Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
The Many Pretty Faces of Agapanthus
Assuredly (this is solely my humble opinion) there are few perennials grown in central Florida offering as much zing in the summer garden as the tall and towering Agapanthus, A. africanus Lily of the Nile when it flowers.
For that reason alone each plant has been divided numerously, over the course of several seasons, to spread its generous contribution into almost every border of the front and back gardens.
From the day the first buds seemingly spring into the air on 3-4 foot scapes, above clumps of evergreen strappy foliage, this gardener is awe-struck.
Embarrassingly so at times.
Lustily adoring each phase.
As that singular, large green pod gives way to multiple, smaller buds with the promise of a larger burst of blue with each opening.
Given a few more days, in keeping with its steadfast loveliness, each developing blossom, waits its turn to break forth into individual lily-like flowers. Gradually each one popping open to display yet its own pretty face.
Not wanting to miss a single phase of the transition I find myself paying close attention to the transformation from each tightly budded beginning to the final result of each pom-pom shaped flower.
Most of the year this wonderfully evergreen and cold hardy plant is quiet yet faithful to perform as an integral part of the foundational plantings. As the strappy, arching clumps mature they spread on rhizomes that can be split up and transplanted with little effort.
I prefer to see Agapanthus planted in groupings for increased impact or, if singly, used in containers in combination with coleus or other summer annuals.
This year the first buds arrived in the beginning of May. All the way into this week more new buds are shooting up to aid in prolonging my admiration of them well into summer.
Recalling how it was named among the six plants I can't live without article I wrote last year it is easily confirmed that it would make that list again if I were to write it anew today.
The cool blue-ish hue of the blooms and contrasting bright chartreuse stems blend in next to wildflowers, caladiums, firebush, Indian hawthorn, impatiens, coleus, plumbago, and ornamental grasses.
As I think about it, there isn't a single situation in which it doesn't merge nicely and make a home for itself with ease in any combination.
Possibly to increase my joy of these favorite beauties the butterflies and pollinators are equally attracted to it for nectaring.
Dear readers, you are the best allowing me to go on and on over any number of plants I love to love. If you don't grow this one I highly recommend it if you couldn't guess that already. It is drought resistant and cold hardy. Some years I give it a boost of bone meal just before blooming time. Other than that it is fully on its own.