In hindsight, this 25-day assemblage of plants will look motley at best. I suppose there’s a reason (more about that on Day 25), but no particular rhyme. It’s just for fun–a list of plants I’m chuffed about and that I think you should be too. As far as that goes, I typically don’t get too chuffed about things unless I’ve grown or experienced them myself in some meaningful way. Permit me a small riff–I don’t care for the “one season trial and write” routine that happens so often in the horticultural media. Surely there’s a lot to learn in the first season you grow a plant, but the accumulation of those experiences over the course of several seasons most certainly results in a more genuine, meaningful experience worth writing and talking about. Substance before spin, please.
*inserts chuckle* That said, I’m suspending that rule for this post (and maybe one or two others). Why? It’s Christmas, and this is just for fun, remember? As a plant breeder, I’m of course a huge proponent of new plants, and I think it’s appropriate to raise the roof for a few head-turning new kids on the block for 2012. The only way to test their merits, good or bad, is to grow them. Be fearless and fierce!
The first that I’ll pull the curtain back on this month is a fabulous new ice plant called Fire Spinner™, a 2012 Plant Select® winner. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t grown it yet, but I’ve got great hopes, which I’ll report next summer and in seasons thereafter (yes, I’ve got it ordered and I can’t wait!) Fire Spinner™ comes to the stage thanks to my friend and genius plantsman Panayoti Kelaidis of Denver Botanic Garden. Collected ten years ago in the East Cape region of South Africa, this sure-to-be dynamo groundcover will give everyone a reason to grow a rock garden or at the very least a hypertufa trough. Even if you only garden on a balcony, slap together a trough over a weekend, plant it up with poky, fuzzy, succulent-y things (to give Fire Spinner™ some company) and step back (oh and make sure it drains well).
Panayoti recently commented in the Delosperma Facebook group that Fire Spinner™ “looks to be a toughie and gaudy as all get out.” Holla!