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…]
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.
A NY FLOWER WOULD BE HARD-PRESSED TO COMPETE with the two most colorful ferns in the garden here, which have been showing off since the first crozier poked through the soil surface in early May and won’t stop till very late fall. No wonder I grow so many Japanese painted ferns and autumn ferns; they make shade gardening look easy, adding heavy doses of purple and silver or coral and gold, respectively, and never asking for so much as a deadheading in return. [read more…]
W HEN I AM GONE, SOME OF THE PLANTS HERE WILL PERISH, TOO; any finicky or timid ones will get swamped by their more ambitious neighbors. But not the great groundcovers, not Geranium macrorrhizum (above) or the toughest epimediums and others content to keep growing whether I pay them any mind or not, even in the hardest spots like the dry shade of trees. To knit things together without a lot of fuss, I’ve come to rely on plants like these: [read more…]
F ILL IN THE BLANK: ___________ is an evergreen ground-covering conifer that can tolerate some shade and minus-30 or colder. I guess I gave away the answer in the headline, but you get the idea: It’s an unusual set of traits. And Microbiota decussata, the so-called Siberian cypress, distinguishes itself just a little further, turning a bronzy-purplish cast in winter. [read more…]
IT WAS KEN DRUSE, the garden writer and photographer, who gave me Trachystemon orientalis years ago, after many unsubtle hints on my part. Like any plant you don’t know and haven’t seen, it seemed a treasure: something precious, a jewel, oh could I please have just the tiniest bit, Ken? Today I garden in a small sea of this borage relative (think comfrey, another cousin, if you want to know the inclinations of Trachystemon, which is also a cousin of Pulmonaria). I have to smile when I recall how we relative few who had it “back then” kept such a tight fist on our prize possession. [read more…]