July 31, 2006

Summer Variegation

July variegation ranges from stripes, to spots
Stong and violent thunderstorms blew through our garden last evening, drenching the plants with natures Gatorade. These nitrogen-rich summer showers inject new life into foliage, and followign a rain shower is the best time to observe foliage in its element. . The quenching summer showers that precede cold fronts, in our area of the U.S. also blow out the white, hazy sky's and humid temperatures, leaving behind a fresh, buoyant and cobalt sky that promises a brilliant and refreshingly cool morning.

It might even be a small factor that the air conditioner in the bedroom is finally off, and one can sleep better, or perhaps it's just morning chorus of songbirds and their vociferous attempts to lure lusty mates at 5:00 AM for maybe a try at a second clutch for the summer. But mostly, one feels the need to rise early since there is nothing quite like the garden, after a soaking summer rain.
Bare feet soaked in dew, cold grass clipping stuck between toes and mosquitoes who presumably are hung-over after a busy,hot night on the town, all makes for an experience that only comes a few days during the summer. The clarity and freshness of the atmosphere makes everything sparkle, and as a fan of unusual and rare plants, I have to admit that even the variegated foliage looks beautiful.

I'm not afraid to say it, I just don't care for variegation in most plants. Sure, there are those who like such anomaly's. Just as there are others who like to collect Crested growths and contorted sports, to me, it;s the same as saying that one like to collect tumors and pre-cancerous moles. OK, a stretch, I know....But regardless, indeed some variegation is just a step away from becoming a virus.

However, on this morning, I started cutting some variegation leaves after seeing how striking a new Brugmansia was looking outside of the greenhouse after being spared, this time, by hail piecing it's cream and green foliage. After reading a Martha Stewart Living magazine over a Starbucks this morning, I was inspired by a striking and beautiful photograph which accompanied an article on Canna. So I grabbed my camera, and without the aid of a few assistants, filters or stylists, I attempted to see what I could collect around the property, limiting myself to a green and white palette (No coleus allowed).

Maybe for another posting! :)


  1. I like variegated plants. But I realize you have to be careful where and with what you plant them. Nice picture!

  2. That's a really beautiful photo. Striking even! I like the small dark leaf with the polka dots. Neat idea to put them all together like that. It's like a work of art.

  3. Beautiful leaf collage, Matt! I set it as my desktop wallpaper for the week, I liked it so much.

    I'm a nut for colored foliage in general, but variegated generally leaves me pretty cold, too. I can't figure out whether I have a valid reason for that dislike, if I just can't combine the plants well, if it stems from the fact that most of the variegation is white/light and therefore looks too "wimpy" to me, or what.

    Any thoughts on WHY you don't like variegation? I'm just looking for some insight here... :)


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