At the time I took this photo there was another plant flowering with the tag Cyclamen africanum. As this site indicates, they were indistinguishable from one another.
It’s difficult to tell from this photo, but this flower (and plant) is very tiny. Its pot can fit comfortably in your hand. Adorable.
Who knew there were so many interesting cyclamens out there? Who knew there were all of these tiny little types from Africa. My cyclamen knowledge has been completely limited to the few they sell in the impulse buy section of the grocery store. I know nothing. Nothing!
Visiting Barry’s garden is both humbling and exciting all at once. It makes me realize (yet again) that I can never and should never get too big headed when it comes to my so-called plant knowledge. There is just TOO MUCH. An inexhaustible lifetime’s worth of fascinating plants to discover.
This is optimistic though, don’t you think? I have met a lot of gardeners (sometimes myself included) both beginner and experienced who are perpetually wringing their hands around the feeling of not knowing enough. But really, if the knowledge available to acquire is limitless, we never have to worry about knowing enough or god forbid, knowing it all. You will never know it all! I will never know it all.
We can all just sit back now and enjoy what we do know, and what we will discover tomorrow.
I know, I know. If you’ve been following along with the Daily Botanical this spring and summer, you’ll find that it is fast becoming The Year of the Clematis around here.
Blame Barry, a neighbour and new friend who has more clematis (clemati? clematises?) growing in his backyard than your average botanical garden. And Barry’s choices are anything but average. He has rather good taste, don’t you think?
I am yet to actually grow a clematis, but I am definitely getting a good education in them should I acquire more growing space someday.
According the Barry, both ‘Cassis’ and ‘Vienetta’ were bred for the potted plant market. His are currently growing together in a large container and one or both were rescued gift plants that someone had thrown out. And here I was stigmatizing clematis as rather bougie (bourgeoisie) plants when it turns out you can just pick them up off the curb if you keep your eyes peeled on garbage day!
This plant was another gift from Barry, a gardener who lives just around the block. I finally got a chance to visit Barry’s garden yesterday and all I can say about that is, WOW. Literally every single inch of Barry’s garden is well considered.
One of the highlights of his garden, among many, is a collection of agaves. I have a special place in my heart for agaves — they’re incredibly interesting plants from an ethnobotanic standpoint, although I suspect they also hold a grass is greener appeal with this Northern gardener.
I have to admit that I am a little bit intimidated by this special agave gift. Now I understand why people are sometimes overwhelmed when I give them a plant. There’s pressure to do well by a gift plant, especially when it’s an unusual variety!
Must not kill the extra special agave. Gah!
More agave photos: in Cuba, in Austin, in San Francisco
A neighbor (thanks Barry!) gifted me this beautiful double-flowered bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) earlier in the month and they recently flowered.