We had a short break in the wind and rain this morning, so I was able to plant some new arrivals in the roof garden. Last Friday I bought a Celeste fig tree at our local nursery. She's nearly 5 feet tall, but doesn't have many leaves. The ones she does have, though, are gorgeous. Big and sharply divided: just what the left side of the roof was needing. Here are a couple of pictures to give you a sense of what the leaves (and hopefully fruit!) are like:
I know it's risky growing something so tender up here, but I guess I'm up for some gambles in the hope of big wins.
Speaking of gambles, I mail-ordered three reputedly cold-hardy camellias from Camellia Forest Nursery. They are all very different sizes: I bought the largest size available for each variety. I planted the camellia oleifera earlier in the week:
Also 'Winter's Cupid':
The former is supposed to bloom in early to mid-fall. The latter is supposed to bloom in late fall-early winter. I can only hope! It would be incredible to have such a legendary and exotic flower blooming in the roof garden so late in the season!
This morning I planted what is by far the largest camellia plant. I had to move a campanula (which has started to flower and for some reason is opening pale purple. I can only hope it will fade to white: the label clearly says WHITE, dammit), and the bush clover in order to place it well. I don't like hopscotching the plants: I worry it's going to throw their growth/blooming off. The big camellia is called "April Snow" and is supposed to bloom during that month:
It has fairly large dark green leathery leaves, which is again helpful for the left side of the garden.
I also planted some very ordinary strawberries (acquired inexpensively at a neighborhood plant sale) beside the skylight and the blueberries. My husband keeps noticing robins over there and immediately leaps up and runs outside to try to scare them off and protect his beloved fruit. I must say I noticed that one of the ripe strawberries was partially eaten...
I also planted four lemon licorice plants (helichrysum petiolare).
I have been oddly obsessed with licorice plants this year, even though they're only annuals. Their leaves are so velvety! And the chartreuse is exciting. I am planning to dig the plants up and bring them inside when the cold weather comes. I've been reading up about them online and apparently they tend to do pretty well indoors. They're also reputedly quite easy to root from cuttings, so I'm going to try doing that with them later this year too. I think they would be great as part of a Christmas foliage display, to break up all the dark greens. Long live soft leaves!