Amazing Garden Plants Brunnera, Heptacodium and Helianthus

Brunnera ‘Queen of Hearts’ and ‘Jack of Diamonds’ Brunnera, commonly called Siberian Bugloss, is a spectacular perennial for shade gardens. ‘Jack Frost’ is probably the best known, thanks to its being awarded the 2012 Perennial of the Year. I have trialed many cultivars over the years but the most recent ‘trialees’ left me gasping! ‘Queen…

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CONFOUNDING CLEMATIS

Clematis, sometimes referred to as the Queen of Vines, offer astonishing color in the landscape. There are over 300 remarkable species. Flowers can be single, multi-petal or bell-shaped. And range in color from red, pink, purple, lavender, blue, white, yellow and multi-color. Most gardeners are familiar with Clematis grown as vines but there are also…

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BLUE-TIFUL FLOWERS

Blue is a very calming and serene color. It is also considered a healing color that helps lower blood pressure and can reduce rapid heart rate. It is not surprising that shades of blue and blue-green are frequently used in healthcare settings. (Photo Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’, courtesy of The Intercontinental Gardener) Many gardeners, including me,…

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ASTILBES FOR SUN AND SHADE

Astilbes are rockstars that should be invited to perform in your garden! How can you not love their lush flower plumes that range in color from white, cream, pink, red, purple, peach, and lilac? Flower heights vary greatly, from 6” to 4’. Astilbes are deer resistant, flower in sun or shade, and are ignored by…

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Annuals that shine in shady spots

Finding striking, no-fuss annuals for shady gardens and containers can be challenging, especially if you are seeking something other than common impatiens (Impatiens walleriana). Since most of my gardens are in part shade or shade, I’m always on the lookout for striking annuals to extend the floral display through fall. A few of my favorite…

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SASSY SPRING BLOOMING PHLOX

After a long cold winter, gardeners are starved for color in the garden. Spring blooming Phlox is one of the first perennials to greet us with colorful flowers. When I mention spring blooming Phlox, most people think of Phlox subulata, commonly called Creeping Phlox. But there are other fantastic Phlox that are just as effective…

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Salix candida ‘Iceberg Alley’

Salix candida ‘Iceberg Alley’ This striking native shrub, commonly called Sageleaf Willow, has powdery, silver leaves that make it a wonderful companion plant. Silver partners so well with many colors! Can’t you just picture this ‘silver fox’ alongside threadleaf Sambucus ‘Black Lace’, or underplanted with Heuchera ‘Black Pearl’ or Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon p. ‘Nigrescens’)?…

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Uncommon Reseeding Annuals

A recent gardening article reminded me of two enchanting reseeding annuals that I’ve admired in friend’s gardens and INTENDED to add to mine. I was fascinated when I first saw Snow-on-the-Mountain (Euphorbia marginata, Pictured above. Photo compliments of Select Seeds) at my friend, Gail’s garden in Albany, NY. The soft green leaves surrounded by wide…

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A Gem Called Gaultheria

Gaultheria procumbens, commonly known as Wintergreen or Eastern Tea, was a fast seller at Estabrook’s – and I’m talking about a December sellout! This North American Northeastern native has lovely evergreen foliage, sweet nodding, waxy white flowers in spring, and rich red fall berries that persist through winter (unless they are devoured by pheasant, grouse…

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Ironweed is a Fabulous Pollinator Perennial

Vernonia.  Commonly called Ironweed, this genus includes about 1,000 species of perennials, shrubs and trees native to North America. The plant supposedly gets its common name from the fact that it has tough, erect stems and rusty looking seed clusters as flowers age. Most species can tolerate clay soil. In this feature I will zoom…

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