September 12, 2015
Sometimes even when the temperatures certainly feel broiling I come across a really cool garden. C’mon let’s go check out this shady hillside landscape. The first thing I’m sure you notice are the caladiums. There are caladiums everywhere. Red caladiums, white caladiums, pink caladiums, spotted caladiums, speckled caladiums, large plantings here…..small plantings there. Here, there, and everywhere, the caladiums offer an explosion of bright, vibrant color. As we walk along the rustic cobble stone garden path, I really appreciate the moss growing on the stones; it gives the pathway a feeling of real age. And the colorful caladiums just keep on shining like beacons in the cool shade all the way down the hillside. There are just too many varieties to list, but here are a few favorites I picked out of the masses. A great caladium choice for landscape use is Carolyn Wharton. This selection features brilliant crimson main veins, the inner region of the leaves are pink with irregular green mottling. A newer and exciting caladium is Stardust, which has a bright white central burst and white veins. A suspended swirling galaxy of pure white spots certainly light up the dark green leaves. This unusual beauty adds interest in the mass plantings all along the descending garden path. I think some of the most dramatic caladiums have solid red centers. Red Flash caladiums are impressive with their brilliant red centers, scarlet red veins and pink speckles nestled inside the green border of the foliage. Caladiums are known to thrive in the shade even during the hot Mississippi summers. But don’t sell them short as full sun plants, either. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.