia, with a more interesting puzzle than, “Where did I put that form?”
While on holiday last March in North Wales, I saw a plant. I had never seen this plant before, are you like me, intrigued by a plant? We were visiting Bodnant garden, this is a large garden about 80 acres with stunning mountain views and lots of plants beautifully grown in wonderful settings. I saw this plant in several shady places, I liked the lacy white flowers, the early flowering and heart shaped green leaves. I thought I want this plant but what is it! All I could do was take this picture to identify it later.
A few days later we visited Crug Farm which is a nursery with a small shady garden attached. They specialise in plants they have bought back from their plant hunting expeditions. Often the plant labels note when and where the plants were collected, we have been here several times. In the garden I saw the plant and learnt its problem … a long unpronounceable name and no common name, but none the less Pachyphragma macrophyllum came home with me!
This picture was taken on holiday before we carefully transported it back to Dorset and there it stayed in it pots for over a year, now I have a new shady bed to put it in. It is still an “it”, I can’t remember that name! The next 3 pictures were taken this March, after it flowers its leaves are useful ground cover and to set of other plants. It did die back in winter but was very early to produce its leaves.
Looking this up on the internet it is described as: weed-smothering (gets out of control?); veins and stems become purple tinted in winter (see pictures). flowers followed by small fruits (seeds?); height about 12 inches and hardy (one reference to zones 5-9). In a few years I will be able to give my own assessment of this plant but first I must get “it” out of its pot and into the ground.
Do you know this plant? I am hoping someone grows it and can tell me their experiences. Where you live it may be a common garden or native plant. Perhaps you have a name that I can pronounce and remember. I would appreciate any ideas you have as to what plants to put with “it”, in my new shady bed, either to complement it in spring or to use the green leaves to set of other plants for the rest of the year.
Best wishes Sylvia (England)