2017 SPRING CATALOGUE
CAROLYN’S SHADE GARDENS
325 South Roberts Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
SPRING 2017 GENERAL CATALOGUE
Welcome to Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, a nursery specializing in flowering plants that thrive without full sun and a two-acre ornamental garden open for tours. Plants are chosen to suit all types of shady areas with an emphasis on the many showy and colorful flowers that flourish in full shade. We offer an especially good selection of hellebores, snowdrops and other unusual bulbs, pulmonarias, hostas (especially miniature hostas), primroses, ferns, phlox, and epimediums. We also list a wide selection of hard-to-find native plants.
When you visit our nursery, you can tour our production and display beds where we grow plants completely organically in the ground. The display beds allow visitors to see the well-labeled plants in a variety of landscape settings. All our perennials are low maintenance: we never fertilize or spray and rarely water. Every plant on our list flourishes in the Delaware Valley area on our low maintenance regime.
The Spring 2017 Catalogue describes this season’s selections, including well over 300 offerings, with many new this year. Most plants are in 6 to 6.5” pots, a size much larger than you would receive through the mail. (We reuse pots so feel free to drop off round pots with the numbers 100 to 400 on the bottom and any square pots. We also reuse compost bags and cardboard boxes.)
We sell most of our plants at four spring open house sales plus special events. Each open house is staffed by knowledgeable plant fanatics (thanks everyone) who can help you make choices suited to your particular landscape conditions. The open houses are social occasions for meeting friends and fellow gardeners, touring our gardens to get ideas, and buying plants.
Finally, many thanks to our loyal customers for their continued business and referrals. Our business grows through referrals so please forward my emails to all your gardening friends. Please consider recommending Carolyn’s Shade Gardens to your garden club or horticultural organization. If you wish to be added to our customer email list, just email your full name and phone number to email@example.com.
We look forward to showing you our garden!
Carolyn and Michael
Tentative 2017 Spring Open House Sales, Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm (rain or shine)
Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm (rain or shine)
A full selection of plants is available at each sale, but the following plants will be featured:
Selling Winter Interest Plants at Winterthur Bank to Bend Lecture
Call 800-448-3883 to register
Winter and Early Spring-Blooming Shade Plants
Columbine, Bleeding-heart, Coral Bells, Phlox & More Hellebores
Spring-blooming Shade Plants
Hostas, Ferns, Epimediums, Primroses, Hardy Geraniums
Summer & Fall Blooming Shade Plants
Sedums, Astilbes, Turtlehead, Lobelia, Anemone
Miniature Hostas & Companion Plants
How to purchase plants:
- attend an open house sale or special event
- email firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule an appointment for you or your group to shop
- schedule a tour for your gardening group-self-guided tours are free
- for garden viewing only, please come during an open house sale
Blog/Website/Photos: The best way to get information about and photos of the plants I sell is to subscribe to my blog by going to https://carolynsshadegardens.com/ and entering your email in the email subscription box on the right. To find information on a specific plant, type its Latin name in the “Search My Website” box on the right.
Snowdrop Catalogue: To access this catalogue, click here.
Directions: For directions, click https://carolynsshadegardens.com/directions/.
All plants are guaranteed to be true to name as labeled and healthy when they leave the nursery. Full refunds will be given for any plants that don’t meet these conditions if they are returned within two weeks of sale. Because I can’t control environmental aspects after sale, I do not guarantee that any specific plant will thrive in any specific environment. However, please don’t hesitate to discuss with me any problems you may encounter.
Paper Copies: Copies of the plant list are available at the nursery.
Pricing: This plant list is intended as a reference resource. Pricing and availability is determined in the spring when the plants arrive at the nursery.
Light Requirements: S=Full Sun, PSH=Part Shade, FSH=Full Shade; Height; Cultural Conditions
Look for underlining to indicate native to PA or US
Acanthus Bear’s Breeches
PSH 2-3’ well-drained soil, winter protection
Bear’s breeches’ 2’ long sculptural leaves and striking 3’ flower stalks provide a bold look in the garden. A. mollis has glossy, deeply lobed leaves and rosy-purple flowers. A. spinosus has thistle likeleaves and purple and white blooms.
Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ Bugleweed
S-PSH 3-6” average to moist soil
Even the many spikes of deep blue flowers in late spring and early summer are outshone by the gorgeous glossy leaves, which are a burgundy so dark it is almost black. Excellent spreading groundcover beautiful year round.
Alchemilla molllis Lady’s Mantle
PSH easy 12”
The very unusual, round leaves with scalloped and toothed edges are topped by chartreuse flowers in early summer. Especially prized for the way water beads on the silvery foliage.
Anemone x hybrida Japanese Anemone
S-almost FSH 18” leaves/3’ flowers tough conditions
These late-blooming beauties are extremely floriferous with dozens of large, single to double flowers–in shades ranging from deep rose to white–held high above the leaves. You can count on a beautiful display from late August into November. One of my favorites!
Anemone nemorosa cultivars
European Wood Anemone
PSH-FSH 2-4” woodland conditions
European wood anemone forms dense colonies of ferny leaves in woodland sites. In April, ‘Alba Plena’ and ‘Vestal’ have pure white, double flowers, ‘Bractiata’ has very unusual fringed white flowers with green and blue streaks, and ‘Wyatt’s Pink’ and “Pink Form ex Heronswood” both have pale pink flowers aging to dark pink. A. ranunculoides has yellow flowers, and A. seemanii has pale yellow flowers. Rarely available for sale. Summer dormant.
Anemone sylvestris Snowdrop Anemone
PSH 12” well-drained, organic soil
Fragrant white flowers first bloom in April and May and then rebloom sporadically from August to late November. The dark green, finely cut leaves are attractive all season.
Aquilegia canadensis & cultivars Wild Columbine
PSH-FSH 15-36” well-drained soil, native
Wild columbine’s yellow flowers with scarlet spurs consistently attract hummingbirds to my garden from April through June. ‘Little Lanterns’ is a compact version of the species. ‘Corbett’ is a yellow-flowered form. Native to PA.
Arum italicum cultivars Italian Arum
S-FSH 12-18” easy
‘Pictum’ is a wonderful plant with practically year- round interest from leaves, flowers, and fruit. The arrow-shaped, evergreen leaves, which emerge in fall and last through winter, are dark glossy green marbled with silver. The flower, a light green spathe (like a jack-in-the-pulpit), is followed by bright red berries. An elegant addition to the shady border–people can’t pass mine without commenting on their beauty. ‘Tiny Tot’ is a rare dwarf with distinct markings. Summer dormant.
Aruncus aethusifolius Dwarf Goatsbeard
PSH-FSH 12” average to dry soil
I grow this plant as much for its finely cut, ferny leaves as for the delicate white plumes that cover it from late May to early July. The leaves turn a beautiful yellow in fall and nicely set off the orange seedheads.
Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard
PSH-FSH 4-6’ slow to establish, native
Goatsbeard performs more like a shrub in the garden, sending up huge, creamy-white, feathery plumes in early summer. The ferny, compound leaves provide excellent texture and remain attractive all season. Native to PA.
ASARUM: Wild-gingers are a wonderfully elegant accent plant for the shade garden and an excellent slowly spreading groundcover. Plant in PSH-FSH and well-drained, organic soil.
A. canadense (Wild), 6”, gray-green, heart-shaped leaves, excellent groundcover, native to PA.
A. caudatum (Long-tailed), 4”, very glossy, heavily veined, heart-shaped leaves, evergreen, native to US.
A. europaeum (European), 3”, shiny, round leaves, evergreen.
A. splendens (Chinese), 6”, silver-splashed leaves.
Aster cordifolius Blue Wood Aster
PSH-FSH 18-24” average to dry soil, native
This aster produces a beautiful blue haze in the fall. Use it as a specimen to cover up tired hosta or for naturalizing in dry woods. The gray-green leaves have attractive purple highlights. Native to PA.
Astilbe cultivars Hybrid Astilbe
PSH 18-30” average to wet soil
Hybrid astilbes are great all-purpose shade plants with glossy filigreed leaves and airy upright plumes of flowers in early summer. Cultivars in colors ranging from white to rose to red are available.
Astilbe chinensis cultivars Chinese Astilbe
PSH 12-48” takes heat and drought
Chinese astilbe extends the astilbe palette by doing well in dryer conditions and blooming later. It sends up white, raspberry, red, or purple plumes in June and July, which form long-lasting ornamental seedheads. Its attractive, dark green leaves are mat-forming.
Begonia grandis & B. g. ‘Alba’ Hardy Begonia
PSH-FSH 2-3’ average to moist soil
Hardy begonia is the ultimate shade plant. It has pink or white (‘Alba’), begonia-like flowers from August through October surrounded by silver-speckled leaves with red highlights. The seedheads are also pink and, along with the red stems, remain ornamental into late November. It does not come up until May.
Brunnera macrophylla & cultivars Siberian Bugloss
PSH-FSH 12-18” average to dry soil, very adaptable
Grow brunnerafor its beautiful blue forget-me-not flowers in April and May and its large heart-shaped leaves. It is very tough and multiplies in my woodland. I also offer a selection of the bestvariegated cultivars including ‘Dawson’s White’ and ‘Jack Frost’, the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Camassia leichtlinii ‘Coerulea’ Camassia
S-FSH 2-3’ adaptable to clay soil, US native
Camassia is one of the most striking and admired plants in my woodland. In May, it produces an upright stalk loaded with starry slate blue flowers held well above its elegant, vase-shaped leaves. Summer dormant, native to the US.
S-PSH 4-8” spreading
Great plants for edges, rock gardens, or walls, bellflowers are covered with hundreds of lavender-blue blooms in late spring through early summer. ‘Blue Waterfalls’ has a cascading habit and produces an abundance of flowers. C. poscharskyana spreads to form a mat and can take almost full shade.
Carex cultivars Native Sedge
PSH-FSH 10-24” easy, native
I have recently discovered how well native sedges do in my tough woodland conditions and the beautiful colors they add. ‘Bunny Blue’ has wide silvery blue leaves that remain ornamental for most of the winter, native from Ohio west. ‘Oehme’ has gold-edged green leaves and an unusual form resembling a miniature palm tree, native to PA.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Plumbago
S-almost FSH 9-12” easy, groundcover
Plumbago weaves through all the sunny and shady beds on the front side of my house, taking over from the spring bulbs as they fade. Early summer through fall, brilliant blue flowers top the bright green leaves, which turn deep red in autumn-a striking groundcover.
Chasmanthium latifolium Northern Sea Oats
S-FSH 3’ easy, self-sows, native
This shade-loving ornamental grass is grown for its beautiful oat-like spikes, which form in July on delicately arching stems and remain attractive until the following spring. Great orange fall color and excellent winter interest. Native to PA.
Chelone lyonii & C. l. ‘Hot Lips’ Pink Turtlehead
PSH 2-4’ average to wet soil, native
One of the most beautiful sights in my fall garden is the pink turtlehead in bloom. The shiny, dark green leaves set off the tubular pink blooms perfectly. Pale green seedpods are quite ornamental into November, native to PA.
Chionodoxa forbesii Glory-of-the-Snow
S-FSH 5-8” easy
Winterthur has beautiful naturalized masses of glory-of-the-snow in its woodlands, and my patch is spreading nicely under my star magnolia. In early spring, upward-facing, starry sky blue flowers with a white center cover the ground. Summer dormant.
Chrysogonum virginianum Goldenstar
S-FSH 6-8” easy, groundcover, native
Buttercup yellow flowers cover this lovely spreading groundcover in May and June and again in the fall. The bright green fuzzy leaves provide a lovely carpet to choke out weeds. Native to PA.
Cimicifuga (Actaea) racemosa Black Cohosh
PSH-FSH 4-6’ organic soil, native
More like a shrub than a perennial, black cohosh creates a dramatic effect in the late summer woodland garden with its 1 to 2’ long creamy-white flowers on 4 to 5’ stems, beautiful fragrance, and attractive foliage. Native to PA.
Convallaria majalis cultivars Lily-of-the-valley
PSH-FSH 6-8” easy to grow
If I have enough of these two rare lily-of-the-valleys, I will offer some for sale. ‘Rosea’ has pink flowers and green leaves, and ‘Albostriata’ has white flowers and striking yellow-striped leaves.
Corydalis are ideal shade plants. They all grow in PSH to FSH and well-drained to dry soil (although they seem to grow everywhere in my garden). They are very long-blooming and have beautiful leaves that often remain ornamental through winter (note that C. solida goes dormant immediately after flowering).
C. cheilanthifolia (Fern-leafed Corydalis), 10”, bright yellow flowers in spring and ferny, bronze leaves.
C. lutea (Yellow Corydalis), 15”, fragrant yellow flowers all season and blue-green, finely divided leaves.
C. solida ‘Beth Evans’, 6”, striking pink tubular flowers above glaucous ferny leaves, reliable, summer dormant, very rare.
C. solida ‘George P. Baker’, 6”, eye-catching bright coral red flowers over feathery leaves, summer dormant, very rare.
C. solida ‘Purple Bird’, 6”, deep purple flowers in early spring, summer dormant, very rare.
C. solida subsp. incisa, 6”, bluish violet flowers,very rare.
C. soilda ‘White Knight’, 6”, white flowers, very rare.
C. tashorii, 18-24”, arching, ferny, powder blue leaves and many pale yellow flowers in spring.
Crocus tommasinianus Snow Crocus
S-FSH 4-6” well-drained, naturalizes
This is an uncommon very early-blooming crocus with striking lavender-purple flowers. Very rodent resistant.
CYCLAMEN: The flowers and leaves of hardy cyclamen look exactly like miniature florist cyclamen. The unusual leaves come up in late summer and are round and dark green with elegant silver markings. Hardy cyclamen are ornamental through winter and disappear during summer. They grow in PSH to FSH and very well-drained soil. Plants are available for pre-order in the Snowdrop Catalogue.
C. coum, pink flowers in spring; small, round wintergreen leaves marked with silver.
C. hederifolium, pink flowers in fall; large, unusually shaped and beautifully marked wintergreen leaves.
Dicentra eximia & hybrid Wild Bleeding-heart
PSH-FSH 12-18” well-drained soil, native
Wild bleeding-heart flowers nonstop from April to November. The blooms are pink, and the gray-green leaves are fine-textured and ferny. Native to PA. ‘Luxuriant’ is a vigorous native hybrid with substantial dark pink flowers. Native hybrid.
Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) spectabilis & cultivars Bleeding-heart
PSH-FSH 2-3’ tolerant of many conditions
In May and June, bleeding-heartproduces arching wands of pink and white or pure white (‘Alba’) heart-shaped flowers. With its shrub-like stature, it is breathtaking in full bloom. Its blue-gray, bright green (‘Alba’), or golden (‘Gold Heart’) leaves and fine texture provide a beautiful background. I am very partial to ‘Valentine’ with red flowers.
Digitalis purpurea mixes Foxglove
S-PSH 2-4’ must re-seed
Everyone wants huge spires of foxgloves in their early summer garden, and “Camelot Mix” and “Dalmation Mix” both produce breath-taking specimens. However, they are biennials and must re-seed to produce flowers the following year.
Epimediums are great for dry shade and make very effective groundcovers. They are also beautiful front-of-the-border specimens for early spring. Their heart-shaped, usually evergreen leaves provide almost four-season interest, including lovely fall color. PSH-FSH, well-drained to dry soil.
E. grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’, 8”, purple flowers with white highlights over chocolate purple leaves, excellent purple fall color.
E. x perralchicum ‘Frohnleiten’, 12”, very intense yellow flowers and beautiful uniform evergreen leaves.
E. pinnatum subsp. colchicum, 10”, bright yellow flowers with red spurs over evergreen leaves.
E. x rubrum, 10”, crimson flowers with white spurs and attractive red-highlighted leaves.
E. x warleyense, 8”, bright orange flowers over evergreen leaves.
E. x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’, 12”, yellow and white flowers that look like miniature daffodils and glossy, red-highlighted leaves.
E. x youngianum, 10”, white (‘Niveum’) or pink (‘Roseum’) flowers and purple tinted leaves.
Eranthis hyemalis Winter Aconite
S-FSH 3-4” naturalizes
Winter aconite is a winter-blooming plant with bright yellow buttercup flowers surrounded by an elegant collar of fringed leaves. It is easy to grow once started, but hard to start from bulbs—these are my own plants sold “in the green” (available by pre-order from the Snowdrop Catalogue). Very rare.
Erythronium x ‘Pagoda’ Dogtooth-violet
PSH-FSH 6-12” average to moist soil, US native
Dog-tooth violets thrive in my woodland and now they are naturalizing. In spring, each plant bears many elegant, nodding, lily-like flowers held on slender stems above mottled, glossy green leaves. ‘Pagoda’ is a vigorous western US native hybrid with lovely pale yellow flowers on multiple stems. Summer dormant.
Ferns are a staple of the shade garden and some of my favorite plants. For a great selection, visit my Fern Sale in May (date to be announced by email). Ferns like average to moist soil and PSH to FSH.
Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair), 12-18”, lacy, blue-green fronds with an elegant, circular branching pattern held aloft by wiry black stems, native to PA.
Athyrium x ‘Branford Rambler’ (Running Painted), 12-18”, bright green fern with beautiful red highlights, runs slowly to form effective groundcover.
Athyrium filix-femina ‘Frizelliae (Tatting Fern), 12-18”, very unusual, narrow fronds lined with beadlike pinnae; species native to PA.
Athyrium filix-femina ‘Minutissimum’ (Dwarf Lady Fern), 3-6”, perfect dwarf of the species, which is native to PA. Great companion for miniature hostas.
Athyrium x ‘Ghost’ (Ghost), 18-24”, stunning silver-white fronds make this fern stand out in shade.
Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted), 18-24”, gorgeous, purple-highlighted, silver fronds, one of my favorites, 2004 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Athyrium niponicum ‘Regal Red’, 12-18”, dark red midribs and leaf stems surrounded by silver.
Cyrtomium falcatum (Japanese Holly), 12-24”, very unusual glossy dark green fronds resembling holly, vase-shaped habit, drought tolerant, evergreen.
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (Hay-scented), 10-18”, fast-spreading mats of bright green fronds, PA native.
Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ (Autumn), 18-24”, bright red, long-lasting new growth followed by shiny dark semi-evergreen leaves.
Dryopteris filix-mas (Male), 2-3’, lustrous dark green fronds with upright habit, evergreen, native to PA.
Matteuccia pensylvanica (Ostrich),2-5’, elegant vase-shaped habit, arching, green sterile fronds and cinnamon fertile fronds for winter interest, native to PA.
Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon), 2-4’, tall and arching with elegant vase-shaped habit, native to PA.
Osmunda regalis (Royal), 2-4’, unusual pale green, smooth fronds, stately upright habit, native to PA.
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas), 18-24”, excellent evergreen for the shade garden with glossy, dark green fronds year-round, native to PA.
Polystichum polyblepharum (Tassel), 1-2’, glossy dark green fronds arching from crown, evergreen.
Fritillaria meleagris Checkered-lily
PSH-FSH 6-12” easy, self sows
A wonderful woodland plant, this easy fritillaria blooms in April and May with large, checkered purple or occasionally white flowers. The nodding, bell-shaped blooms are an excellent companion for hellebores. Naturalizes. Summer dormant.
Snowdrops are naturalized throughout my garden, and I still can’t have enough. The wonderfully honey-scented, white flowers appear by the hundreds from October through March and never cease to fascinate me. Great companion plants for hellebores and cyclamen. S to FSH; 4-12”; summer dormant. Snowdrops are only sold through the snowdrop catalogue, click here.
Galium odoratum Sweet Woodruff
PSH-FSH 6” average to dry soil
Sweet woodruff is an excellent groundcover for shady gardens. In April and May, fragrant white flowers cover the area. The glossy, whorled leaves provide a great understory for bulbs and perennials.
Hardy geraniums are a must for the late spring garden with a few cultivars flowering until frost. Beautiful and prolific flowers paired with sculptural and often colorful leaves make them standout as specimen plants. Fall color is an added bonus for many varieties. All the cultivars I offer are easily grown in S-PSH.
G. x cantabrigiense ‘Biokova’, 6-10”, white flowers with pink highlights in late spring, spreads to form groundcover, excellent red to orange fall color.
G. x cantabrigiense ‘Karmina’, 6-10”, carmine rose flowers in late spring, spreads to form groundcover, excellent red to orange fall color.
G. macrorrhizum ‘Album’, 12”, white flowers in spring, fragrant leaves with red fall color.
G. macrorrhizum ‘Bevan’s Variety’, 12”, deep pink flowers in spring, fragrant leaves with red fall color.
G. macrorrhizum ‘Ingwersens Variety’, 12”, pale pink flowers in spring, fragrant leaves with red fall color.
G. maculatum ‘Espresso’, 10-12”, lavender pink flowers in spring and chocolate leaves, very hardy, native to PA.
G. phaeum ‘Samobor’, 18-24”, elegant dark maroon flowers in late spring, maroon variegated leaves.
G. ‘Rozanne’, 15-18”, ever-blooming large violet blue flowers with striking white centers appear from late spring to frost, chosen as the 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association.
G. sanguineum , 6”, dark rose (‘Max Frei’) or pink (var. striatum) flowers late spring through summer, compact habit, red fall color.
Hakonechloa macra Japanese Forest Grass
PSH-FSH 18-24” easy, winter interest
One of the best grasses for shade, Japanese forest grass forms an elegant, cascading mound that spreads slowly by rhizomes even in full shade. ‘All Gold’ has brilliant gold color all summer. ‘Aureola’ has bright yellowleaves with green stripes and is the 2009 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Hellebores are wonderful–their leaves are evergreen, their flowers are striking, they bloom in winter, their form is elegant, and deer don’t touch them. I offer both hybrid hellebores and species hellebores. Although the hybrids are better known, I find the species very exciting with an amazing variety of flowers and foliage. Judge for yourself at my Hellebore Extravaganza Sale (date to be announced by email), when you see my display beds in all their glory!!!
CULTURE: Hellebores are some of the toughest plants in my garden, thriving in every location from sun to full shade (even cracks in the pavement) as long as they are well-drained, but if you want to spoil them use plenty of organic matter.
HYBRID HELLEBORES: Their large, nodding white, cream, yellow, pink, red, bluish, purple, slate, black, lime-green, or spotted flowers opening in February and remaining ornamental for many months make the hybrids the showiest and most popular of the hellebores. Their unique multi-part leaves are shiny dark wintergreen and last until new growth in spring. They are very easy to grow. I planted mine by the front steps so the early flowers can brighten cold winter days. One of the most noticed plants in my garden. No wonder the Perennial Plant Association chose them as the 2005 Perennial Plant of the Year.
“Brandywine Hybrids”: beautiful colors and forms selected by our own David Culp.
“Carolyn’s Select”: my own mature, blooming plants, selected by color, priced by quality and size.
“Honeymoon Series”: vigorous with colors from apricot to yellow to black and larger number of flowers per plant.
“Lady Series”: blue, metallic blue, picotee, pink, pink-spotted, red, white, white-spotted, and yellow.
“Royal Heritage Strain”: Color selections from pure white to red to near black exhibiting superior form.
“Spring Promise Series”: tissue cultured to produce large, uniform flowers in a beautiful assortment of colors.
“Winter Jewels Series”: the best for unusual colors like blue, apricot, yellow, painted, and black.
“Winter Thriller Series”: carefully selected to produce very large, outward-facing flowers.
“Double Lady Mix”: double flowers in shades of white, yellow, pink, red, and purple.
“Wedding Party Series”: double flowers in unusual colors with larger numbers of blossoms per plant.
“Winter Jewels Series”: large, double flowers in a complex variety of amazing colors.
SPECIES HELLEBORES: The hybrids are only part of the hellebore story—there are 15 species hellebores (plus their crosses), many of which are highly desirable plants.
Helleborus x , a cross too complicated to describe has resulted in some of the most beautiful hellebores on the market, pristine white flowers (‘Molly’s White’) and lovely clear pink flowers aging to an eye-catching dark pink (‘Penny’s Pink’) are backed by stunning dark green leaves with bright lime veins.
Helleborus x ballardiae, 12-15”, a cross between Christmas rose and H. lividus, vegetatively propagated; copious large, outward-facing, flowers December to March:
x b. ‘Mahogany Snow’, outward-facing, creamy flowers with a rose blush mature to mahogany; red stems, very compact, uniform, and vigorous plants.
x b. ‘Merlin’, outward-facing pink flowers mature to a deep cranberry and are beautifully displayed above the very dark evergreen leaves and stems.
x b. ‘Pink Frost’, burgundy buds open to outward-facing soft pink blooms that darken to deep pink with age, blue-green silver-marbled leaves with red veins and stems.
x ‘Ivory Prince’, burgundy buds open to outward-facing, ivory flowers.
H. x ericsmithii, 18-22”, the best characteristics of three species (Corsican, Christmas rose, and H. lividus); red stems, dark green marbled leaves, and mid-January through March, outward-facing flowers make this a rare and desirable cross, vegetatively propagated, vigorous in the garden:
x. e. ‘Monte Cristo’, masses of large creamy white flowers with a pink blush, blue-gray leaves, red stems.
x e. ‘Shooting Star’, large, outward-facing, creamy white flowers with a pink star on the reverse aging to dusky rose.
H. foetidus (Bearsfoot Hellebore), 18-24”, one of the most unusual and desirable plants in my garden; spidery, completely wintergreen leaves are topped by showy pale green flower buds in November; chartreuse buds and then flowers are ornamental throughout winter and on into May; has the effect of a miniature rhododendron in the garden!
H. niger (Christmas Rose), 12”, large white, outward-facing blooms and blue-green 5-part leaves:
n. ‘Jacob’, one ofthe earliest to flower of my Christmas roses beginning in early November and lasting until May, neat compact habit.
n. ‘Praecox’, my favorite of the Christmas roses with pure white outward-facing flowers on sturdy stems in February.
H. x nigercors, a cross between Christmas rose and Corsican hellebore; vegetatively propagated; copious large, outward-facing, white flowers:
x n. ‘Honeyhill Joy’, 12”, honey-colored flowers and unusually handsome, glossy, dark green leaves.
Mature specimens of the following rare hellebore species are dug to order upon request:
H. cyclophyllus (Grecian Hellebore)
H. dumetorum subsp. atrorubens
H. multifidus (Lacy Hellebore)
H. odorus (Fragrant Hellebore)
H. orientalis subsp. abchasicus (true Lenten Rose)
H. purpurascens (Purple Hellebore)
H. viridis (Green Hellebore)
Heuchera cultivars Coral Bells
PSH-FSH 12-18” drought tolerant, native
Who can resist the kaleidoscope of colors that heuchera leaves add to the garden or containers? If only all the beautiful plants thrived equally well in our mid-Atlantic conditions. I offer the best plants for our region, which have been bred from heat and cold tolerant heucheras native to PA.
‘Autumn Bride’, very large fuzzy green leaves, substantial white flowers, the cultivar that started it all!
‘Berry Smoothie’, elegant rose-oink leaves with silver highlights look good all year.
’Blackout’, large, shiny, purple-black leaves and white flowers—the best black cultivar, compact habit.
’Bronze Wave’, large shiny purple-bronze leaves, far superior to ‘Palace Purple’, fall-blooming.
‘Caramel’, peach-amber-pink leaves, pink flowers, huge and vigorous, year round interest.
‘Citronelle’, lime green leaves, creamy white flowers, ornamental 365 days a year.
‘Frosted Violet’, dark purple and silver leaves, pink flowers, winter interest.
‘Miracle’, emerges chartreuse and changes to brick red with a bright edge, pink flowers.
x Heucherella Foamy Bells
S-FSH 8-12” excellent in containers, parents native
A cross between native coral bells (Heuchera) and native foamflower (Tiarella), heucherellas open up a whole new native palette. ‘Blue Ridge’ has silvery blue leaves and burgundy veins; ‘Stoplight’ has large 4” wide screaming yellow leaves with red centers; ‘Solar Eclipse’ has broadly scalloped red leaves delicately outlined in lime green; white flowers and an excellent habit. Parents native to PA.
Hostas are easy and reliable. They come in thousands of sizes and colors to suit all garden designs. I carry a representative sample of economically priced cultivars as well as choice specimens for connoisseurs. PSH to FSH, summer blooming. They are described below by name, height, leaf color, and flower color if not lavender. Click http://www.hostalibrary.org/index.html for photos. For a great selection, don’t miss my Hosta Sales in May (dates to be announced by email). I always have new cultivars that are not listed here!
There has been a lot of interest recently in smaller hostas, and I must admit I’m addicted. You can fit so many different cultivars in the miscellaneous nooks and crannies of your garden, and they’re so cute-perfect for the collector. The sizes are approximate.
‘Appletini’: 6”, glossy bright gold leaves with pointy tips, beautiful in the fall.
‘Baby Blue Eyes’: 6”, tight flat mound of heart-shaped very blue leaves.
‘Baby Booties’: 5”, oval green leaves with a wide creamy white margin.
‘Baby Bunting’: 11″, gray blue and nearly round leaves, wonderful tiny hosta and the parent of ‘Cherish’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’.
‘Blue Mouse Ears’: 6”, tight clump of round and cupped distinctly blue leaves, rubbery texture repels slugs, 2008 Hosta of the Year, all the hostas in the mouse ears series have adorable, proportionate, bell-shaped flowers that are highly ornamental.
‘Cherish’: 8″, heart-shaped creamy yellow leaves with a wide blue margin streaking into the center, striking.
‘Church Mouse’: 8”, thick blue leaves like ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ but with coarsely wavy margins.
‘Cracker Crumbs’: 4-6”, shiny gold leaves with a dark green margin, grows quickly to 12” wide specimen.
‘Curly Fries’: 11”, very narrow and heavily rippled bright gold leaves, Hosta of the Year for 2016.
‘Dragon Tails’: 4”, narrow and pointy gold leaves with ruffled edges, adorable.
‘Faithful Heart’: 10”,heart-shaped gold leaves with a narrow green margin
‘Frosted Mouse Ears’: 7”, round, blue-green leaves are surrounded by a wide creamy white border.
‘Gemstone’: 5”, cute little mound of twisted blue leaves.
‘Giantland Mouse Cheese’: 4”, substantial, smooth-textured, bright gold leaves.
‘Giantland Sunny Mouse Ears’: 3”, the first gold-leafed mouse ears hosta!!!
‘Green Mouse Ears’: 5”, round, shiny bright green, most substance of any mouse ears, tiny & cute.
‘Green with Envy’: 12″, oval leaves with a gold center and dark green margins, a lovely small hosta.
‘Holy Mouse Ears’: 6”, all the wonderful attributes of a mouse ear with a unique creamy center and a blue margin.
‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’: 5″, narrow gold leaves; rapidly produces an adorable mound of golden foliage, rare.
‘Lemon Delight’: 6”, golden yellow leaves with a dark green center, the reverse of ‘Twist of Lime’.
‘Lemon Lime’: 10”, wavy, narrow gold leaves.
‘Lemon Love Note’: 6”, long, narrow, wavy gold leaves.
‘Little Wonder’: 5”, dark green leaves with creamy white edges streaking into the center.
‘Mighty Mouse’: 7”, very round and thick blue-green leaves with a wide yellow to cream margin.
‘Mini Skirt’: 5”, a wonderful mouse with very wavy and thick blue-green leaves bordered by yellow margins.
‘Munchkin Fire’: 7”, pointy, narrow gold leaves age to a bright fiery yellow and keep their color all season.
‘Pandora’s Box’: 4”, striking, tiny green-streaked, white leaves with a blue margin, best in containers.
‘Plug Nickel’: 6”, very glossy, dark green leaves.
‘Pure Heart’: 4”, named after Mighty Mouse’s girlfriend Pearl Pure Heart, small, thick creamy yellow leaves with a wide blue-green margin.
‘School Mouse’: 8”, thick, blue-green leaves with wide, wavy, seer-suckered gold margins.
‘Shiny Penny’: 4”, ‘mini’ mound of heart-shaped leaves that start bright yellow and turn coppery.
‘Sparkler’: 8”, very unusual, narrow, dark green leaves with a bright white center streak, stands out.
‘Sun Mouse’: 6”, just like ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ but with brilliant round gold leaves.
‘Thumbelina’: 10″, heart-shaped, wavy bright green leaves with a wide gold to cream margin.
‘Twist of Lime’: 5”, bright guacamole green leaves with emerald green borders, elegant.
‘Wonderful’: 6”, elongated gold leaves, unusual habit.
‘Woodland Elf’: 5”, compact and graceful mound of white-margined leaves, one of the best minis.
H. venusta: 2-3” miniature wavy green leaves.
‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’: 20”,finally achieved the recognition it deserves as Hosta of the Year for 2014, powder blue, deeply cupped leaves with heavy corrugation, near white flowers, amazing specimen.
‘Autumn Frost’: 12”, frosty blue leaves with extra wide bright yellow margins.
‘Blue Angel’: 2-3’, huge blue leaves, white flowers, the stature of a small shrub.
‘Blue Ivory’: 16”, thick, bright blue leaves with a wide white margin, sport of ‘Halycon’.
‘Brother Stefan’: 20”, the thick, heavily corrugated and puckered leaves are chartreuse with a blue margin, 2017 Hosta of the Year.
‘Dream Queen’: 24”, narrow creamy white center with wide blue-green margin, large white flowers.
‘Earth Angel’: 2-3’, huge, heart-shaped blue leaves with wide creamy border, sport of ‘Blue Angel’, 2009 Hosta of the Year.
‘Empress Wu’: 40”, a massive specimen with the largest leaves of any hosta, up to 25” long.
‘First Frost’: 18”, exceptional specimen with blue leaves and gold margins, 2010 Hosta of the Year.
‘Fire Island’: 12”, brilliant gold leaves atop striking red stems.
‘Fragrant Bouquet’: 20”, apple with yellow margin, fragrant white flowers in fall, 1998 Hosta of the Year.
‘Frances Williams’: 2’, blue-green, puckered leaves with gold margins, white flowers.
‘Great Expectations’: 30”, yellow leaves with blue and light green margins, white flowers, aristocratic.
‘Guacamole’: 2’, avocado with wide dark green edge, fragrant flowers, stunning, 2002 Hosta of the Year.
‘Gypsy Rose’: 20”, unusual dark edged leaves with gold centers and the classic lightening strike of ‘Striptease’.
‘Halcyon’: 15”, medium size, elegant sturdy blue leaves.
‘June’: 20”, thick gold leaves with blue and green margins, gorgeous, 2001 Hosta of the Year.
‘June Spirit’: 14”, shiny chartreuse to gold leaves with wide, deep green margins.
‘Lakeside Cupcake’: 5”, small plant with cupped blue-green leaves with gold centers.
‘Liberty’: 30”, narrow blue-green center with very wide yellow margin, 2012 Hosta of the Year.
‘Maui Buttercups’: 10”, round, deeply cupped and textured bright gold leaves, white flowers.
H. montana ‘Aureomarginata’: 27”, huge wedge-shaped green leaves with irregular yellow margins, majestic vase-shaped habit.
‘Neptune’: 24”, narrow, wedge-shaped bright blue leaves with ruffled edges, cascading habit, striking.
‘Paradigm’: 20”, substantial, puckered gold leaves with streaked blue-green margins, 2007 Hosta of the Year.
‘Patriot’: 24”, very dark green leaves with a pure white margin, 1997 Hosta of the Year.
‘Paul’s Glory’: 20”, gold heart-shaped leaves with blue-green streaked margin, spectacular specimen in my garden, 1999 Hosta of the Year.
‘Popcorn’: 12”, thick, cupped, round creamy yellow leaves with blue margins, very unique look.
‘Praying Hands’: 14”, twisted and vertical leaves like pitcher plant, green with narrow yellow margin, excellent container specimen, 2011 Hosta of the Year.
‘Remember Me’: 15”, a ‘June’ relative and customer favorite, striking cream-centered leaf with blue and green border, benefits breast cancer.
‘Reversed Patriot’: 22”, creamy-white leaves with dark green margins—the reverse of ‘Patriot’.
‘Sagae’: 30”, frosty blue leaves with creamy yellow margins, vase-shaped habit, 2000 Hosta of the Year.
‘Stained Glass’: 15”, brilliant, glossy gold leaves with dark green margins, near-white fragrant flowers, 2006 Hosta of the Year.
‘Sunset Grooves’: 16”, medium, round, puckered thick yellow leaves with dark green margins, white flowers.
H. tokudama ‘Aureonebulosa’: 12”, gold swirled, cup-shaped leaves with green margins, white flowers.
H. tokudama ‘Flavocircinalis’: 12”, gorgeous swirls of yellow, pale green, and blue, white flowers.
‘Touch of Class’: 16”, like ‘June’ but with wide blue margins and yellow centers, gorgeous at CSG.
Hypericum St. John’s Wort
S-PSH 15” well-drained
H. calycinum has velvety, blue-green leaves topped with large exotic yellow flowers in early summer. Its creeping habit and wintergreen foliage make it a great groundcover. H. calycinum ‘Briggadoon’ adds striking gold leaves to an already desirable plant. ‘Albury Purple’ is a small shrub 2-3’ tall with purple leaves.
Iris cristata & ‘Alba’ Dwarf Crested Iris
PSH-FSH 6” well-drained soil, native
Dwarf crested iris spreads out to make a large patch of small sword-shaped fans. In May, dainty blue or white (‘Alba’) flowers with yellow crests cover the ground like a swarm of butterflies. A gorgeous specimen for small shade gardens. Native to PA.
Iris versicolor Blue Flag
S-PSH 3’ average to wet soil, native
The perfect plant for edges of streams and ponds, blue flag will also prosper in average garden conditions. Its bluish purple iris blooms are a wonderful vertical element in May and June and make excellent cut flowers. Native to PA.
Kirengoshoma palmata or koreana Yellow Waxbells
PSH-FSH 2-3’ well-drained soil
In late summer and early fall, this aristocratic shade-lover blooms with clusters of lovely nodding, waxy yellow bells. Its form is shrub-like, and its pale green maple-shaped leaves add unique textural interest. Hard to find.
Lamiastrum galeobdolon ‘Herman’s Pride’
PSH-FSH 12” easy, non-spreading
‘Herman’s Pride’ forms a beautiful silver mound in the most difficult shade gardens. Its narrow, silver-flecked leaves are quite striking especially in combination with the yellow flowers in late spring. Well-behaved.
Lamium maculatum cultivars Lamium
S-PSH 8” easy
One of my favorite groundcovers, lamium produces copious amounts of white to pink to red to purple flowers in spring. The dark green leaves, usually with elegant, silver patterning, show off the flowers to perfection and are ornamental through winter.
Leucojum aestivum Summer Snowflake
S-FSH 24-36” easy, naturalizes
In late April, “summer” snowflake produces upright flower stalks sporting many nodding white flowers with green tips like snowdrops on steroids. Great cut flower alternative to daffodils, tolerates wet sites. Leucojum vernum, spring snowflake, is only available in the Snowdrop Catalogue.
LIGULARIA: Ligularias (Leopard Plant) are different–they are tall, they love FSH, they bloom in summer, and their leaves are big, bold, and tropical looking—a great contrast to dainty woodland plants. PSH-FSH, average to moist soil.
L. dentata ‘Desdemona’, 2-3’, orange-yellow daisies and huge, round, ruby-purple leaves.
L. dentata ‘Othello’, slightly smaller than ‘Desdemona’ with similar flowers and leaves.
L. stenocephala ‘The Rocket’, 4-5’, heart-shaped, fringed leaves are topped by exploding 5’ plumes of yellow flowers in summer.
Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Flower
PSH-FSH 3-4’ average to wet soil, native
I’ll admit it, I love this plant. The many scarlet flowers on tall spikes open over a long period of time in summer and fall. They can be seen from a great distance and attract hummingbirds. The glossy, dark green leaves have red highlights and turn an unusual pink-red in fall. Naturalizes in moist areas. PA native.
Lobelia siphilitica Great Blue Lobelia
S-PSH 2-3’ easy, native
This lobelia has all the charms of Cardinal Flower but with violet-blue flowers and lighter pure green leaves. It blooms slightly longer and takes more sun. PA native.
Mertensia virginica Virginia Bluebells
PSH-FSH 20” organic soil, native
One of our best native wildflowers, Virginia bluebells have beautiful porcelain blue flowers in April and May. The unusual leaves come up dark purple, change to gray-green, and go dormant when it gets hot. PA native.
S-FSH 4-8” any soil, naturalizes
Grape-hyacinth is a beautiful plant for mid-spring interest, and its more unusual varieties really catch your eye in the shade garden. M. armeniacum is a striking cobalt blue. M. latifolium has magical two-tone pale blue and deep blue flowers. Summer dormant.
The more kinds of phlox I try, the more I want. You just can’t beat this genus for flowers, unsurpassable fragrance, and versatility-there’s a phlox for every cultural condition and every garden need-and they attract butterflies and are native to PA. (Please note that mildew is only a concern with garden phlox, Phlox paniculata.)
Native Phlox for Sun to Part Shade:
P. divaricata (Wild Sweet William) 8-10”, blooms April to June, fragrant, semi-evergreen, spreading. Native to PA.
‘Blue Moon’: rich blue-violet color.
‘May Breeze’: steel white flowers.
P. x ‘Forever Pink’, 12-16”, dense masses of pink flowers in June reblooming into October. Native hybrid.
P. glaberrima ‘Morris Berd’ (Smooth Phlox), 18-24”, velvety pink flowers with silver highlights, late spring to early summer, magical! Native just south of PA.
Phlox x ‘Minnie Pearl’, 18-24”, blooms late spring well into summer, multitudes of bright white flowers and glossy green leaves. Native to PA.
P. paniculata (Garden Phlox), 3’, blooms summer through fall, fragrant, attracts butterflies, mildew resistant cultivars, including ‘Blue Paradise’, ‘David’ (2002 Plant of the Year), ‘David’s Lavender’, ‘Pixie MiracleGrace’, and ‘Starfire’. Native to PA.
P. subulata (Moss Phlox), 3”, a wonderful mat-forming native flowering from March to May in shades from white to pink to blue to purple, well-drained soil, cultivars include ‘Emerald Blue’, ‘Emerald Pink’, ‘Nice & White’, and ‘Purple Beauty’. Native to PA.
Native Phlox for Part Shade to Full Shade:
Phlox stolonifera (Creeping Phlox), 3-6”, blooms from March to May, mat-forming, wintergreen leaves make an excellent groundcover, great for dry shade, 1990 Perennial Plant of the Year. Native to PA.
‘Blue Ridge’: blue flowers.
‘Bruce’s White’: white flowers.
‘Pink Ridge’ & ‘Home Fires’: pink flowers.
‘Sherwood Purple’: purple flowers, vigorous
Platycodon ‘Sentimental Blue’ Balloon Flower
S-PSH 6-12” easy
‘Sentimental Blue’ is a dwarf selection that features charming, puffy flower buds shaped like hot air balloons from June to August. The buds open into 3″ blue, upward-facing, bell-shaped flowers with pointed petals. Comes up late so mark its spot.
Podophyllum peltatum Mayapple
PSH-FSH 12-18” woodland conditions, native
Beloved by children, this eastern US native forms large colonies of deeply divided, umbrella-like leaves in deep shade. Although the showy white flowers are hidden underneath, their glorious scent fills the woods in April. Can spread rapidly, summer dormant, native to PA.
Polemonium reptans ‘Blue Pearl’ Jacob’s Ladder
PSH-FSH 12” easy, native
This beautiful woodland plant has many clusters of pure blue flowers in April and May followed by chartreuse seedpods so ornamental they are often mistaken for the blooms. The seedpods contrast nicely with the ferny, wintergreen leaves. Native to PA.
POLYGONATUM: Solomon’s Seals are easy to grow in a woodland setting and add unique texture with their slender arching stems as well as ornamental interest from flowers in late spring and their berries. PSH-FSH, easy, spread to form colonies.
P. biflorum, 1-3’, arching stems hold bell-shaped, creamy flowers followed by attractive blue berries, native to PA.
P. humile, 6”, dwarf Solomon’s seal with little white bells along arching green-leafed stalks.
P. odoratum ‘Variegatum’, 18-24”, new shoots emerge ivory with red highlights and hold soft green leaves edged in cream on arching stems, fragrant white bells, blue fruit, 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Primula japonica Japanese Primrose
PSH-FSH 20” average to wet soil, self-sows
The blossoms of Japanese primrose are whorled in 4 to 6 tiers held erect above the leaves. My plants have pink, magenta, or white flowers in May and June. The rosette of 6 to 10” long leaves is bright green.
Primula kisoana & P. k. ‘Alba’ Primrose
PSH-FSH 6-8” organic soil
This very rare primrose flowers in May and June with velvety rose-colored or white (‘Alba’) blooms over its unusual, fuzzy, lobed leaves. Naturalizes among the rocks along my woodland path.
Primula x polyantha ‘Old Brick Reds’
PSH-FSH 6” average to moist soil
Red flowers with a yellow eye can appear as early as the end of March and last into May. The rosette of wintergreen leaves is bright green. This primrose is very easy to grow and multiplies rapidly.
Primula sieboldii Japanese Woodland Primrose
PSH-FSH 12” moist to dry soil, easy, spreading
This foolproof primrose grows anywhere and sports numerous exquisite, filigreed deep pink (species), pink (‘Cover Girl’), or white (‘Snowflake’) flowers atop upright stems in mid-spring. Highly prized in Japan where there are over 500 different cultivars avidly collected by gardeners. I also sell divisions from my own collection, many un-named. Rare, summer dormant.
Primula veris English Cowslip
PSH-FSH 10” average to moist soil
The English cowslip is a lovely reliable primrose with upright stalks of nodding butter yellow flowers. I have had mine for years.
Pulmonarias (Lungwort) have strikingly beautiful leaves all season long and usually well into winter, and deer don’t eat them. They bloom very early in the spring, just after the hellebores, and are sometimes still going in June. Their flowers are a rainbow of colors–white, shell pink, coral, raspberry, pale blue, deep blue. Most cultivars are 12-15” tall. PSH-FSH.
‘Benediction’,startling midnight blue flowers and very dark green leaves with few spots.
‘Bertram Anderson’, dark blue flowers and very narrow 12” long silver-spotted leaves.
‘Blue Ensign’, dark blue flowers and forest green unspotted leaves.
“Carolyn’s Crosses”, seedling crosses of all my cultivars, each a unique and beautiful individual.
‘Diana Clare’, violet-blue flowers and narrow all silver leaves, holds up well in heat and drought.
‘High Contrast’, large pink and blue flowers over bright silver and green leaves, heat resistant.
‘Majeste’, compact sprays of pink and blue flowers and gorgeous almost solid silver leaves.
‘Raspberry Splash’, raspberry flowers and distinctive narrow spears of dark green, silver-spotted leaves.
‘Roy Davidson’, powder blue flowers and narrow, elegantly speckled leaves.
P. rubra ‘Redstart’, early blooming coral flowers set off by elongated, lime-green leaves.
‘Silver Bouquet’, large pink to violet flowers and silver splashed narrow leaves.
‘Trevi Fountain’, cobalt blue flowers and brightly spotted leaves, lovely specimen.
SCILLA: Scilla or squill are very well-adapted to our climate and will naturalize freely in almost any soil and light conditions. S-FSH, summer dormant.
S. campanulata ‘Excelsior’ (Spanish Bluebells), 10-12”, multiple stalks of 10 to 30 sky blue bells in May, clumps increase rapidly, grows anywhere.
S. mischtschenkoana (Tubergen Squill), 6-8”, starry pale blue flowers with an elegant blue center stripe in late winter, shiny bright green leaves.
S. siberica (Siberian Squill), 4-8”, nodding, startlingly intense blue flowers in very early spring.
Sedum species & cultivars Stonecrop
S-PSH 2-6” easy, well-drained
I don’t know why it has taken me so long to realize that mat-forming stonecrop does very well in part shade with lovely texture and unusual flowers from May to July. A good selection will be available. Great companion for miniature hostas.
Senecio aureus Golden Groundsel
PSH-FSH 12” easy, evergreen groundcover, native
Golden groundsel loves full shade! The large, leathery, dark green leaves have purple highlights and provide bold texture. In May and June, flower stalks loaded with fragrant, bright yellow blossoms shoot up above the leaves. Spreads quickly even in dry shade. Native to PA.
Solidago ‘Little Lemon’ Dwarf Goldenrod
S-PSH 12-15” easy, takes dry soil, native
A vey compact goldenrod with lemon-yellow flowers in late summer and fall that attract butterflies. PA native.
Spigelia marilandica Indian Pink
PSH-FSH 1-2’ well-drained soil, native
In June, upright sprays of trumpet-shaped scarlet flowers flare to reveal their canary yellow interior, attracting hummingbirds like a magnet. Glossy green leaves. Native just south of PA.
Spiranthes odorata Fragrant Lady’s Tresses
S-PSH 12-18” grows best in moist soil, native
This native orchid thrives in moist soil. From early fall to frost, long-lasting, fragrant white flowers spiral up the many flower spikes ringed at the base by the linear leaves. Native to PA.
Stylophorum diphyllum Celandine Poppy
PSH-FSH 8-10” easy, native
Celandine poppies really brighten up my woodland garden in April and May with their large, yellow flowers. Their finely cut leaves are attractive all season. They look great with Jacob’s ladder or Virginia bluebells. Native to PA.
Tiarella cultivars Foamflower
PSH-FSH 12” organic soil, native
I offer a selection of the best of the many foamflowers, including my favorites, ‘Timbuktu’, ‘Brandywine’, ‘Elizabeth Oliver’, ‘Lace Carpet’, ‘Oakleaf’, ‘Running Tapestry’, and the “River Series” of ground covering foamflowers. They all produce hundreds of fragrant, white to pale pink blooms from April to June. The leaves have distinctive red highlights in fall. Native to PA.
Tricyrtis cultivars Toad-lily
PSH-FSH 18-24” well-drained, average soil
Toad-lilies have many orchid-like flowers held aloft on upright to arching stems late summer through fall. Their unusual leaves are shiny and often spotted. ‘Miyazaki’ has white to pale lilac flowers with purple. ‘Sinonome’ has ruby-spotted white flowers, a lovely arching habit, and blooms through October.
Trillium species Trillium
PSH-FSH 9-12” woodland, summer dormant, native
Trilliums, the quintessential woodland wildflower, bloom in mid-spring with three upright to reflexed colored petals (yellow, white, or red) set off by three triangular green sepals and three ruffly leaves. Native to PA.
Veronica cultivars Creeping Speedwell
S-PSH 4-6” spreading groundcover
Semi-evergreen leaves with burgundy highlights in spring and fall spread to form a delicate groundcover that is excellent for edging beds. The long-flowering lavender-blue (‘Waterperry Blue’) or bright blue (‘Georgia Blue’)blooms appear from mid-spring into fall. Although the plastic tag says full sun, I grow mine in a partly shaded east facing location.
VIOLA: I have a weakness for violets and have been collecting as many kinds as I can find in a variety of colors. They are easy to grow in any soil and often make a great groundcover, even under walnuts. PSH-FSH, 4-6”, self-sow.
Viola ‘Heartthrob’, elongated, heart-shaped lime-green leaves with a deep burgundy center-great for containers or the front of the border.
V. labradorica (Labrador Violet), lavender flowers in spring, reblooms, beautiful dark purple leaves.
V. pubescens (Yellow Violet), bright yellow flowers, native to PA.
V. species (Pink Violet), clear pink flowers.
V. striata (White Violet), pure white flowers, spreads quickly to form excellent groundcover, native to PA.
V. walteri ‘Silver Gem’ (Prostrate Blue Violet), forms a dense tidy mat of silver leaves topped by lavender flowers in March and reblooming into fall, very drought tolerant, native just south of PA.