There are several pansies and violas that claim to be black, but when it comes down to it they are purple, more or less. Ever since Mr. Brown Thumb posted about his not exactly black, black viola, I have been meaning to pull out a photo of Viola cornuta ‘Black Magic’, the blackest flower I have ever seen. It lives! The black viola lives! The colour in my photo above is pretty true to life — there’s no Photoshop trickery at work here. In fact, I’d say it looks a little more purple in this light than it does on the average day. From afar it has a smoky softness about it.
I bought a single pot of it this year, and only one pot because boy did it break the bank. I’ve complained about the “Not 99 Cent Pansy” before, however this plant, this single, solitary plant, ran about $7.99.
But it was worth it. I’ve had it for over a month now and I look at it fondly every day.
One of my pal Barry’s hardy opuntia plants was flowering today and I was lucky enough to be there to catch it. And with my new lens in tow. Iiieeeeee…….
This plant comes with a fun story — Barry got it free from the compost bin of a gardener that was throwing it out.
I just happen to have a new, and free hardy opuntia myself. It was a gift from a gardener we visited last week. He just plucked a paddle from the parent plant and stuck it in a roll of newspaper for the ride home. When I got back I laid the cutting on the surface of a pot filled with sandy soil. Eventually the plant will root itself and I’ll have a new plant that I can break up and give away to friends that visit my garden.
Most plants are easy to propagate and in my experience gardeners are generous people who are always eager to share a bit of their wealth with those that show interest. For that reason alone I have no idea why some people feel the need to steal plants from gardens.
The other day I realized that I am in a garden everyday during the growing season, enjoying some pretty fantastic things that never show up on this site. It’s not uncommon for me to visit a stunning garden and take hundreds of photos that I never get around to posting here. I’m still sitting on photos from Cuba I took 2 winters ago, a trip to the Highline in New York City last October, and countless other gems. Let’s not talk about the folders and folders and stacks of film from my month-long trip to the Caribbean.
But my recent acquisition of an iphone has made it so much easier for me (albeit with less clarity) to grab a quick snap of something inspiring and share it online in real time, or very near real time. I figured if I made a project that forced me to stop what I am doing once a day, take a photo, and then post it online, I might have a nice collection at the end of the year.
Unfortunately, I suspect that capturing an interesting garden image daily might get difficult during the growing season so I’ve decided to name the project Garden 52. That way I am only pushed to come up with one photo a week during the off season. I think we’d all grow bored looking at dim and slightly blurry photos of my houseplants day after day come December.
I have also started a group on Flickr where members can take part and post their own daily/weekly garden updates.
Every other Friday I will update here with some highlights from the group.
Won’t you join us?
Here’s another close up of a plant I mentioned in the post about my roof garden’s back wall, Oxalis squamata.
In it’s pot.
I don’t know what it is about this year, but not only am I branching out into plants I’ve always wanted but didn’t think I had the space to keep, but it seems I am also turning to plants I have never shown past interest in. In fact, I have previously held my nose up at some of these plants.
I am scaring myself just a little bit.
This spring, my eyes fell upon this double calibrachoa hidden among petunias and single calibrachoas at one of the garden centres I frequent. The next thing I know I have bought it and am growing it on the roof where I can visit it most often. I went back and bought one for a friend, too.
What is happening? Nearly halfway into 2010 and my Year of the ID, is devolving into the Year of WTF?
p.s. I was just about to hit post when I received an email from Derek Powazek about his newest piece about gardening: They Don’t Complain and They Die Quietly. Great story that made me tear up.