It puts out copious sprays of these gorgeous, pendulous flowers, which can remain on the plant all winter long until new growth appears in the spring. It loves dry summers, needs a little drainage, and you can probably already imagine how happy it would make the bees and hummingbirds in your garden.
There just aren’t words to describe what a plant like this does to me. This, I believe, is what the garden industry ought to be doing: growing out sturdy, beautiful, undemanding plants that will please gardeners and pollinators alike. Customers, and bumblebees, will flock to them.
And on a related note: a column in GreenProfit, a garden industry magazine, reflects back on what garden writer L.H. Bailey had to say about the desire to garden over a century ago. Bailey wrote:
One does not begin to make a garden, until he wants a garden. To want a garden is to be interested in plants, in the winds and rains, in birds and insects, in the warm-smelling earth. Without this desire a man might better buy his vegetable, fruits, and flowers.
The column goes on to speculate as to how one might manufacture this desire in a few million potential customers. I’m just not sure you can. We all know people who would rather have a root canal than go outside with a pitchfork and turn a worm-ridden compost pile.
Some people have a shoe fetish; I could care less what I put on my feet, as long as they don’t give me a blister. Should Manolo Blahnik spend any time trying to figure out how to make a customer out of me? Please. No. But should they take the mildly shoe-obsessed and turn them into Manolo addicts. Absolutely. How do you do that? Fabulous, lust-worthy shoes.
Oh, and I guess it helps if Carrie Bradshaw wears them. Is that what we need? A diva?