Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweet Kate

Sweet sweet Kate. 

A number of years ago a friend gave me a a fairly large piece of Tradescantia virginiana, one of species spiderworts. It was the usual green leaved plant with lovely deep purple flowers. It was a no nonsense plant in my garden and I looked forward to its arrival every spring. Then last summer it got lost with all the  commotion and destruction of the backyard renovation and most likely died when the bobcat (the machine) was brought in to level the ground.

It was on my list to replace until I saw its cousin Sweet Kate. I have seen Kate (Tradescantia x andersoniana "Sweet Kate") a number of times in magazines and on the web but I never thought much of her. It was the leaves. They are not green they are chartreuse. Purple with lime. I just did not think much about her.
Then a sighting at a plant sale, from a distance no less. The chartreuse was what caught my eye. Smitten.

Brought her home and hardened her off for four days (sweet tender Kate). Now she is planted in a new bed with others awaiting a permanent situation. With all the dark greens surrounding her in my shady garden Kate shines through. Transplanted without a problem. The rabbits have not tried to touch her yet. Sweet Kate welcome home.


  1. She really IS rather sweet!

    I kind of don't like chartreuse foliage, but somehow it's a must in a garden - once it's surrounded by darker leaves it springs into life and goes from being "too brash" to being a light in a mixed border. And I like the contrast of the stamens, the petals and the foliage!

    1. I feel the same way but in the past year I am slowly coming around to accepting the lime coloured leaves simply because I have so much dark and mid green around me.

  2. You might not know this as you bought it this year, but she is an orangey colour when she starts coming out of the ground in the spring, just gorgeous, love her.

  3. Thanks for your comment. I've tried Tradescantia virginiana several times, including a yellow variety, with no luck. I think it may be too dry in my garden during the summer.

  4. Sweet Kate...a beautiful name for a lovely flower. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Patty, I like the unusual combination of purple and chartreuse, but then again I am a sucker for anything chartreuse. It is my favourite shade of green.