Though I have been on the East Coast for many years now, I am originally a California native, and used to have a very blasé attitude about agapanthus and its overuse in Southern Californian landscapes. There, it is often massed with Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp.) without any thought as to contrast or design.
However, used indiscriminately, any plant can become a bore in the landscape. It took the relative absence of this gorgeous, versatile plant to turn me on to how fabulous it is when I see gardeners in my region taking time and effort to grow it and grow it well.
It’s exciting to see that in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in adding agapanthus to gardens that wouldn’t normally grow it. As a result, new and hardier cultivars are coming onto the market, allowing more gardeners to grow it without too much fuss.
It’s a perennial that requires a little thought when you grow it outside of its native range, but it stretches the gardener’s experience and knowledge, which is always a great thing.
I am currently experimenting with agapanthus clumps against the south facing side of my barn where the warm wall and rain shadow make overwintering a breeze in my Zone 7 climate. In the summer I have to remember to give it adequate water, as it needs much more in the way of moisture during the growing season.