There is a folder on my computer, that holds my hopes and dreams. This folder is called Other People’s Plants.
Is there any plant you want more than the one you can’t have? There are far too many reasons you can’t have a plant, but my favorite is the I-don’t-even-know-what-it-is category, that’s the category where hope lives. In this category it’s Schrödinger’s plant, simultaneously alive and dead in your very own soil. Who knows, maybe it’s perfect for the weird spot by the driveway. Or it can quickly fill in the place where that inherited hedge came out. You just have to figure out the name.
Every couple months I peruse this folder and get to move something out of the what-the-heck-is-it folder and into the must-have folder, or on very lucky days, into the mine-mine-mine folder.
These are the plants currently on the list.
1. The most vivid Eryngium I’ve ever seen, spotted at an HPSO open garden. Anyone else see this one and catch the name?
2. At the same open garden there was the biggest leaved Arisaema (I think.) Photos never quite capture how BIG a big leaved plant looks in person. For scale, I believe that’s a Bergenia peeking out under the right side of the plant. Looks puny, eh?
3. There’s this fantastic Yucca outside the main post office in Portland, it’s been there for years. What is it and if it can grow here why isn’t it everywhere?
4. Is the sword-like plant in this yard perhaps the same as the post office Yucca? Or yet another plant on the coveted list?
5. This fern at the botanical garden in rome was marked as Cyrtomium falcatum but it has something extra fancy going on with those shaggy leaves, which I just love.
6. Apologies for the blurry photo, I wish I’d stopped the dog from dragging me as I tried to get a picture of this green flowered guy. Green flowers are so great. My best guess is Dianthus ‘Green Trick’ which is apparently hot with florists.
7. This conifer always catches my eye in gardens with good winter interest, it looks so elegant.
8. I posted this shimmery beauty before and we collectively thought this must be an asparagus. I’ll have to try them all.
9. I also posted this agave last year, which is in the ground in Portland, and spreading around like it’s no big deal. But I call big deal. We’ve got a lot of agave experiments under our belt at plant lust, but none that have spread like this. We surely need to get our hands one that’s so happy in PDX soil.
10. Pomegranates. Swoon. There is a median on a busy street that has THE BEST plants. Look at this heavily laden pomegranate! I need to know which one it is, because it looks HAPPY. I wonder if we can find out who planned such a great patch of city soil.
11. There’s another fruity pomegranate right in my neighborhood. I am so curious about what’s in those fruits. Are they edible? I’d be so torn if this were mine. Leave them for decoration, or eat them up? If they’re edible I’d find them hard to resist.
12. These curly seedpods caught my eye in this evergreen looking shrub on the left side of this Italian courtyard. I don’t have the slightest clue what it is.
13. There’s no such thing as too much fern. I wish so hard we could grow tree ferns here, and the way this winter went, probably we could. But I’m always looking for the biggest, sturdiest happiest looking hardy ferns, and this biggo is a contender.
14. I believe the best shape for a tree is gnarled, and my god, this sumac! So twisty and mossy and full of character.
15. This yucca has been on my list for some time, and I can dig up the name somewhere, but I don’t have it stored in my brain yet. The broad stiff leaves make it look so California, but I know people grow it here. This is a must-buy next time I find it.
16. I’m intrigued by this yucca in the middle. It’s a few years old and has a good trunk. The curve of the leaves is unusual, it looks like it belongs in a hotter-climate, which is always such a draw.
17. I’m seeing these trees around quite a bit, they must not be uncommon, but I’ve never noticed them before. What are those nuts? It’s quite fetching.
18. Perhaps the same tree, or maybe another nut. I need to do some tree studying, I have no clue.
19. And sometimes I covet the houseplants too. Maybe this is some type of extra delicate Monsteria.
Any of these look familiar? Guesses welcome.