Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finally! The Dancing Ladies Are Here!

I've been waiting for them all summer!  This is Globba winitii, or Dancing Ladies, a little ginger perfect for the shady garden.  The pretty purple bracts sway in the breeze like dancing girls.  The little yellow parts are the actual flowers.  I think this ginger has a more delicate appearance than other members of the family.  The leaves are still lance-shaped, but soft and droopy, although the plant is upright.

Globba winitii

This ginger seems to be fairly hardy -- I've heard reports of it surviving in a Zone 8 climate.  It's dormant in the winter, which helps provide some winter protection.  In my garden, it's one of the last things to emerge.  After 5 years, I finally remember where it is, and I've stopped trying to plant other things on top of it!  I keep it evenly moist (not too dry, but definitely not wet) and it gets a touch of morning sun, but no hot afternoon sun.  I guess you can divide the clumps but I'm not going to!  It doesn't spread very rapidly at all, unlike some thuggish gingers I know (you know who you are, Mr. Variegated Ginger!)

Usually it flowers in July and I was worried about it.  I thought maybe the winter ruined the summer blooms.  But no!  Here they are, just a little bit behind schedule.

1 comment:

  1. That is lovely, Elizabeth. I tried growing it once and didn't do well. Maybe this fall I'll grab some at Bulb Mart!