In which a Rhododendron addict gets an overdose, Part III: Well I'm stumped!
|A rather interesting tree for texture, Sorbus koehneana has leaves in loose pillars along the branches.|
|This rhododendron is growing in one of the newly-cleared and planted areas of the garden. Unfortunately I couldn't get close enough to read the label. Update: Rhododendron keysii, thanks to Conrad McCormick for the ID.|
|Its bright, tubular flowers look more like a vireya than a hardy rhododendron.|
|Sadly, the cordate-based blue leaves belong to another rhody for which I could not find a tag. I could guess that it might be R. thomsonii, but I'd probably be wrong. Another picture to send into the RSF for ID.|
|The dark, narrow leaves in the upper left of the above picture belong to this species, R. venator.|
|Styrax obassia was also in full bloom, so thick that the fragrant flowers nearly obscured the leaves in places.|
|The pink-striped flowers of R. insigne offer some color later in the season than most species. The leaves, while not as spectacular as some, do possess some textural venation and have that much-desired indumentum below.|
|I'm really loving all the blue broad-leaved plants in the garden. This is a new species to me, Berberis temolaica. The stunningly blue leaves were made even more so by the contrasting dark, mahogany stems and the bright foliage of the ferns underneath. According to Plantlust, this barberry is available from Forestfarm and Gossler Farms, though a search of their respective websites shows that only Forestfarm is currently offering this luscious blue barberry.|
|Don't be fooled by the carpet of green. The sign is a warning to visitors that this is a pond covered in a tiny fern called Azolla, and should not be walked on (unless you really want to go for a swim and emerge with a coating of aquatic ferns).|
|Like many species in subsection Barbatum, R. exasperatum has wonderful peeling, reddish bark.|
|The foliage is equally attractive, with convex leaves and deeply-impressed veins in a herringbone pattern.|
|The type species for subsection Barbata, R. barbatum is no slouch, either, with red bark exfoliating to reveal grey inner bark.|
|Another member of subsection Barbata, R. erosum has such short petioles that the leaves appear to spring directly from the stem.|
|The midveins are lined with long red-tipped hairs.|
The stumpery is comprised of over 140 tree stumps and logs, which (correct me if I'm wrong) were at least partially supplied by the RSBG after a severe storm brought down many trees in the garden. It is the largest public stumpery in the world.
The stumpery was fascinating, full of nooks and crannies to explore. This garden will definitely be a destination within the RSBG for fern enthusiasts and plant-lovers in general, especially as it matures. But we still had so much more to see, so we had to move on. Not a particularly hard thing to do, as the Meconopsis Meadow was just down the trail.
|A stumpery is a garden composed of uprooted stumps, logs, and rootballs of trees arranged to provide a diverse planting area in which many different plants can be grown.|
|The bizarre yet graceful new fronds of Woodwardia unigemmata can grow to over 4 feet long. My two little ones have quite a ways to grow before they reach such proportions.|
|The centerpiece of the stumpery is crowned, naturally, with a rhododendron, but the real jewel of this planting to me is the Corylopsis spicata 'Aurea' at the base of the rhody.|
|The bright chartreuse leaves simply glow in the shade.|
Speaking of glowing, the coral-red flowers of R. griersonianum were downright dazzling!
|As were the richly textured leaves of R. mallotum. I love the dark older leaves. As a bonus, the underside is coated with an intensely orange indumentum.|
|The greenish-yellow flowers of R. lepidostylum were intricately patterned with relatively large darker spots.|
|And the small, hairy leaves were delightfully blue, especially when paired with this yellow-green fern.|
|Cardiocrinum giganteum stalks were quickly skyrocketing up from the ground. This one was larger than my fist. According to the RSBG Facebook page, they are now in bloom!|