Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Plant of the month - February

Libertia peregrinans

I discovered this plant through Christopher Lloyd, who writes about it in his book, "Succession Planting for Adventurous Gardeners" - something of a bible of mine. Anyway, as so often with new (to me, anyway) plants Lloyd suggests, it's quickly become a firm favourite of mine.

It's what they call a good do-er - rarely needs any particular TLC, tough as anything, evergreen - or should that be evergold in this case? - and just does its stuff all year round. It's an excellent plant for structure - I've got it planted between a Spiraea japonica "Gold Mound" and a Pinus mugo, where it retreats into the background a bit in summer and then at this time of the year (and indeed for most of the winter) really shines out. It has a lovely, warm burnished bronzey-gold colour that glows in low sunshine and makes those sword-like leaves shoot up, shining, from the surrounding plants.

Mine is still a young plant, but I'm hoping if it's happy it'll form a nice beefy clump in time. It almost seems like an afterthought, but it does also have pretty iris-like white flowers later in spring, too.


Crafty Gardener said...

I just discovered your blog from the listing at Blotanical. Welcome.

Tina said...

I too like this plant. A friend and I got into a gentle arguement about it work: she insisted it should be placed with the grasses (we do keep Phormiums near there too) but I insisted it should be with the perennials, where iris

The Constant Gardener said...

Crafty - thanks, it's a pleasure to be in Blotanical, there are some great gardening blogs on there!

Tina - I love arguments like this :D I think you're both right - it would look gorgeous shooting up from a sea of Carex comans, for example; but the leaves will complement the similarly sword-like leaves of irises too. You'd just have to be a little careful of the colour of your iris, I'd say - but there are some beautiful bronze irises now...

I'll stop there or I'll be going on for a small book!


Ross Nevette said...

Hi CG,
Libertia looks like a great plant - I would definitely use it if I could get it in South Africa!

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