I recently ran a post about one of my favourite architectural plants which proved relatively popular so thought it would be quite nice to run a few more. I have lots of favourite contemporary plants for the garden so plenty to write about for now.
This post focuses on the Fatsia Japonica, or Japanese Aralia which is probably the marmite of contemporary gardens. In other words, you either love it or hate it. When I first got into designing my garden, (thank you Diarmud Gavin!) this was one of the first plants I discovered that I just loved the look of. It is truly the jungle plant of modern tropical gardens. With huge, glossy leaves this evergreen is large and looming, even eery in its presence. Shade or sun, damp or dry I don’t seem to have been able to kill it. And I often have the knack for doing this.
In Winter it produces it’s flowers, creamy stalks of berries that protude in an almost ugly fashion from the top of the plant. And then in Spring it starts growing again, fast and furious, producing lots of bright green new leaves that turn dark and ominous as they grow. I have a couple of these in the garden at the moment that seem to thrive. I did lose one to the frost a few years ago, but the weather that Winter was unprecendeted. I don’t prune it although I believe you are able to do so, and many of the lower leaves die off in the Spring as the new growth comes through. I’m sure an experienced gardener can tell me why this happens.
I’ve combined one in a raised bed with ferns, hosts and bamboos and to be honest, it dominates the space. I know they can be huge, which would be a problem in our garden so I’ll keep it in check as the years go on, but for now it’s just about manageable. My husband isn’t a fan and calls it the Monster at the bottom of the garden! He wasn’t too happy when I planted another on the side border a few years ago. But for now it’s staying.
So, if you want an architectural evergreen plant for your contemporary garden scheme, one with drama and presence, you can’t go wrong with the Fatsia Japonica in my book.
Does anyone else have one of these? Do you like the look of it?