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Archive for December, 2010

Shade Spring Fling Trio

Brunnera Jack Frost, Heuchera Georgia Peach, Heuchera Frosted Violet

Spring Trio of Color

As 2010 winds to a close, we look forward to spring and hope it is right around the corner! My, how time flies when we’re having fun!

You can easily brighten a shady corner of your garden with this trio of colorful shade perennials. You’ve got the brilliant strawberry-peach foliage of Heuchera Georgia Peach combining with the silvery-veined foliage of Brunnera Jack Frost. We used Heuchera Frosted Violet to pull everything together. Early spring brings the added bonus of bright sky-blue flowers sitting atop Brunnera Jack Frost.

The beauty of this colorful Shade Garden Collection is that it remains stunning for over 8 months in the shade garden or patio planter.

Heuchera Georgia Peach from Great Garden Plants

Heuchera Georgia Peach in Summer

This image shows Heuchera Georgia Peach in all its summer-time glory. Of all the new Heucheras hitting the market & confusing gardeners, I strongly feel that Georgia Peach has risen to the top & is a phenominally strong grower in the garden.

Her leaves are a stunning strawberry coloration ALL season long, giving over 6 MONTHS of continual color.

Brunnera Jack Frost from Great Garden Plants

Brunnera Jack Frost with Summer foliage

Here’s a picture of Brunnera Jack Frost with its bright summer foliage of silver and green-veined leaves. The foliage remains brilliant all spring, summer, & fall!

Even the deer won’t touch this rugged shade plant!

The Hellebores are coming into bloom!

Helleborus Grape Galaxy from Great Garden Plants

Helleborus Grape Galaxy

It’s getting to be one of my favorite times of the year as all of my Stock Plant Hellebores begin to come into bloom! These ultra-easy and extremely hardy Shade Plants make superb, long-lived perennials in the garden. Their foliage is semi-evergreen in the North and totally evergreen in the South.

Plus, they are 100% DEER PROOF! I’ve grown Hellebores for over 15 years and have had deer prance thru my garden chewing everything in site, BUT they have never touched a single Hellebore. This might be because their leaves are slightly toxic.

My Hellebores are all in greenhouses in Western Michigan and are beginning their flower show much earlier than plants outdoors. In most parts of the country, they’ll begin their flower show in late winter and continue for over 8 weeks.

Hellebores, with their dark green foliage, make superb companions to shade-loving plants like Heucheras, Hostas, Hardy Ferns, & Hydrangeas.

If you’ve never grown Hellebores, now is the perfect time to start! We’ve got over 13 colorful selections for you to choose from on our website at !

Happy New Year to All!

Christmas Eve and Oranges & Lemons

Oranges and Lemons Gaillardia

Oranges and Lemons & Christmas Eve

A December email I received from Dianne S. in California is a nice reminder that Christmas plants go beyond the traditional Poinsettias, particularly if you live in California.  Dianne writes:  We planted Gaillardia Oranges & Lemons last spring and ignored it.  We’ve just had a very unusual rainy spell.  Many of the plants that do bloom this time of year have suffered and have a few blooms, but are a bit bedraggled.  It is Christmas Eve and the Oranges and Lemons Gaillardia is the brightest spot in the yard.  It has grown quite large and is just full of large brightly colored blooms.  (It hasn’t stopped blooming since we planted it in the spring).  You might not think of it as a Christmas plant, but it is helping my Christmas spirit.

Thank you Dianne for a terrific tribute to a persistent long blooming perennial and that your nurturing spirit has not been dampened by the unrelenting rainfall you’ve been experiencing.

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