Some of the best plants we grow have been given to us by friends.

They come to us imbued with friendship. We watch them and think kind thoughts about the person as we see their gift progress.

So 10 days or so ago when I photographed this Libertia I was thinking kind, but intrigued thoughts.

When she last visited the garden in the depths of winter  neither of us could think what the species was.

My excuse was that I have grown perhaps half a dozen different kinds of Libertias in my time and since it was a division and hadn’t yet flowered it wasn’t rooted in my mind. I am not sure what her  excuse was!

This year it flowered. So last week I burrowed around at the back of the plant and found the label.

It is Libertia procera

 1.5 metres at flowering height and evergreen, it is basically a meatier version of formosa. It wants well drained soil, sun or part shade.  

This last point is very useful. I have placed it towards the outer edge of the canopy of an Indian Bean Tree. It therefore gets some sun in the summer and lots of sun in the winter and spring. The Indian Bean is slow to leaf, but when it does so the shade is quite heavy since its leaves are so big.

The Libertia seems happy enough! 

And so am I.

I have found a couple of local suppliers and have already earmarked if for use for a client’s garden in Bath. They love to dine outside in the evenings and since white flowers show up well at night, this is right up their street. This also gives a clue as to how we should plant it.  Here I have borrowed the dark background of my neighbour’s boundary. In Bath I will place a drift of say seven in front of a Portuguese Laurel. It will show up to perfection, day or night.

And my plant is earmarked for division next spring.