The workhorses of the garden's lowest tier, groundcovers must be tough and easy-care. Whether for sun, shade or even that toughest spot, dry shade, an archive of my most reliable and beautiful ones.
SHADE IS A TRICKSTER, CAPTURING AND RELINQUISHING territory as years pass and woody plants grow—or are damaged or lost. Twenty-five years into gardening on one site, some former “shade gardens” here now bake, and even more spots that were sunny—well, you get the changeable, unpredictable picture. Thankfully, for the latter areas, I have old clumps of lower-light plants to divide, including those in this new slideshow of my top 54 shade subjects. I included some woodland-garden shrubs and trees for those seeking to manufacture some shade of their own—or wanting to add more understory structure to what nature has provided. [read more…]
I ALWAYS START TO FEEL BETTER, like we’re turning a corner, when the hybrids of Helleborus orientalis jump all the way up out of the ground and start showing off. After a couple of weeks of timid semi-bloom, with the flowers hugging close to the ground on unextended stalks as if in fear of assault by lingering winter blasts, here they finally come. More on these favorite plants, including a podcast: [read more…]
IAM THINKING OF SIMPLIFYING SOME OF MY BIGGEST GARDEN BEDS this year—spots where the shrubs have grown in and are just crying out for a simple groundcover or two at their feet. In a slideshow, then, some of the tried-and-true choices I’ve got plenty of here to choose from come spring (including Geranium macrorrhizum, above). Divide and conquer, right? [read more…]