One of my favorite things about gardening is the shopping. I realize a lot of people like shopping, but ordinarily, it is not very high on my list of enjoyable activities. I am not that crazy about food shopping, I hate clothes shopping, and other sorts of shopping I can take or leave, and I’m nearly always tired of it long before I am done. Plant shopping though- that is a whole other story. It is the only kind of shopping I truly enjoy doing in the company of others. Gardeners are enablers – we urge one another to new heights of plant greed and excess. You might miss a particular plant if you are shopping by yourself, but with others, you don’t miss a thing, because your fellow gardeners are sure to point something out to you. Consequently, a great many plants in my various gardens are loved, not just for their own sakes, but also for the memories they evoke – memories of a special day, spent with people I love.
Such is definitely the case with this plant – Ligularia Desdemona. She spends her time languidly draped next to the concrete birdbath out back, with big dark leaves, and late in the summer, big orange daisy-like flowers. I bought her down in Virginia, when we went to visit Ellyn and Jason, right after Mark was born. We were shopping for Ellyn’s new shade garden, but I didn’t want her Desdemona to be lonely, so I bought one for me too. Hers did far better than mine the first couple of years, no doubt because of the kinder climate in her zone 6 garden, but eventually mine came into it’s own. It was a wonderful day that we got to spend together, enjoying the new baby, and sharing our love of gardening. This Spicebush Swallowtail, not a common sight here, seemed to think it was a wonderful place to spend a recent sunny morning.When Ellyn and Jason moved up to New York, she had to leave her Desdemona behind. I think we will just have to shop around, to find her one up here.