I’m so glad I planted this Angelica stricta ‘Purpurea’ (from Annie’s Annuals, of course) in a pot rather than dooming another angelica by trialing it in the garden.
I’m not completely convinced the problem was soil (amended clay) but more of finding the right exposure; a good dose of morning sun and then partial shade the rest of the day, which is the exposure this pot is providing. Angelica pachycarpa for full to partial shade loves my garden, even to the point of reseeding, and the traditional Angelica archangelica also grows well here in shade, but the alluring A. gigas has been problematic. I had the good fortune to see this planted at Hinkley’s Heronswood, underplanted with electric creeping jenny, Lysimachia nummularia. What a buzz when A. gigas first started making the nursery rounds!
Having this angelica up close in a pot is making all the difference — in my viewing pleasure and in its survival. Doesn’t even matter if it blooms (but it’d be nice). I slipped in a bromeliad bought at the Huntington Botanic Garden’s plant sale May 16, Aechmea recurvata ‘Aztec Gold,’ the slim golden leaves on the left. Variegated bigeneric fatshedera is in the center (edited to add photo 5/18/10).
The dark red ‘Festival’ grass, actually a cordyline, was also melting away in the garden, and I’ve noticed it doing the same disappearing act about town. I tucked in a dying, tiny, two-leaved remnant in the pot and forgot about it, which was of course its cue to flourish. I like it much better gracefully mingling in a pot rather than the splayed-out, dejected clump it makes in the garden. This summer many of my pots are filled with such garden refugees rather than summer annual displays.