We are no strangers to these sprites, but this lot was unlike any we’d seen. Twittering incessantly, they chased each other around the shrub and zipped to and fro the surrounding violet-hued delphinium (Delphinium exaltatum) and fire-y red crocosmia
So full of color and life, Bedrock’s Garish Garden with its trademark crocosmia is one of Jill Nooney’s favorite areas of Bedrock, especially in summer. (Here is more about this stunning perennial.)
As we discovered with our hummingbird encounter, Garish is “full of surprises and variety,” says Kerri Ridolfi, who despite being a longtime “Hands in the Dirt” volunteer at Bedrock, always finds whimsy and the unexpected here. But that’s only part of the reason it works for Jill. It also has constancy: “There are vignettes that I’m very fond of, that work all the time,” explains Jill.
She’s not alone in this thinking. Plant Delights Nursery describes the shrub this way: “This native from Crete to Pakistan…[is] topped with long, contorted pendent spikes of tiny yellow flowers...think Janis Joplin's hair after a week-long inebriated binge. While Datisca cannabina is only 2 feet wide at the base, the arching stems, clothed with marijuana-like leaves, open to 6 feet wide at the top...insanely cool and it will drive the cops crazy!”
Another Steady Eddie in the Garish repertoire is located at the end that's opposite the Swaleway. Here, Jill plays with contrasting but complementary textures, as well as shades of purple and green. You’ll find the tall, billowy bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) anchored by solemn purple ninebark diablo (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo'), purple and white echinacea, golden bupleurum (Bupleurum rotundifolium ‘Green Gold’), burgundy clematis (Clematis viticella 'Walenburg'), and frilly ‘Winterbor’ purplish-green kale. The collection offers steadfastness and harmony, and is a wonderful bookend to the livelier combinations further in.
Jill shared her summer love with us; stay tuned for Bob’s take on the subject next. We'd love to hear from you, too, in the comment section below: What are your favorite areas and seasons at Bedrock?