April 26, 2011

New Perennials for the Shade Garden

During the cold and rainy month of April, we gardeners tend to go a little stir crazy waiting for a few days of sun to appear!  In central Illinois, there really haven't been a string of sunny days yet this month.  So what is a gardener to do?  Go walk the greenhouses, of course!  Nothing provides better inspiration and a lifting of the soggy spirits.

I came home Sunday with this beauty!

This is 'Anemone X  Harmony Blue'.  Isn't she gorgeous?  According to the tag, she will grove 8-10", is hardy to -30*F, is a spring/summer bloomer, and takes 4 or less hours of sun per day.  PERFECT for my shade garden!

It was cloudy and cold again Monday, so I set out for another garden center.  This time I couldn't pass up some good old fashioned Virginia Bluebells, 'Mertensia virginica'.

I was even happier to see that she hadn't even bloomed yet!  Typically these are early bloomers, and most in our area are on the downside of blooming right now. 

Bluebells are a natural in wooded, moist areas.  It is the perfect fill in plant for the first blooms of spring while everything else is just emerging and green.  The foliage of bluebells will die off mid-summer, so they are a great companion plant to hostas or around goat's beard.  When these plants are fully open, the bluebells will be dying out for the year.  That is exactly the location that mine will take....whenever it stops raining {ahem}.

What is happening in your garden right now?

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