Friday, January 24, 2014

The Perennial Class of 2014



This is Part 2 of my annual "These are all the new plants I added to the garden. I really hope I don't kill them" post. These were all added last fall, except as noted. I've also linked them to the nurseries where I purchased them. If they aren't linked, I bought them locally. (Because only a few of these have bloomed, all of the photos are from Google Images.)

Perennials

Shade

Last fall I redesigned the largest section of my shade garden, as well as several other shady spots. Because most of my shade is dry shade, this was a challenge. An enormous amount of planning went into the redesign, even in the smaller beds I haven't posted about it. If everything dies, that's it. I quit. I'm going to bed.

Anemone hybrid 'Max Vogel' and 'Serenade'


Despite my constant battles with anemone canadensis, I am a sucker for the hybrid Japanese anemones. Located in a spot moist enough to keep them happy but too dry to allow them to take over, I look forward to their beautiful flowers all summer. I added 'Max Vogel' to a patch of white 'Honorine Jobert'. Both can grow to almost 3 ft tall in partial shade. 'Serenade' is much shorter and less aggressive.


Native Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)


I'm convinced there's always room for more columbine. The one downside to having a lot of dry shade is the limited options of pollinator-attracting plants. However, native red columbine is a tough beauty that attracts hummingbirds as well as pollinators. This spring bloomer grows to about two feet tall.

Campanula lactiflora 'Lodden Anna'


I've had my eye on this plant for a while but had only found it at one nursery that always seemed to be sold out. In my determination to create a garden that reflects the marriage of an English cottage garden with the American prairie, I added this campanula to a bright partially shady spot near my phlox and coneflowers. It can grow to 4 feet tall and attracts pollinators. I added a bit of lime to my acidic soil to help it feel at home. I hope it works.

Euphorbia corollata 'Carolina Snow'


According to the Plant Delights Nursery website, euphorbia corollata grows along the side of the road as a weed and is almost impossible to kill. This cultivar is a shorter version of the native with more flowers and thrives in bone dry shade. But when my plants arrived they were really tiny and a few immediately died. PDN refunded me for the plants that died but I'm not convinced any of the others will survive till spring. I should have just bought the straight native species from Niche Gardens, instead. Their plants are cheaper and bigger. Lesson learned!

Geranium pratense 'Laura'


I was so happy to finally find a spot for this geranium. It has double white flowers and a growth habit similar to 'Rozanne'. Like many perennial geraniums, in thrives in afternoon shade and blooms all summer.

Hellebores  'Red Lady' 'Blue Lady'


Have you noticed how absurdly expensive hellebore are? I bought these old standby's because they were the cheapest hellebores at the nursery and also the most dry shade tolerant. Even though I may have to lay in the garden to see the flowers, I couldn't justify $30 for a single plant.

Iris tectorum


Iris tectorum are also known as Japanese roof iris. I'd never given them much thought until Amy at Missing Henry Mitchell raved about what fabulous problem solvers they were for dry shade. A dry shade problem solver? Sign me up! After trying to convince myself that one of my shady spots was actually sunny, I finally conceded defeat, moved most of the plants to a sunnier spot, and add these iris. They bloom in the spring and are about a foot tall.

Pulmonaria 'Dark Vader'


I love the name of this plant. May the force be with them! I added 'Moonshine' pulmonaria to the garden last spring and they thrived. Following the garden adage of "If something grows well, plant more of it",  I added 'Dark Vader', too. Unlike many pulmonaria, these are more tolerant of hot, humid climates and less likely to develop mildew.

Salvia 'Koyame'


I heard about this salvia a few years ago and thought it both odd and wonderous that a salvia had been discovered that would thrive in dryish partial shade. With big heart shaped leaves and soft yellow flowers, it can be used as a ground cover or mixed with other perennials. It grows to about 18 inches tall.

Sun

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'


Last summer I drooled over croscosmia on every blog where it was featured. I'd never seen croscosmia until I moved to South Carolina 17 years ago and have always wanted to grow it. I once threw a few bulbs into the garden but nothing happened. When I saw these on the clearance table, I had to have them. Growing to almost 3 feet tall, they are powerful hummingbird magnets. I added my clump to my container garden so I can see the hummers up close.

Daylilies 'Prairie Blue Eyes' and 'Purplelicous'


I have a bit of buyers remorse about the 'Purplelicious' daylily. I bought it off the sale table after reading the tag advertising 'deep purple flowers'. To be honest, the flower is actually a bit creepy. I'll give it a summer but it may get the axe. 'Prairie Blue Eyes', however, looks like a keeper.

Lonicera japonica 'Mint Crisp'



While I know there are many gardeners who are convinced I'm going to burn in horticultural hell for planting a Japanese honeysuckle, I just don't care. Ten years of sinus infections caused by an allergy to common chemicals have robbed me of some of my sense of smell and I love the strong fragrance they offer. I can remove the berries when I prune it in the fall.

Monarda 'Petite Delight'


These are the only plants on the list that aren't in the garden yet. They're arriving this spring from Streambank Gardens, a small family run nursery in Delaware that grows its plants 100% organically. This dwarf monarda is headed for my rain garden. Monarda are hummingbird and pollinator magnets.

Sedums 'Plum Perfection' and 'Little Hennie'


I added these last spring so technically they are Class of 2013. But I'm not sure if they'll survive, so I'm including them with my freshman class.  'Little Hennie' is a ground cover sedum living in soil heavily amended with pea gravel next to a big rock at the tip of my rain garden. The rain garden has been redesigned so the water flows away from that spot so 'Little Hennie' receives moist, well draining soil. 'Plum Perfection' was nearly suffocated by an overzealous zinnia and has been relocated to a pot to give it the sharp drainage it needs. It forms clumps of purple foliage that love dry soil, making them an easy container plant.

Variegated catmint (calamintha grandiflora 'Variegata')


This is another plant I drooled over last summer. Ignoring the fact that I almost killed this several years ago by giving it moist shade, I was determined to try again. After seeing it thrive in a friends garden that embraces the Darwinian principles of 'survival of the fittest', I decided to plant it like a celebrity starlet - hot and overexposed.

Wallflower 'Fragrant Star'


If this plant even survives winter, I'll be shocked. It's currently growing in a pot and if it had access to anything sharp and pointy, I'd be toast. After killing its purple flowered cousin 'Wenlock Beauty' superdead last summer, I rescued 'Fragrant Star' off the clearance table last fall. If it had known how cold our winter would be, it would have resisted and asked for a quick death instead. I love the idea of having this 2 ft tall fragrant plant right next to my backdoor.So far, it's frozen but still alive.

76 comments:

  1. Wild columbine is destined for the dryest part of my moist property in a forest clearing. All depends on how far the columbine is willing to stretch its dry to average preference. I'm backing it up with croscosmia because if I'm going to fail I might as well go big.

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    1. Too funny! Maybe a more moisture loving plant would be better a choice for you unless you can figure out a way to keep the soil drier. I'd love to have your moisture! During summer droughts my dry shade turns into the Sahara.

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  2. You show me the beauty that I have never seen here. Thank for sharing. I hope some day I can plant it.

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    1. Our climates are so different it's fun to see what gardeners on the other side of the planet are growing! Have a great week. :o)

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  3. Gosh is that Columbine gorgeous friend...like pure fire!!!! And those hellebores are so rich in color...you have made not only awesome plant selections but the colors that you picked are out of this world! Such pure saturation in almost all of those! I can't wait to see them all in action and will have to take some notes from you for my shady spot once the crazy honeysuckle is removed. Here is to a lovely weekend and plant dreaming! Nicole xo

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    1. I do like deep colors. :o) I'm really looking forward to that columbine. I hope it blooms the first year. Plant dreaming, for sure!

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  4. Oh my is it the mark of a desperate gardener that each new plant I read about was mentally placed in my garden. And that I am so wanting to try Annemone Canadensis just to see if it will actually take over...oh please have your way with my garden.

    Nothing takes over here, there is no undergrowth...the climate is too...well lovely sunshine, and cold winters.

    But I want some undergrowth for the quail, and other then the Mahonia which takes decades to grow, and only flourishes directly underneath the fir trees there is little.

    Yes whiny gardener time...maybe bleeding hearts...not mine, the plants that is.

    JEn

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    1. I bet the native columbine would do well for you. Look to see what thrives in the woodlands and fields around you and see if you can find something similar to try in your tough spots. Your problem solvers are out there. You just haven't met them yet, perhaps. :o)

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  5. Hi Tammy, I love this post! Your enthusiasm for plants truly comes across and is quite contagious. I really admire that you are willing to experiment with plants that catch your interest, that is, of course, how any gardener should act ;-). Again, I also look for dry shade plants for my own garden and maybe I got some ideas here from you, even though we live in a very different climate. I adore anemones and the varieties you picked are really pretty. I promised myself that I will try to grow anemones in my own garden, even though they are not very likely to make it, but then at least I know. I am wanting forever to grow a white hardy geranium in my garden and your Geranium pratense 'Laura' looks fantastic. If the growth habit is like the one of geranium 'Rozanne' and it blooms all summer long even better. The campanula lactiflora 'Lodden Anna' is also very charming, I just can't resist any white flowering plants at the moment. Thanks for making me acquainted with a bunch of new-to-me wonderful plants. Wishing you a nice weekend!
    Christina

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    1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained is my motto. :o) I've ignored plants in the past for a variety of absurd reasons only to discover it was the garden problem solver I was looking for all along. Be brave!

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  6. Oh, fantastic Tammy! As I garden in the middle of a wood most of what I have is dry shade, so I'll be following your progress with great interest. The aquilegia is a stunner, I must find a supplier over here. And the campanula, iris...

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    1. Every time I start to feel a bit smug about my garden, my dry shady areas bend me over and kick my ass. I'm hoping the redesign and new plants are keepers. I will absolutely blog about it, even if I have to crawl under my desk from embarrassment once I'm done. :o)

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  7. Yum yum! gorgeous plants . Like you, Tammy, I wonder what makes Hellebores so ridiculously expensive. I can't bring myself to buy any of the newer 'upward looking' ones, and just transplant self seeders from my existing (boring) unnamed plants. They don't do much for me, but I have a friend who devotes a lot of her garden to them. Now the Geranium 'Laura' I would kill for and wouldn't care how much it cost ! Like wise the Irises, which I shall follow with great interest. Anything as lovely as that in dry shade has to be worth a try!!

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    1. I'd never heard of or seen the 'Laura' geraniums until I saw them on the nursery website. But when you Google them, most of the references are English so you might be able to find them. I'm really excited to see those double white flowers. I don't have anything like that in the garden.

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  8. You actually added quite a lot into this area. Hope everything ends up working out for you there. I do like both of those Daylilies though. :)
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I think I just need to see the Purplelicious one in person. Lighting can make any flower look different than it really is. I like how bold and flouncy it is.

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  9. Tammy I hope they all survive and work out well for you. They're very pretty and I can't wait to see them all flowering happily in your garden.
    Don't get me started on my love for crocosmia....love it...love it.....love it.

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    1. I was so happy to see that big pot stuffed with crocosmia on the sale table. It was dirt cheap, which is my favorite way to buy plants. :) Hopefully, it will spice up a boring spot.

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  10. I always enjoy reading about your garden because you are first a good writer. Perfect grammar, interesting sentence structure. You offer a professional discussion spiced up with your sense of humor. And then your knowledge and variety of plants. A great read.

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    1. Thank you!! That means so much! I really love to write and always wanted to be a writer, just not a novelist. Blogging gives me the outlet I need without having to deal with editors, deadlines, etc. I like the self-paced aspect of it. Some of my posts are written quickly but many reflect several days worth of rewrites. Sometimes I just jot down ideas and wait for inspiration to strike. But it doesn't always strike. Sometimes it just taps and I have to open to what it's saying. :o)

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  11. What a wide selection of plants! Sounds like you really had fun purchasing them! I think you will love the native columbine. It grows in my garden on pure neglect and does beautifully. I am looking forward to reading how they all do this summer.

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    1. 'It grows on pure neglect' is music to my ears! I like plants that can take care of themselves.

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  12. Beautiful selections and I enjoy your sharing your experiences. I'll check out Niche Gardens this spring for new plants as the losses are mounting out in my garden too.

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    1. Niche is a wonderful nursery! Their website is a bit dated but they have excellent plants at affordable prices. They sell a lot of natives.

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  13. I hope you'll provide updates on how these plants do. I'm especially interested in the Iris tectorum as, like you, I appreciate anything that can manage in dry shade. My western garden guide doesn't mention this species but that's not enough to entirely put me off.

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    1. They're hardy to zone 9 so they just might work! If you contact the folks at Woodlanders where I bought them, they'll give you an honest answer as to their suitability to soCal. I've been to Woodlanders before. Great plants and great people. :o)

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  14. I am putting as many of those native columbine in my new shade bed as I can find! I have a bunch in the back, but those smallish red ones knock me out! Also, I love the white campanula... Great photos and article Tammy--thanks! By the way, my crocosmia have naturalized to a point that they are running amok, just something to consider. I sometimes lay in the hammock (the one like yours!) and watch them do aerial displays over the bright red crocosmia. For such little creatures, they sure can put up a fight for "their" flower bed!

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    1. My crocosmia are in a pot so I think I'm safe from a take over. :o) I love watching hummers guard their favorite plants. Such feisty little creatures! I didn't take a single photo. They're all from Google Images since none of these have flowered for me yet. I always use my own photos but this time I didn't have any of my own to use.

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  15. OMG, I love that Purplicious daylily! Does the flower actually look like that picture? If you ever dig it up, ship it to me! That yellow Salvia is great too, I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I'm adding a couple of Crocosmias to my new front garden too. Love your new additions to the garden, I hope they all thrive for you.

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    1. Thanks! The daylilies haven't bloomed yet so I have no idea if that's exactly what they'll look like. I bought them because they were cheap and purple.

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  16. It's so interesting to see what you have chosen. 'Lodden Anna' is one of my favourite campanulas, such a lovely colour. She hasn't clumped up for me but at least she is holding her own, unlike 'Chettle Charm' which I adore and have bought any number of times with no successful outcome - it seems to think it's an annual. Honorine is also rather a week performer in my garden, although not the more common pink. I'm going to be on the look-out for Max Vogel because his petals look delightful. Pulmonaria and crocosmia behave like thugs with me, especially the latter and my day lilies are also very vigorous, although they are not the good colours that you show. I'll avoid 'creepy' and look for ol' Blue Eyes!
    I'll be watching this space to learn about survival rates!

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    1. England seems to have the perfect climate for so many plants. Campanula does well for me, but I've never grown the tall varieties before so I hope they do well, too. Honorine wants moist but well drained soil, which keeps her in check. Lodden Anna is hard to find here. I'm really looking forward to seeing it grow and hopefully, thrive. :o)

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  17. Beautiful geranium! Can't wait to see how everything performs in your garden in 2014 :)

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  18. Some real classics here, anemones and hellebores and other beauties. Two of them you will torment me with when they grow for you since they don't for me: Lucifer crocosmia is absolutely gorgeous but I'm too far north for it to come back reliably (although my neighbor has a big stand of it, go figure.) And Monarda Petite Delight just won't form a stand or spread. It's there, and it's a tidy little bee balm with vivid pink blooms, but it melts away for me, and I have less each season. I hope yours will be stunners. Love, love, love that white geranium, that's new to me.

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    1. I thought monarda would have done well for you. Maybe your neighbor has a toasty little microclimate to keep his crocosmia happy. Mine are in a pot but with such a cold winter, they may not come back, either. I've never seen Laura geranium here, only at Lazy S. I can hardly wait to see it grow!

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  19. Some beautiful flowers here, Tammy. I love the fiery aquilegia and the campanula. It's on my list to plant more anemones, too. I envy you the hummingbirds. Such gorgeous little creatures - but none here, sadly.

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    1. I've never seen that tall campanula in any gardens here, only in pictures of English gardens. I think those aquilegia would grow well for you, too. It is odd that you don't have any hummingbirds. Maybe your climate is just too cool and wet. They love warm temps.

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  20. What a nice selection of flowers! I especially like the white geranium, and if it is similar in growth to 'Rozanne', that is definitely a plus. Rozanne is one of my most reliable plants. Good luck with your newcomers, and I'll be looking forward to updates!

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    1. There will be a tell-all post next January. :o) Hopefully, it will be full of good news.

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  21. great.selection.useful.for.me.as.I.have.a.new.shady.border.to.fill

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    1. Then many of these should work well for you, too. :o)

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  22. Beware purple daylilies, is my motto. I have never seen one that didn't disappoint me in the end. And I hear you on PDN. Maybe it's because most of the plants I buy from them are the crazy ones that push zone or climate boundaries (i.e., they are dicey in the first place), but I have lost more than my share of PDN purchases. Of course, I keep going back for more.

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    1. I was truly shocked at how teensy the plants were. They looked like barely-rooted cuttings. I think I'm done with them. They're just too overpriced and their shipping seems to be higher than everyone else. The plants from Niche are always huge. Le sigh...

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  23. Add my yay to Laura geranium. As for wild columbine you can never have enough, and if you do you can give some away to very happy people.

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    1. I love having enough plants to give away. :o) As for the geranium, I'm really looking forward to seeing those white flowers pop in the shade. :o)

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  24. I'll be you'll have many, many pollinators on that calamintha! Jealous! I don't have a good spot for it--otherwise I'd plant it, too. All the plants are fantastic, and I'll look forward to hearing how they're doing next spring and summer! (I love the Crocosmia, too! Wouldn't it look great with Purple Salvias, and Hot Zinnias and Lantanas?

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    1. Do you have a pot you can stick the calamintha in? I've heard it does well in containers, too. I agree with you on the crocosmia. It's in my container garden next to pots I'm saving for bright zinnias and an orange cosmos. :o)

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  25. Good luck with all of these Tammy. Your cultivar of Iris tectorum is really special. I have a white and a blue one, but the blue is rather washed out and just does not compare to yours. I hope what is left of the euphorbia survive. It is beautiful. It does not seem to look like most euphorbia.

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    1. The iris are new to me, too, so I have high hopes for them. The euphorbia has flowers that look like baby's breath, which I thought would be a great addition to the dry shade garden along the back spine of my garden. If they don't come back, I'll shop with Niche, whose plants are tried and true. A plant that survives along the side of the road should be able to survive in my garden, too.

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  26. You have several lovely plants here that I shall look out for. That lovely Anemone Max Vogel and the Geranium Laura sound gorgeous. I can never resist any sort of Iris. I have seen this one growing on roofs in Normandy, I love it. A good idea for dry shade.

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    1. I just love the idea of having a plant growing on my roof. The iris are in a spot with great drainage, so I hope I've placed them correctly. I can hardly wait to see the geraniums!

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  27. You do have some absolute beauties there for sure!!! I do hope they grow, I'd hate for you to have to take to your bed!!! I just love Japanese anemones, and all things anemones, my anemone buds have now thrown their leaves out, I can't wait for them to bloom.xxx

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    1. Your anemones have buds!? My garden is a frozen brown blob of blah. If I do take to my bed, it shall just be overnight and then I'll be so irritated that my plants died, I'll have to get up and find a new solution. :o)

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  28. I've never seen a euphorbia look like that, very interesting. I'm learning quite a bit looking through this list. Many plants here I've never heard of. but the welcome mat is my favourite of all :)

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    1. My grandmother had a welcome mat that said Go Away! It was so funny. The columbine would definitely do well for you.

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  29. I don't have much shade, but love reading about and visiting shade gardens. Yours is a beauty. I did not realize one could achieve so much color!

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    1. Thanks! It's a challenge to add color to a shade garden, but it can be done. My shade is light, which makes it easier.

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  30. A lot of my garden is dry shade, so I read this post with interest. I assumed croscosmia needed full sun, but not so. I would love to find a few rays of sun in my woodland garden for it. I think those bright red blooms would be just the thing to light up a path. I also need to plant iris tectorium. I have tried anemones with little success. But you hinted at their invasiveness. Surely there is one out there for me!

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    1. Check out the Serenade anemones. Their name is linked above. They are reported to be very well behaved. When I ordered the iris from Woodlanders, they came really quickly and were well priced. The crocosmia would be incredible in your shade garden!

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  31. What a lovely post of gorgeous, cheerful flowers!

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  32. Interesting selections. Any buyers remorse? There are so many plant choices these days, aren't there? I am certainly gravitating towards Kansas natives or plants that are cousins. It is important to enjoy the journey, Loved your previous post, eve though it was about a mans thought process (guilty as charged). -the shrubmaster, greggo.

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    1. I'm really happy with all of the selections. Most were put in last fall so I won't know for sure if my opinion has changed until next summer. I think I just need to see the Purplelicious daylily in person. If you ever met the Shrubmaster, you would get along great. He's a wonderful guy. :o)

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  33. So many interesting plant choices!! Good luck!

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  34. I am having a problem with a dry shade area, so I was quite interested in this post. Anemone has been on my wish list - I need to remember to actually purchase one! And the euphorbia is supposed to grow like a weed? I thought "sign me up" until you described your experience in some of them dying! And I've seen that iris for sale, but an iris that grows in the shade? Seemed like false advertising to me. Good to know it's actually true! And a daylily that's creepy? Makes me glad I didn't hit 'buy' when I had one in my cart last night! ;) As for the honeysuckle - they grow wild here, and they are taking over and killing everything in their path. But I don't care (for now). They smell heavenly! I know I should try to control them, but they just smell too good to kill!

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    1. I only think the euphorbia died because Plant Delights Nursery sent such tiny seedlings. Niche Gardens in NC sells the native cultivar for a much cheaper price. Plus, their plants are always big and well developed. Once I've seen the Purplelicious daylily in person, I might change my mind.

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  35. I am always on the watch for plants for dry shade. I like the Geranium pratense 'Laura'. Geraniums do so well for me and I don't have this one. Salvia 'Koyame' is also really pretty. My Variegated catmint (calamintha grandiflora 'Variegata') did well in its first year and then just sat there in year 2 not doing much at all. I wonder if I have the location wrong?

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    1. According to my friend Katie, who is the calamintha queen, they need good drainage and tough love. The variegated one can take bright shade, too. I'm curious to see how mine do this summer.

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  36. Tammy, your garden will be beautiful this year! I love anemone and crocosmia and bought their tubers but I will need to dig them out in fall because they don't winter in soil here. You're lucky to grow these flowers all the year round.

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    1. Mine are all dormant right now. We've had an unusually cold winter so I hope the crocosmia comes back. Perennial anemones are tough. They always return for me.

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  37. I too am a sucker for purple daylilies. I've grown Prairie Blue Eyes for several years near a maple tree. It has thrived although the colors aren't as deep as in the photo, probably because it gets some shade. Also have had good luck with Wayside King Royale. Lots of good suggestions here. Will have to check them out as I'm sure a lot of the stuff I planted last fall won't make it through this very cold and snowy winter.

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    1. I'll definitely have to check out King Royale. Thanks for the tip! I'm always surprised by how well plants survive a rotten winter as long as they're mulched.

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  38. Since you live in Northern VA, I would say that go to Monticello to buy hellebores from there -- lots of varieties and super cheap -- about $5 for a foot or more taller plant. At least that was the case when I went there in November. You have such lovely and nice, unknown plants. I can never compete with you :-P.

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    1. Monticello is about 2 hours away from me but the next time I'm there I'll check to see if they have a plant sale. I would love some $5 hellebores!

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