A hastily scribbled (teaser) post on Penstemon and ZimSculpt

Tomorrow, we visit the VIP preview for the second annual sculpture show known as ZimSculpt at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Our weekly mailing goes out at noon on Thursdays, so I wanted to get the word out early to our subscribers. Hence the hasty scribbling*. More to come on the show soon.

A ZimSculpt statue tucked into the courtyard, backed by pale Allium, Penstemon, and roses.

Last night, my comings and goings to teach a class at the Botanical Garden gave me a peek at the entry garden – and also got me hyperventilating about beardtongue (Penstemon). The garden is brimming with it! Oh my goodness, as my friend Margaret would say.

Perhaps it’s what I want to call Bergdorf-Goodman syndrome (easier to remember than Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon). It’s when you notice something for the first time, then suddenly you see it everywhere. On our Fling trip to Denver this month, everything was coming up penstemons! They’re native to Colorado, and come in an array of colours and forms, all beloved by bees. Now, I’m seeing penstemons all over Toronto. Perhaps that’s not only because my eyes are open for it, but that it’s being used more often here.

Oh, the TBG entry garden right now! Wow. Come see it for yourself.

Seeing them massed to this extent, I have a new appreciation of Penstemon ‘Husker Red’, which formerly I found pallid and lacking in impact. Mind. Changed.

Tomorrow, I’ll have more pictures to share. Plus, more on this North American native plant in all its specific and nativar guises. Hope you’ll tune in.

*“Take this hastily scribbled note, hastily…” is a quote from the Beatles movie Help! which Sarah and I have seen at least, at least, 25 times. Mostly in our tween years. It’s a very sticky quote, at least in our impressionable minds. Our friends and family might have heard us repeat it, oh, I don’t know, a few times.

I guess that’s Beatles-Mindhop Phenomenon.


  1. Loved learning about Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, I have a feeling I am going to now notice that effect more and more!
    Looking forward to more about the Zimsculpt;the sculpture that you photgraphed is very intriguing.

  2. Bergdorff-Goodman is easier to remember than Baader-Meinhoff, and less explosive as well. Smooth Penstemon is a wonderful perennial flower.

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