Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Front and Center

I just got a 4 inch pot of Ruta graveolens 'Jackman's Blue' from Avant Gardens, and I put it at the center of the garden along the front walk.

I was careful to wear gloves and long sleeves, since rue is a plant that causes skin rashes and water blisters in some people. I don't know if I am sensitive to it -- not everyone is. I have never had any reaction to poison ivy in my life, and I have handled it extensively. But immunity to poison ivy (urushiol oil) doesn't mean I can tolerate the completely different toxins in common rue. So, caution.

I was awfully skeptical about this herb when my garden group suggested planting it. I wrote about it here last winter, and was having a hard time coming up with reasons to even put this in my garden.

And yet here it is, front and center along the walk. I put it in front of the white flowered 'Henryi' clematis, next to a tall sedum and with golden 'Angelina' sedum at its feet.

There are some yellow dahlias with dark purple foliage that are already in bloom this spring. The dark leaves of these small dahlias don't show against the brick, but the sunny yellow flowers are nice.

The soft blue tinge and frilly cut leaves of the rue adds some complexity and it should stay a nice round shape. I think it will have yellow flowers at some point.

I'm pretty ambivalent about this plant. But it sits at the center of my front walk garden, so I've given it a prominent place, and I'll see if common rue, the herb of grace, wins me over.

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