soldier on, yucca ‘color guard’
IAM NOT SURE IF YUCCA ‘COLOR GUARD’ EVER HAS A BAD DAY, hair or otherwise. This flashy, white-whiskered creature is regarded as among the best in a genus of plants that I didn’t even like, or grow, until this variety came along. Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ is a must when a never-say-stop attitude and a lot of color-power is called for—much appreciated right about now, with the garden going largely toned-down.
‘Color Guard’ was brought back from Japan by a man who knows a thing or two about foliage plants, hosta breeder Paul Aden of Long Island (who introduced ‘Sum and Substance,’ for instance, and so many other standouts). Despite the very different swordlike shape, its creamy-yellow-centered leaves are not unlike those of the most dramatically variegated hostas, but the yucca is a creature of sunnier spots.
This is a perennial-like shrub for every day, and for gardens in most every zone, or at least Zones 5-10, growing in clumping fashion to 2 to 3 feet across and high. That is, except in spring, when 6-foot-tall stalks erupt with fragrant white bell-shaped flowers.
Mine (still in its nursery container) has been showing off despite being “temporarily” plunged into a large pot on my terrace since May. It will soon get plunged again, plastic pot and all, this time into the empty vegetable garden to overwinter, before maybe finding a permanent home next spring. Or then again, maybe not.
The reason I don’t normally like yuccas is because they’ve been so badly used in gas stations and other hell spots. Perhaps my eye prefers the yucca just the way I used it this year, and it will become a tradition here, not unlike my potted hostas. If only the pot were a 365-day type…