Monday, November 5, 2007

Vancouver Roof Garden Close Ups

I took a lot of pictures with my camera's nose very close to the plant. Below is a Stewartia that we saw, one in a circle planted in Stanley Park where the park is something more formal than the wild woods it also comprises, near the entrance to the Vancouver Aquarium. It is such a lovely tree - unusual for its white, anemone-shaped blooms in the middle of summer, its fall colour, and then the silkiness of its bark which swirls silver, pale red and grey together during the winter.

Funny: this was a groundcover famous at Holly, Wood and Vine for its failure to perform in an important garden; here planted in a metal container on a high floor, one of Kathy Frasien's gardens. It was so happy it had done what it is meant to - swarmed all over and made this feathery surface. Leptinella Platt's Black. It has daisy-like flowers in spring.

Below, Cotinus, aka smokebush. Oh, I said, smiling at the owner, how nice. I hate the smoke part, she said through barely clenched teeth. I love the smoke part, but that comes at the end of summer, when the seedheads explode to make frothy woodsmoke-like plumes above the plant. It would be clever to plant it in front of the setting sun...

Same plant, redder leaves...

A very frilly Japanese maple on another terrace in the West End- Acer palmatum dissectum Something or Otherum. This would have had green leaves through summer. Now it was like drenched red.

More Acer idea which one.

My Vancouver favourite, though it seems to make locals yawn. Arbutus, or tree strawberry. Ever since Bevan described them to me, as seen in Turkey, I have longed to see one. They are edible. I ate this one. Slightly mealy and sweet, not unlike dogwood fruit, but without the seeds, but quite nice. Growing up there was one on the corner of Paul Roux Street which I touched but did not eat, probably because I was told it was poisonous. If only we had known...It bears flowers at the same time as the fruit and they reminded me a lot of Pieris or Vaccinium (blueberry, cranberry genus, this last one)...Must google.

And chokeberry. Aronia melanocarpa. Yes, I ate these too. I tend to eat plants. An Eastern native and very tannic, though sweet on the tongue. Lovely fall foliage.

These are, I think, Calamagrostis, and were planted on a high wall right in front of the setting sun, so very pretty.


  1. Beautiful, passionate reds. A little sad, too...

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