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Archive for March, 2010

Ribbons of Color in the Shade!

Heucheras for the Shade

Heucheras for the Shade

Here’s one of my favorite groups of Shade Perennials! Heucheras (or Coral Bells) have come a long way over the past 15 years due to the dedicated breeding programs of folks like Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries.

Heuchera Southern Comfort

Heuchera Southern Comfort

These colorful shade lovers thrive with little care and provide a wonderful range of color to brighten up even the darkest shade spot in your garden. Heucheras come in an array of colors, sizes, & flowers. From the bright yellow leaves of Heuchera Lime Rickey to the intense peach of Heuchera Georgia Peach. The leaves of Heuchera Southern Comfort can reach an AMAZING 10” across, while the vivid red blooms of Heuchera Rave On create a flurry of color in the late spring garden.

Heucheras are easy to grow and thrive in most garden conditions. They love morning sun until 1pm, but will also grow in heavier shade. I usually fertilize my established Heucheras in mid April with Osmocote slow-release fertilizer (you can buy at any good garden center). I’ve found that 1 tablespoon of Osmocote scattered around each plant will feed them all spring & summer. Watering your Heucheras once a week will also help keep them happy.

Ring of Fire Patio Container

Here’s a fun container garden idea I shot while visiting a garden in Portland, Oregon.

Ring of Fire Patio Container

Ring of Fire Patio Container

This colorful combination combines sun-tolerant Heuchera Peach Flambe with the drought-proof & sun-loving Sedum Mr. Goodbud.

A dynamic duo that is both low-maintenance and colorful – what more can you ask for?

I would simply water about once per week and if you’re in a good mood you could throw in a tablespoon of Miracle-Grow plant food in a gallon of water to really get the show going! But, if you just have to take that 2-week summer vacation, this pair of plants are especially forgiving and should be fine during your trip.

Some of my favorite perennials for creating colorful mixed containers include drought-proof Sedums, brilliant Heucheras, & architectural Ornamental Grasses.

Garden Design with Shrubs & Perennials

Garden Design

Here’s a terrific landscape look & a great way to spruce up a foundation planting.  Tall Hydrangea shrubs give structure while Rudbeckia black-eyed susan, red daylilies add brilliant summer color.  There is a Miscanthus (ornamental grass) that is providing an anchor on the far end.

Notice how repeating plants in a garden design makes this design cohesive while using fewer  plants.  The foundation looks organized by repeating the flower colors.

Just the simple elements of repetition, along with contrast & color, with shrubs as a focal point are the basics  principles when it comes to  garden design.  Boy, is that getting me fired up about digging in again this year and reworking some haphhazard sections of my garden.  How about you?

Growing Hellebores – Culture & Care

Hellebores are regarded as one of the best deer-proof shade plants. A harbinger of spring with an array of colorful blooms in either single or double forms.   Watch this video for helpful tips on achieving long lasting Lenten Rose blooms in your shade garden. Click Here for more helpful information on growing Hellebores and see why this is one of our shade garden favorites!

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