Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you how enthusiastic I am. I’m also very open. So if I’m feeling enthusiastic about something in particular, chances are you’ll hear about it. And since every man’s blog is his castle, if I want to enthuse about something here, I think will. Openly and without apology. Even when it’s one of my plants. Which Storm agapanthus is.
The point is, we always knew this particular variety, spotted in the field on a plant finding mission a few years back, was going to be a winner. But what I’ve only just realised is just how much of a winner it has turned out to be. And the proof is in the fact that I see it everywhere, and every-how. Let me share the list with you.
First off, and probably most predictably, is the standard agapanthus treatment where the drive is either flanked or bordered on one side with a soft mounded continuous line of them. There’s a classic example I drive past almost daily – a gentle curve to the driveway, with a lovely line of birch trees. Which is a really clever moment of landscape design because the white bark of those trees looks especially good when the river of white Snow Storm agapanthus comes into bloom – for weeks and weeks.
Then there’s the Southern Californian estate we drove through recently where it should have felt sun-baked. But thanks to some sweepingly extensive blue and white sheets of massed planting (Snow Storm and Blue Storm) it felt more like a tropical resort.
Not that agapanthus need to be planted in their thousands to look good, and the proof sits out on the deck at my favourite lunch haunt in the Dandenong mountains (sorry, no reveal as it’s hard to get a table with just the locals for competition). Here there are two very attractive but diminutive planters filled by someone with an eye and sense. The hero is Snow Storm, with Lambs Ears (Stachys byzantina), and the white, clove scented carnation ‘Mrs Sinkins’ falling over the rim. They look good and I can confirm they’ve stayed looking good, which isn’t a surprise to me as all three plants are tough, proven performers holding their own in what is a very sunny, exposed (with a great view) spot.
And the list goes on. The clumps beneath the trees at the cemetery at a recent funeral. The border planting along the narrow bed between fence and swimming pool at a hotel where we stayed last year. The clumps tucked into a coastal planting just above the sand line near our weekender.
I’m not raving – just keep your eyes open, and you’ll start seeing these bullet proof gems in your sleep. (I see them in my happy dreams…)