Lime, chartreuse, viridian, Paris green, or golden green. Call it what you will, this color (or range of colors) calls my garden home in many places and many types of plants. For this month, I seem to have chosen Physocarpus opulifolius 'Dart's Gold' for the prize. Shrubbery doesn’t usually cheer me for more than a week (or the flowering period), but how can one not love a golden plant that shields (partially) a most hideous, bright yellow play slide. I would love anything that distracted my eye from that slide. Yes, even a blue tarp.
Another reason to love Dart’s Gold: it grows in Alaska. The number of golden shrubs that can stand it up here must be hovering around four, unless there has been some new breakthrough in hardiness I haven’t heard about. (Do let me know if this is the case….)
Where: In sun, please.
Early spring: bright leaves in late spring, almost resembling a forsythia when unfurling. You’ll have to imagine it; my picture stinks.
Summer: whitish flowers
Fall: leaves turn brown at edges and senesce a golden yellow (so pretty much the same color as summer). Stunning when backlit.
Winter: Mature bark exfoliating in long, shaggy strips holds winter interest (in Alaska at least. Not much going on except white and dark green here in the cold months.)
Why: see above. Also of easy culture, hardy in Alaska, and available in Alaska. That last one is rather important. It is a good mingler, too. I partner it up with it’s big burly cousin, Physocarpus ‘Diabolo’, Bergenia, Calamagrostis ‘Overdam’, some dark purple Clematis I’ve forgotten the name of, and Picea ‘Ohlendorffii’.
What is your favorite gold-leaved plant? Or if you dislike chartreuse, what was your favorite plant for July?