My lady friend asked, “What kind of flowers are those?” as we parked the landscaping truck at a client’s house. I looked up, saw the hanging bells and nearly jumped out of the driver’s seat. They were Brugmansia.
And there were three varieties! And three varieties of Datura! And an Iochroma (which I’d only seen in conservatories until yesterday)!
"Who is this person?" I asked out loud while positioning myself under the pendulous flowers. "Who is growing these plants, in all these varieties, in Milwaukee?"
I didn’t quite find out, although I did meet the gardener’s daughter. I had written out a note praising the gardener’s skill and taste in nightshades when I saw a young woman walking down the driveway. I handed her the note and asked about overwintering. she told me about broken pieces of the Brugs that were repotted and then went on to produce different color blooms. She also mentioned being in Peru and seeing types that were 15 feet tall.
Anyway, it was a marvelous discovery. Maybe I’ll find out more about the woman’s methods later.