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.)
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 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.
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.
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.