It’s garden lecture season for me. One of my topics is “Hot Garden Trends.” And while house plants have been a hot trend for awhile, that’s really not what this post is about.
In the lecture, I say that an up and coming trend is “patterned gardening.” I don’t limit it to just plants; I talk about paving materials and even those houses for insects that have now gone mainstream.
It started as mason bee houses, but folks have now expanded that into whole apartments for bees, butterflies, ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects. I guess they work–I have no idea. I prefer to let all those things just live and nest in my yard. But I am spoiled. I have a lot of property and can set aside brush piles and other places for them to do that.
Suddenly, however, I am getting articles about how “trendy” patterned house plants are. I guess that I had better change up my lecture to add this as a genuine trend.
Plants with interesting leaves are no stranger to me. In fact, as part of my house plant lecture, I always talk about growing plants with interesting leaves so that when they’re not in flower (if they flower at all) there’s something interesting to look at the rest of the year.
It’s a principle shade gardeners know well. Many shade garden plants are grown primarily for foliage (hostas, ferns, coral bells, etc.) But the leaves of many of those same plants are so stunning that you don’t care if they flower.
Here are a few rhizamatous begonia. These leaves are so pretty that I don’t care if they bloom.
This is an interesting plant called ruellia. It happens to be in bloom. But even when it’s not, the leaves are lovely enough that you don’t care.
Then of course there’s the croton. Does anyone care that this doesn’t bloom?
And speaking of patterns, remember these from Monday? They do bloom, but it’s so insignificant that I scarcely notice.
Obviously I didn’t acquire all these plants overnight. I have been collecting “patterned” plants for quite some time. I actually have lots more–but there’s no point in overkill. You can clearly see what a difference patterns make in a plant collection.