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Tuesday, November 13, 2018


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These shots are really instructive, not least for the lesson that one isolated image of a plant is unlikely to show how it's going to look in another garden. My pins are full of such pictures, of appealing plants that may go on spring order lists. But if I'm serious about any of them, your post is a vivid reminder to seek out a variety of images and consider all the possible "looks".

Kris P

Those are pretty dramatic differences. I can't say I see the same kind of variations in foliage color (which is something of a foreign concept here to begin with) but placement has a big impact on flowering - and often, survival. Too much sun or too much wind exposure and a plant that does fine in one area is toast in another.

Lisa at Greenbow

Part of the fun of gardening. You often find surprises in how plants perform in different situations.

Beth @ PlantPostings

Beautiful groundcovers! my E. rubrum is still surprisingly green--probably because it's in a microclimate next to a rock wall. When it turns it has more of a warmer reddish color like your first one. I only have a few varieties of Epimediums, but their growing patterns are so different. While rubrum seems well-behaved, in my garden anyway, E. x 'warleyense' wanders fast. I have it in controlled locations though. It is fascinating to compare the exact same plants in different locations.


Another factor that can affect foliage color is genetic variation. Not with named cultivars, obviously, but among the many perennials and shrubs propagated by seed. James Golden had a recent post at federal twist dot com on the Korean spicebush, which shows a truly dramatic spectrum of looks.

Linda Brazill

You are certainly right about the variation in Epimediums. I think my E. x 'warleyense' is a fairly slow colonizer. Lilac Fairy is the one that bulks up quickly for me and has been divided many times.

Linda Brazill

I will check out the post at Federal Twist. I have not visited there in a while. That genetic variation seems to be a positive reason for saving seeds and growing your own plants.

Linda Brazill

it is pretty striking when you look at plant pix in catalogs or online how different they can look depending on the photo. I am more and more trying to find images of a plant in a garden rather than what the nursery shows me. There's are always too perfect.


Isn't that the truth. And even in the same town, with very similar conditions, a plant will perform for one but not another. You just have to find the right place.


Who knew that location would make such a dramatic difference?

Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening

Location--not just light levels but soil type and soil moisture. There's a whole bunch of reasons why the same plant grows differently in different locations. Your post illustrates that perfectly.

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