Saturday, July 19, 2014

Crazy for Caladiums

Every summer it's the same thing: I'm just delighted by my caladiums. I'm constantly admiring them and taking pictures of them and thinking about them, making lists of the ones I have and the ones I want to get: Candyland, White Queen, Rose Bud . . . I become a little obsessed.

I've only been growing caladiums for a few years, but I've been fascinated by them for a long time. When I was studying horticulture in Atlanta, long ago, we students were required to keep binders full of information on the various plants we covered in class. We collected pictures and typed up our notes on growing requirements, etc. Well, I remember I had pages and pages on caladiums. I just could not stop adding pictures of the new cultivars I was discovering, and I'd often look through my binder and dream about the garden I'd someday have, filled with caladiums in all different colors and patterns.

My dream garden kept me entertained through lots of hard times, but real caladiums are better than dream ones. They brighten up shady spots. They shelter toads. They haven't disappointed me. Not at all.