It made sense that if every good story had interesting and dynamic characters, I'd need to choose a few characters that would carry the narrative through all four seasons -- from the dead of winter, through the rebirth of spring, the heat and abundance of summer, the waning solace of autumn, and then a final return to dormancy.
I've chosen three plants -- one tree, one shrub and one herbaceous perennial. Each week, I will photograph and write about them, focusing on the dominant or emerging characteristics of each with a particular interest in how they interact with the rest of the garden. It is my hope that through my words and photos and these three characters, I will be able to bring others from far way in to my garden and convey its true character.
So without further adieu, I introduce the main characters of 52 Weeks in the Garden.
Tree: Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)
|Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) bark|
Shrub: Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blushing Bride'
|Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blushing Bride' dried inflorescence|
Herbaceous Perennial: Hylotelephium 'Matrona'
|Hylotelephium 'Matrona' seed head|
I went back and forth over the selection for herbaceous perennials, almost choosing the Rudbeckia that weaves in and out of most all our gardens. But in the end, I felt the Hylotelephium 'Matrona' (commonly classified as a Sedum) offered more of an interesting story throughout the year. In the winter, it's at its prettiest when holding a dusting of snow on upright, sturdy stems and rust-colored seed heads.
Next week, I'll begin to share more about each of these three plants, their development, and my experiences with them in my garden. I hope you'll join in this journey of 52 Weeks in the Garden. If you're growing these plants or others like them, please feel free to leave a comment and share your stories as well.