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Archive for December, 2011

Brunnera Jack Frost – 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year – Growing Tips

Silver foliage Brunnera combines effortlessly with so many other shade plants

Since its discovery, Brunnera Jack Frost PP 13,859  has won numerous awards including Perennial Plant of the Year in 2012 and Best New Perennial of the Year at Plantarium, The Netherlands.  Jack Frost has warmed the hearts of many gardeners both new and experienced.   I can’t think of a more beautiful deer proof shade plant and one that is so adaptable in perennial garden design.

Few shade perennials have such interesting silver foliage throughout the season.  This clump forming perennial is  a versatile groundcover grows 15-18″ tall x 15-18″ wide.   Hardy to zone 5 (probably hardier)

In spring, small oblong leaves gradually grow into larger heart-shaped leaves after the conclusion of the flowering period. Beautiful, wispy panicles of sky blue flowers appear in early spring.

How To Grow

  • Does best in moisture retentive soil in part shade.  In my area of the country (Michigan) it can take some pretty dry shade.
  • Plant in area where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade.  Watch for too much sun or hot spots.
  • Don’t worry that the leaves are small in spring – they will get much larger (5-8″ across) as the plant grows.
  • Best in moist soil.  Add 3 inches of mulch to keep moist
  • If you notice crispy leaf edges – plants are getting too dry.  I ofte  cut these leaves all the way back. Plants might stay dormant for a while before flushing out with new foliage growth.
  • Cut back blooms after fading.  Plants stays more attractive that way.

Here’s what you’ll love about this plant

  • Silver shade plant.   Why is that important? Silver infuses light into dark corners of theDeer proof Jack Frost Brunnera for the shade garden shade garden
  • Foliage stays colorful and attractive throughout the season
  • Blue flowers in spring – which compliments spring blooming bulbs
  • Easy to grow – Prefers consistent moisture
  • Low Maintenance
  • Deer & Rabbit Resistant
  • No serious insects or disease issues
  • Late evening gardening – still visible at dusk
  • It’s just plain gorgeous!

Stay tuned for our  hands on Garden Design Tips with Brunnera in our next article

Read more:

Garden Design with Brunnera Jack Frost

Brunnera Jack Frost

Garden Design with Brunnera Jack Frost

Brunnera works well in containers. Here it is combined with Heucherella, Pulmonaria and Ornamental Grasses

When it comes to my favorite shade plant, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost ’ PP13,859 easily comes to the top of my list.  Few shade perennials have such interesting silver foliage through the season.  This clump forming plant is  a versatile deer proof groundcover that is widely adaptable to numerous shade garden designs such as woodland settings, near ponds – even containers.

I can’t think of a more beautiful plant to be named Perennial Plant of the Year in 2012 than Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’.

The foliage resembles crackled porcelain.  In the shade garden it creates a shimmering silver contrast against other companion plants.

Here are a few Garden Design Tips to make Brunnera work for you your shade landscape.

Brunnera is a delightful transition or "filler" plant between shrubs in the landscape

Container Gardening.  This is an easy shade container plant!  I like using big pots when it comes to containers. Keep pots consistently moist.  In the event plants wilt or the foliage begins looking tatty, simply trim off old foliage and new fresh foliage will emerge later.

Transition or Filler Plant.  Brunnera is a delightful shade plant in garden design to transition or fill in between two large shrubs or perennials.  This gives a wonderful flow to the garden.

Pair the gorgeous  Brunnera as an under-planting to  red Japanese Maples. To extend bloom time in the garden pair Spring blooming Brunnera  with summer flowering Hydrangea.

Combine Brunnera with narrow leaf Hakonechloa and radiant yellow Heucherella Stoplight

Dark Foliage Plants.  You can really make dark-leaf Heucheras, Red Coleus or other dark foliage plants pop with color when combined with silver Brunnera. Dark and light foliage plants pair well in garden design.

Leaf Shape Combinations. The heart-shape foliage of Brunnera contrasts with narrow leaf forms of  shade Ornamental Grasses such as  of Hakonechloa or Carex.   I love combining Brunnera with with soft, airy-texture of Ferns.

Brunnera pairs well with dark foliage plants

Have Sun? Plant on the east side of the house, near a large boulder or large plant . Anywhere you can find shade from the afternoon sun.

Brunnera is such a terrific shade plant. I sincerely hope you included it in your garden design plans if you haven’t done so already!

More info:

How To Grow Brunnera

Brunnera Jack Frost – Where to Buy

Garden Video: Hellebore Pink Frost-New shade groundcover!

Hellebores have become America’s #1 Deer Proof Plant for Shade Garden.  Pink Frost Hellebore is a  spring flowering shade groundcover with unique silver evergreen foliage. Exciting rare &  drought proof perennial. Watch our video and  find out why this is such a stunning shade plant for the perennial garden.

Grown and shipped in our Jumbo 1 Quart Pots  at

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