Epimedium x rubrum - A Cinderellla PlantSaturday, April 26, 2008
Our garden is a May to end of August garden. This is because that's when the roses bloom and hostas flower in June/July. There are some gardeners who want a 12-month garden. The work that entailes is really beyond the capability of two of us. Besides we want to rest from the garden and we are sure the garden wants to rest from us. As the garden decays in late fall I even enjoy the decay and the falling leaves. There is beauty in death.
We are about to enter May and that is when the fresh shoots of my hosta emerge in their pristine green or light yellow. They are wonderful, and as wonderful as the unfurling ferns.
But there are some plants which I call the Cinderella plants. Nobody notices them. This is because they bloom quietly about now when I am not looking for flowers. One of the Cinderella plants is the Epimedium. This Epimedium, Epimedium x rubrum caught my eye today. It blooms before the new leaves are out. In a few weeks when the leaves emerge the flowers will be invisible, covered by the hostas and the ferns. The flowers are no bigger than the nail of my smallest finger. They look like little stars or little space fighters in a science fiction film. Perhaps epimedium has been damned by being considered a ground cover. Can any other name condemn such a plant? Perhaps I will notice it a bit more from now on.