I am obviously supposed to be living a different life, drinking expensive liqueurs and wearing fine leather accessories while sitting on luxe furniture.
I noticed this when I was going over the photographs Jim took on several garden visits this past summer. The shots I asked him to take were often of plants that had deep coloring.
Like this Hydrangea serrata 'Preziosa" that we saw at Whiteflower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut (yes the same Whiteflower Farm nursery that sends out the glossy catalog). It was fall, and the red-wine blooming hydrangea was next to a golden amsonia hubrichtii and the combination was extravagantly rich.
I have Hydrangea 'Preziosa' in my garden, but it is small, has never bloomed, and is barely hanging on. I moved it, of course, and in the process I kind of divided it in half (which you really can't do with a woody shrub) and now I have two barely surviving hydrangeas. Will they ever look like this?
At Wave Hill Garden in the Bronx, New York City, a magnolia with leaves backed in velvety mahogany brown caught my attention. It is Magnolia grandiflora 'Bracken's Brown Beauty', and it is a beauty. It's the hardiest of the southern magnolias.
It's the congac-colored leather-looking underside of the leaves that gives it such a rich look.
Mukdenia rossi 'Crimson Fans' is a red tinged glossy ground cover. I saw this at Cornell Plantations in Ithaca, New York. I was immediately drawn to the richly tipped leaves. The leaves are quite large, the plant mounds over in cascading fans, and the painted edges of the foliage shine jewel-like.
I grew red tinged clover in a pot last year, because I liked the soft dark splashes on its leaves. This is real clover, Trifolium repans, complete with little white pom pom blooms.
Even humble clover looks luxe dressed in a rich amaranthine.