After a sensible shrub yesterday here are two more that have been added to the garden. Apart from both being planted this spring they have nothing in common. Above is the charmingly named Muehlenbeckia complexa ‘Pink Camouflage’. You can hardly see but the tiny leaves are randomly variegated with pink and the plant looks a lot better than it does from the photo. Muehlenbeckias are tangly shrubs from New Zealand – New Zealand seems to specialise in leafless, tangly shrubs and have their own, weird versions of rubus and clematis too. I remember them when I was a student. They were unkempt lumps of intertwined black twigs with tiny leaves and no discernable flowers – they are there, they are just tiny. They are in the polygonaceae so we can’t expect great floral beauty. They are curious rather than beautiful but this variegated variety is quite flashy for a muehlenbeckia. It is planted by the pond so it can tumble down and provide cover for whatever small creatures that want to visit. To give it a bit more of a complex it is planted beside Persicaria affinis with quite showy flowers.
Conifers are infiltrating the garden slowly. I am aware of the need for winter interest and the neatness of some conifers is beginning to appeal to me. Many years ago I did an article on conifers and visited a specialist nursery and saw ‘Golden Fernspray’ and was quite smitten – so much in fact that I bought one and planted it in my garden, now left behind. So when I saw Chaemaecyparis obtusa ‘Lucas’ I was reminded of it and had to bring it home. I love the distinctive sprays of foliage and the bright foliage in shades of yellow. It should reach about 1.5m high and 1m wide and be a pyramidal shape. At the moment it is a low mound and about to be swallowed by a sea of Malabar melon (below) – of which more another day.