Accent plants and kusamono bonsai, that is. Given their size, some of these below are designed to be shown on their own, as the central figure of a display. In Japan, kusamono bonsai is the primary bonsai display material during the summer, while the trees are left to get on with the business of growing.
Starting it off with a little drama; Hosta 'Fire & Ice', about 8 in / 20 cm in height (excluding the flower spike). Always a joy to see a hosta that has managed to remain slug-free, whatever the time of the year:
An arrangement for drier conditions: Raoulia and Saxifraga stolonifera planted (with great patience) into aquarium rock. Planting about 4 in / 10 cm in height:
I believe this one here is Thalictrum kiusianum, whose origins are the mountains of Japan. Unlike its taller cousins, this variety is a little tuft about 3 in / 18 cm high (excluding the flower spikes):
This is an Erodium with an unidentified variegated plant (that eventually goes woody) in a striking Ian Baillie pot. Diameter of pot is about 6 in / 15 cm:
A study in greens and browns, this smaller kusamono has two types of grass (one a Japanese Acorus that has more to do with diva than herbaceous) and Viola hederacea. Pot is about 3 in / 8 cm across:
For some reason, this year, Robert's Sempervivum (normally tiny) accent plant came out with the longest flower spike ever:
Standing a little over 1 ft / 30 cm high from the ground, the rootball of this Japanese painted fern kusamono lifts itself about 5 in / 12.5 cm out of its pot:
One of Robert's miniature Hostas, in a small (2 in / 5 cm diameter) Walsall pot, perched rather creatively on a flint rock:
Rather a large planting, this kusamono is Hakonechloa grass and Astilbe just coming out in flower. The actual base of the planting is only about 10 in / 26 cm across, but with the astilbe in full leaf, the whole kusamono overflows a tray which is about 15 in / 38 cm in diameter. From base of the tray to tip of the tallest flower spike is nearly 18 in / 46 cm:
All the above were on exhibit at our club show at Humbees of Marwell, courtesy of various members of the society.