First, the ‘Sensation’ lilac went mad, with some of its blooms going the palest of pinkish-whites (top). You’d think after 70 years or thereabouts as a named cultivar it would know what it was supposed to look like, but no. Then I saw a choice hosta called ‘Touch of Class’ go ’round the bend in a pot out back, sending up half of its foliage in blue, not blue with gold (below). ‘Touch of Class,’ which comes from the exceptional cultivar called ‘June,’ is even more vivid…well, at least it is when it cooperates and stays stable.
My variegated kerria, Kerria japonica ‘Picta,’ reverts every year (above), bless its little heart, making sure I get to undertake the tedious work of teasing out every bit that wants to misbehave and sprout larger, all-green leaves when I want tiny, green-and-white ones. We’ve been together about a dozen years, so by now it’s just a standard part of the to-do list
And then there’s the pot of little-leaf ivy I just had to have at the Trade Secrets charity sale the other day (below), to use in large containers as an over-the-edge thing this year. (Does the gardener get to go over the edge, by the way, or just the plants?) Not only did it contain an all-green branch, but the leaves on the reverted piece were full-size, not diminutive at all the way I want them. His/her double-bad.
The cure, of course: Cut off the undesirable parts whenever they occur back to where the desired characteristic shows itself, which is often all the way to ground. In the case of the hosta, I’ll unpot it and clean off the roots to see what I really have on my hands, whether one variegated and one blue shoot or an actual half-and-half plantlet in the clump. Or plant them all together and tell visitors it’s the latest thing: a Reversion Garden.