There are times when I would love to say that something was 100% intentional. Perhaps there was some sub-conscious thing going on, but the most probable explanation is I got lucky. The happy accident became quite clear today when three plants started to shine individually, but it was the combination that was quite remarkable – especially since it involved a combination of bract, leaf and flower – all in a somewhat acid yellow. The picture looking down on the scene does not do it justice.
Anchored in the middle is a flowering dogwood ‘Venus’. While the flowers on this finish up white, they initially take on a yellow color and then grow in size until they are in full ‘bloom’. They have really settled in this year and have more than doubled in size and even more in the number of ‘blossoms’ on them. I put bloom in quotes because it is not actually a flower, instead it uses a few leaves that it colors up to look like a huge flower, when the actual flower in small and insignificant in the middle – yup, this tree is a faker! The good news is that bracts last much longer than petals and so we can expect them to continue their display for at least a month.
To the left is Picea pungens ‘Gebelle’s Golden Spring.’ This is a form of Blue Spruce that puts out this amazing new growth color. Eventually it fades to a blue/green. When Jesse and I saw this in a nursery, we knew it had to be one of our Christmas trees. That was 2017. Just like the dogwood bracts, the leaf color on this lasts for about 6 weeks before fading. This is a dwarf and probably will not get much larger than it currently is – perhaps a few inches per year at most.
The third plant in this happy accident is Rhododendron yakushimanum ‘Gold Prinz’. While it did bloom last year, it put on a much better display this year. Many plants in the upper streambed garden have really settled in this year and this Rhody got to be big enough to participate in this triumvirate. In future years it will get to be even more impressive.
The fact that the color match on these three is so close and happens at the same time makes for an amazing sight that just cannot be properly reflected in the picture. This is an accident that I would love to take claim for, but thank you Mother Nature for your inspiration.