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…]
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.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT MORE I CAN SAY in praise of hellebores. I’ve told you that I rely on them for my garden’s earliest burst of major perennial color, and that they are among my favorite evergreen groundcovers, happy even in some tough spots here and asking for little care. So rather than say that all again in more detail, how about some pure hellebore porn? After all, these Helleborus orientalis are sexy plants, which freely mate and create endless new color variations. Which you can see in this latest slideshow… [read more…]
I SPENT PART OF THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND ADMIRING the bush clover, Lespedeza thunbergii (the purple cloud in my previous post), and another chunk of time making a list of other plants I really appreciate, each in its own moment, like the species peony Paeonia mlokosewitschii (above). I hope your holiday weekend was a happy one, and that it included some gardening, some delicious harvest bounty—and that you still have energy left for a little garden planning…and maybe some room for just one or two more perennials? Twenty-one perennial plants I’d order if I didn’t already have them (a list you would have had yesterday if you subscribed to my weekly email newsletter, hint, hint): [read more…]
WE TALKED HOSTAS MONTHS AGO, in the dead of winter, when they were just twinkles in a gardener’s eye, or images pulled from color catalogs and memory. Now they’re not just up and all filled out, but blooming, too, which got me wondering again: If it were only one hosta per customer, what would yours be? I think I’m sticking with ‘June’ (above), like I said last time, and if I could have a second it would still be ‘Sagae,’ and then I need one small- or medium-sized gold one, and…sorry, I said just one, didn’t I? But seriously: Can you pick just one? Looking around, even in such a slug-filled year, I realize more than ever how I rely on the genus Hosta.
I FEEL AS IF I’M AWASH IN SEDUM AT THE MOMENT, perhaps the easiest-to-grow genus of perennials there is. Compared to being awash in rain, or being beholden to Plants That Must Be Obeyed, things could be much, much worse. And look at the colorplays, like that of S. cauticolum ‘Lidakense’ (blue) and the rose-colored blooms of S. spurium ‘Fuldaglut.’ Yum. [read more…]