A Leaf to Rival A Flower


Behold, the foliage of Caladium. In a spot softly shaded by a weeping cherry, in the space that formerly housed a Japanese umbrella pine, this plant throws its brightly-colored hearts up from the ground. This marks the first time I’ve ever grown a caladium, and I don’t know why it’s taken so long to come round to their charms. (Well I think I do: I blame the mass plantings I saw in places like Disneyworld that turned me so off of annuals and the like. No matter how pretty the object, seeing it overused en masse is nothing but a turn-off.)

Yet on its own, and properly cared for and presented, this is a plant worthy of wonder and inspection. Each leaf is different, each holds its own subtle artistic variations. As if every one was painted by a different hand. The colors are the same, the order of the palette is uniform, yet every one manages to be its own unique pattern. Nature doesn’t like to repeat herself, and I take my cues from her.

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