At Surfing Hydrangea, we sell a wide variety of “bread and butter” plant material that landscapers are looking for every day, like cherry trees, catmint and fountain grasses. Keeping lots of stock of those items is great for business, but it’s always the plants that I’ve never heard of, or seen in person that get me jazzed up for gardening again when I’m a little burned out. My favorites are often the new introductions and hard-to-find perennial treasures that Britt brings in for the courtyard.
A few weeks ago, I was unloading a rack of plants when I came across a perennial with unique foliage, reminiscent of oak leaves. I had never even heard of it, so I was delighted. The grower describes the foliage of Macleaya microcarpa ‘Kelways Coral Plume’ as “commanding and tropical in appearance” and I definitely agree. This thing is amazing. The blue-grey leaves are about the size of my hand and run all the way up the stalk of this large plant. When grown in sun, on well-drained fertile soil, plume poppy will reach 6 or more feet tall and spread out to occupy a space of about 4 feet. The foliage is topped with feathery, coppery-pink flowers in high summer. In fall, the leaves take on a tan hue, that fits right in with autumnal foliage.
I’ve been so interested in this plant that I’ve had one planted in our garden at the nursery so that we can enjoy it for years to come. As I write this post, we still have a few in stock. Why not give them a try in your garden?!