Without a shadow of doubt, the most beguiling plant in my garden in May is Libertia ixioides.
The version I have grown for several years, in both my new and my old garden, came from the Great Dixter nursery. The original – which I decided to leave behind when I moved here – was described on its label as ‘Helen Dillon’s variety’.
When I went to Dixter for a replacement the great Helen Dillon’s name was absent from the label, and I have to admit that the new plant – now well established in my tiny gravel garden – is perhaps marginally less refined than my original. But how can I describe this lovely trouble free, spiky, evergreen?
When in flower, the Persil-white flowers on dusky stems look like clouds of tiny white moths hovering over the foliage. It is now in sumptuous bud – I will photograph it as soon as it does its stuff. Watch this space.
PS Trivia fans might want to know – Libertia (pronounced lee-bert-ee-a) comes from New Zealand, and is named after a 19th century Belgian botanist, Marie L. Libert. So now you know.