Sunday, 9 May 2010

Ugly Plants

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is ugliness.  You may well disagree with me on my selection, but on a trip this morning to a nearby garden centre I saw so many plants that I felt were truly hideous that I started to photograph them with a sort of grisly fascination, not quite believing what I was seeing.
There were some flowers that looked as though they might have started off as aquilegias, inflated to ridiculous size and shorn of any of the woodland simplicity of the species.  Chlorotic-looking foliage seems to be a speciality this year, particularly partnered with flushes and veining in salmon pink.  Nice.  I found a bizarre bedding plant with a nasty netted flower in similar colours - it looked as toxic as the henbane it mimics.  Puce hebes and a collection of ghastly rhododendrons were in abundance, as was a nosebleed-inducing Tradescantia.  And of course, the season's must-have Heuchera, a plant which increasingly resembles an extra from one of the more lurid episodes of Star Trek.
Enough said - suffice to say these beauties won't be gracing my designs or garden, ever.  But presumably somebody appreciates them, for the breeding and supply nurseries continue to churn out ever more improbable variations of size, form and colour in both flower and foliage, and no doubt make a tidy packet selling them to the novelty-seekers amongst their customers.
In the interests of fair play the images above are as they came out of the camera.  The colours are more or less true to the plant originals.
Paul Ridley Design

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you made the comment about aquilegias. I walked around Malvern a couple of days ago and those giant frilly brightly coloured ones were everywhere. They are truely hideous. I was starting to think it was only me that didn't like them.

    Don't get me wrong, I like aquilegias, only a week or so ago I was clucking over the flowers on my "chocolate soldiers" but these new pantomime aquilegias send a shudder down my spine!

    Great post. Sorry about the rant, I'll bu**er off again now...

    RO :o)