Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gardens of the High Line– Book Review and Giveaway

I love a book that takes you somewhere else; somewhere you dream of going one day, but may never get the opportunity to visit. It's traveling at its most relaxed– no bags to pack, no hotel room to book, no flights to catch.

Gardens of the High Line transports you to New York City and a garden that floats thirty feet in the air. Best of all, you never have to leave the cozy comfort of your favourite chair.

It's been years and years since I last visited New York City. On my first trip, I went with my sister Nancy. My frugal sibling, hoping to save all our spending money for theatre tickets, booked us a room (the size of a large closet) at the downtown YMCA. There were lots of other college students there, but the place was pretty grim.

One morning Nancy wrapped her freshly washed head in a clean towel only to have a giant cockroach crawl out from the folds of the towel onto her forehead. She screamed and everyone came running to see who was being murdered. I still remember their annoyed faces when they found she was screaming about a roach!

Everyday we joined the lineups in Times Square for discount theatre tickets and every night we saw a different show. We shopped at Bloomingdales and Macy's. Best of all, I got to visit the city's big museums and art galleries. It made cockroaches and our grubby accommodation so worth it!

From the book The Gardens of the High Line by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke published by Timber Press. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

From the book The Gardens of the High Line by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke published by Timber Press. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

If I am ever lucky enough to go to New York City again, I'd love to visit in the fall when the leaves have begun to turn and the air is crisp and fresh. It would be my dream to stroll along the High Line in that magic time just before sunset, when the light is dipped in pure gold.

But until that day, I have this terrific book to take me there anytime I want.

From the book The Gardens of the High Line by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke published by Timber Press. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

One of the most amazing things about this garden is that it exists at all.

The story of the High Line begins in the 1930's when an elevated rail line was constructed to carry goods to and from Manhattan's largest industrial district. Things change, and by the 1980's rail transportation had fallen into decline. The last train, carrying three carloads of frozen turkeys, ran in the late 1980's.

Then the High Line sat neglected for nearly two decades. Finally it was slated for demolition.

But something unexpected happened during those twenty years of neglect. Nature reclaimed the space. Wildflowers and grasses sprang up from seeds carried on the wind and dropped by birds. A defunct piece of urban infrastructure had turned into a wild garden in the sky. Robert Hammond writes in the introduction to the book about his first encounter with the derelict mile and a half of elevated railway:

"When I first stepped up on the High Line in 1999, I truly fell in love. What I fell in love with was the tension. It was there in the juxtaposition between the hard and the soft, the wild grasses and the billboards, the industrial relics and the natural landscape, the views of both wild flowers and the Empire State Building. It was ugly and beautiful at the same time. And it's that tension that gives the High Line its power."

Together with Joshua David, he formed Friends of the High Line in 1999 to advocate for the old rail line's preservation and reuse as a public space. They hired photographer Joel Sternfeld to take pictures of the High Line over a period of a year through all four seasons, so that everyone could see that this was a wildscape worthy of being saved. The public fell in love with those images. In 2004, the process of selecting a design team to revitalize the space began.

From the book The Gardens of the High Line by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke published by Timber Press. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

The plantings on the High Line were meticulously designed to look natural. The man behind this approach was Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf. Well-known for a naturalistic prairie style of planting, Oudolf writes in the book:

"For me, garden design is not about the plants, it is about emotion, atmosphere, a sense of contemplation."

From the book The Gardens of the High Line by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke published by Timber Press. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

From the book The Gardens of the High Line by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke published by Timber Press. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

The average soil depth on the elevated High line is just eighteen inches. The walkways and exposed train tracks call to mind the original railroad. The trees and native grasses have the same feel of the untamed wilderness that took root after the track was abandoned. The planting appears wild, but has been carefully considered and maintained.

From the book The Gardens of the High Line by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke published by Timber Press. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher.

What inspiration can a large public space provide for a small home garden like the one you may have? Plenty! It could be a plant combination that captures your imagination or it might be something as simple as introducing a hint of that soft, naturalistic planting style into your own garden.

This fine example of urban revitalization is itself an inspiration. The High Line was once a rusting mass of steel. That it became something else speaks to the power of the imagination.

Someday I'd love to go there, but for now, I will escape into the pages of this book.

This is one of the most beautiful gardening books to cross my desk in recent years. The photography is stunning!! I am extremely grateful to Timber Press for providing a copy of Gardens of the High Line for me to give away. Because this book will go to a winner through the mail, we will have to limit entry to readers in Canada and the USA. 

Please leave a comment below, if you would like to be included in the book draw. The draw will remain open until Thursday, August 31stIf you are not a blogger, you can enter by leaving a comment on the Three Dogs in a Garden Facebook page (there is an additional link to the Facebook page at the bottom of the blog). You are also welcome to enter by sending me an email (

Click the link below for a documentary on the creation of the High Line. There also a link to a documentary about Lurie park– another of Piet Oudolf's garden design projects.

Piet Oudolf, Lorraine Ferguson and Rick Drake

About the Authors and Book Designer:

Piet Oudolf is among the world's most innovative garden designers and a leading exponent of a naturalistic or prairie style of planting. Oudolf's extensive work over 30 years of practice includes public and private gardens all over the world. He is best known for his work on the High Line and Battery Park in New York, the Lurie garden in Chicago's Millennium Park and Potters Field in London.

Watch an hour long documentary on the High Line

Watch a 10 minute video on the Oudolf's work on the
 Lurie Garden in Chicago

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of liveable landscapes. His projects include scenic byways, public gardens, corporate landscapes and residential gardens. Drake served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years. He is recognized as one of the world's leading experts on grasses and their uses in public and private landscapes. 

Lorraine Ferguson is an independent graphic designer who collaborates with artists, curators, architects and authors in the design of books, exhibitions, signage and products for cultural and educational institutions.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Natural Shade Garden in Summer

Jamie DeWolf and her husband George reside in what was once the carriage house of a large estate.

The trees on the property tower over the former carriage house. Many of these trees are part of the original forest and have never been cut. Into this very special woodland, Jamie has incorporated both native and shade loving plants.

A few years ago, I paid a visit Jamie's garden in early May. Then I made a return visit to see the garden in July. Gardens change constantly, and it was fascinating to witness the garden's transformation from spring to summer. Plants that were shyly emerging in May were at their glory in July.

Most people focus on the backyard when creating a garden and put a boring lawn at the front of the house. I asked Jamie what inspired her to focus on the big front yard when creating her garden.

"Because the space was so large, and there was so much shade (and deep shade to boot), I decided to enlist professional help and hired a landscape architect, Christopher Campbell. When he arrived with the plan for the front, I could see that it was 90% plants. I could have cried! It was so overwhelming, but after he explained that we "would never get the grass to grow," I understood. We then decided that it would be impossible to plant it all in one year, so we put together a multi-year plan that seemed much less daunting. I think we put in about 10-12 feet per year, "Jamie says.

It's hard to miss the unique front gate.

"The landscape architect designed it for us, and my husband built it. It has become pretty iconic in our neighbourhood to the point of having been on neighbourhood websites," says Jamie.

Jamie's summer garden is lush and green. One of the big reasons is the soil. 

"We compost all summer and fall; garden debris, kitchen clippings and we make mulch from the maple leaves in the fall. Oak leaves take 5 years to break down so those go to the curb for city pick up. I put the compost down every fall—usually as late as early December/late November after all the leaves have fallen. The oaks of course are the last to fall", she tells me.

Enriching the soil and creating the garden worked hand-in-hand right from the onset:

"The first summer I had found a book that described how to make your own rich soil using the ‘lasagna’ method. We overturned the sods in the fall, and layered newspaper and topsoil alternately. After they had sat all winter and early spring, we tilled it all up (only that first year) and planted. This method worked fairly well, although it was a lot of work. With successive plots, and as the garden got bigger, we brought in top soil. I’m guessing in excess of 100 yards over the years."

Jamie says the book Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich helped form the foundation for all her current gardening practices:

• Minimizing soil disruption (preserving natural layering by not rototilling, etc.)

• Protecting the soil surface (mulch)

• Avoiding soil compaction (ergo the stepping stones)

• Composting 

1. Astrantia 2. Yew 3. Sedge, Carex 4. Hardy Geranium 5. Astilbe 6. Purple Flowering Raspberry, Rubus odoratus 

Purple Flowering Raspberry, Rubus odoratus is native of Eastern North America. It is a deciduous shrub with thornless, cane-like stems and purplish-magenta flowers. Cup-shaped, red fruits which are edible, but not particularly delicious, follow the rose-like flowers. Please note that this plant spreads fairly aggressively. Full sun to light shade. Average to moist soil, well-drained soil is best for this plant. Height: 3-6 feet, Spread: 6-12 feet. USDA zones: 3-8.

False Hydrangea, Deinanthe is native to cool, moist regions of China. Large hydrangea-like leaves arise from woody rhizomes in the spring. In June or July clusters of nodding, cup-shaped blooms stand above the foliage. This plant likes moist, humus-rich soil. It needs full shade and protection from strong winds. Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 60-75 cm (24-30 inches). USDA zones: 5-7.

The garden is almost twenty years old now. A lot can change over such a long period of time.

"Originally I stuck pretty closely to the garden plan I was given, but about 10 years ago I visited Christopher Lloyd’s garden in England (Great Dixter) and was truly inspired. His style was more of a rambling cottage garden– at least that was the impression I had anyway– where plants are left alone to flourish. He also uses height to create interest. Turning a corner always yields a bit of the unexpected. Things were always fluid, but never stodgy. This garden turned everything I knew about garden design on its head. Truly inspirational," she says.

"Initially I planted everything that was on the garden plan given to me, but as plants died, I would run out the next spring and replace themAt one point I moved away from the stock more ‘generic’ plants at places like Sheridan Nurseries and went to more exotic ones that were available from the more specialty nurseries such as Lost Horizons– although some survived, others failed."

"After a few years, I realized there was no point in fighting Mother Nature and there was probably some sort of happy medium. My strategy now has been to see what has done well in certain areas and stick with a good thing. I have tended to favour more native woodland plants such as Solomon’s Seal, Sweet Woodruff, May Apples, ferns, sumac and that sort of thing."

"I have recently discovered a nursery near Hamilton called Northland Nurseries that sells every pot for $5.99. There is such a huge selection there, I can now afford to replace things I really like. I can also venture out into newer plants that I haven’t tried before to see what will happen without any financial repercussions."

1. Canadian Ginger, Asarum canadense 2. Forest Pansy Redbud, Cercis canadensis 'Forest pansy' 3. Sedge, Carex 4. Sedge, Carex 5. Goat's Beard, Aruncus dioicus 6. Japanese Fern, Athyrium 7. Trillium 8. Astilbe 9. Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris.

Jamie and I weren't one hundred percent certain on the identification of these two Carex, but here are two that look very similar:

Sedge Grass, Carex elata Bowles Golden' (shown on the right) has yellowish-green foliage. It is semi-evergreen, moisture-loving grass that likes to find itself on the edge of a pond. It prefers full sun, unless afternoon shade is needed to keep it from drying out. Height: 45-60 cm (18-24 inches), Spread:60-90 cm (24-36 inches). USDA Zones 5-9.

Variegated Japanese Sedge, Carex morrowii, Laiche japonaise 'Ice Dance' is a grass-like perennial that forms a low mound of tufted green leaves edged in white. It likes moist, rich soil and is evergreen in habit (in colder areas it may need to have any foliage scorched by cold trimmed off in the spring).  Height: 20-30 cm (8-12 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA Zones: 5-9.

By this point you've looked through a number of pictures of the garden. How much work would a garden of this size entail? Jamie's answer might surprise you:

"The bulk of the work comes in the fall with raking and composting, and in the spring with cleanup and mulching. Other than that, over the summer there is just light weeding and deadheading for the most part. Like any garden, every 5 or 6 years I will deconstruct a plot and really move things around."

Japanese 'Ghost Fern' has that has upright, silvery-grey-green foliage. It forms a slow spreading clump and likes soil that is rich in organic matter.  The 'Ghost Fern' is more tolerant of soil dryness than other types of Japanese ferns, but it prefers soil that has medium to average moisture. Height: 90-120 cm (36-48 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.

Tatting Fern (on the left) and Christmas Fern (on the right)

Tatting Fern, Athyrium filix-femina has long, narrow fronds that have a rounded pinnae along their mid-ribs. This fern prefers moist soil. Full shade. Height: 15-30 cm (6-12 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.

Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostichoides forms a low clump of dark-green leathery fronds. It also likes moist, rich soil. Part to full shade. Height: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches), Spread: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.

Goat's Beard, Aruncus dioicus has feathery white plumes mid-summer. The plant has green ferny foliage, which is quite attractive in its own right. Full sun or part shade. Height: 120-180 cm ( 47-70 inches), Spread: 90-150 cm (35-59 inches.) USDA Zones: 2-9.

What impact does the garden have on the other aspects of daily life and how does Jamie and her husband use the garden? 

"Pretty well everyone I see when I am working out front calls out to say how they love walking by to see what is new or blooming. So the first thing the garden is used for is for our neighbours to enjoy."

"We decided about 6 or 7 years ago to convert one of the beds into a sitting area that we could use to serve meals, and for entertaining, because although everybody else got to enjoy it, we never did! It is a lovely place to have a cocktail, or even dinner for 4. My husband put a small light over the table that comes on along with the other garden lights. It is very magical at night."

Silene 'Clifford Moor' is a nice variegated cultivar with green leaves flecked in cream. Small magenta-pink flowers appear in spring. Silene 'Clifford Moor' prefers sun to light shade. Normal, sandy and clay soil all work well for Silene. Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 38-45 cm (15-18 inches) USDA Zones: 5-11

Valerian, Valeriana officinalis

Valerian, Valeriana officinalis is a clumping perennial with ferny, scented leaves, stems, flowers and roots. It is originally from Europe and western Asia, but has escaped gardens and has become naturalized in the northern U.S. and Canada. It is easily grown in average, well-drained soil. This is potentially invasive perennial that freely self-seeds. Full sun to part-shade. Height: 3-5ft, Spread: 2-4 ft. USDA zones: 4-7.

Calycanthus 'Aphrodite' is a bush that Jamie pruned to be a standard.

Sweetshrub, Calycanthus 'Aphrodite' has glossy, deer-resistant foliage and fragrant red flowers in summer. It likes moist, well-drained soil. Height: 1.2-1.8 m (4-6 feet), Spread: 1.8-2.4 m (6-8 feet). USDA Zones: 5-9.

A glimpse of the back garden. 

The white Dogwood on the right is Cornus Chinensis and the pink one (on the left and seen below) is Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’.

Flowering Dogwood, Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’

I always like to ask a gardener about what they've learned and any advice they might have to share. Here's what Jamie had to say:

• Hire a professional! For starters, anyways to get you going.

• Don’t be discouraged. Look for the beauty in textures, different leaf colours and shapes that you had not appreciated previously.

• Go for a vibe of ‘cool’, ‘serene’, ‘ethereal/whimsical’ to achieve the most satisfying results.

• Experiment! It is every bit as fun as the sun.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Heuchera Brighten Up any Spot in the Garden

Gardeners looking for something colorful to brighten up their late summer garden often look to flowers, but flowers aren't the only way to go!

When it comes to adding an infusion of color, I always think back to this amazing garden. 

Who needs flowers when foliage is this beautiful? The rose and peach colored Heuchera completely transform this shady garden.

Part-shade–Private garden in Campbellville, ON

Here's a fact that may surprise you–Heuchera are actually a native plant and are found in various forms across the North American continent. 

Heuchera form neat, round mounds and have a woody centre or "crown". The bell-shaped flowers of this plant are often described as "insignificant". Certainly one purchases a Heuchera primarily for the foliage, but the tiny flowers are often quite attractive in their own right:


Not all Heuchera prefer the same light conditions, so it's a good idea to read the recommendations on the plant tag before you set your heart on a particular cultivar. Some like full sun to part shade, while others prefer part-shade to full shade. All varieties benefit from some light afternoon shade– Heuchera foliage may actually scorch in the hot afternoon sun in more southern garden zones.


Heuchera prefer moist, well-drained soil enriched with some organic matter. If your soil is poor, it is a good idea to amend it with some organic matter before you plant.


A Heuchera's crown loses some vigor over time, so it is a good idea to divide them every 3-4 years. This can be done in either the spring or the fall.

Pests & Problems

Though Heuchera prefer moist soil, they like good drainage. Too much water can cause crown or root rot and make overwintering a Heuchera more difficult.

Winter cycles of frost and thaw can heave the crown of a Heuchera up out of the ground. To prevent this from happening, mulch in the fall. If your Heuchera has already heaved up as a result of frost/thaw, simply lift and re-plating it.

The Cultivars

In recent years, Heuchera have been focus of frenzied hybridization and can now be found in an amazing array of colors, leaf shapes and textures. 

Here's a look at some of the many cultivars available with suggestions for companion planting:

Shades of Green

Heuchera 'Sweet Tart' is a part of a series of miniature hybrids under the brand 'Little Cutie'. It has bright, lime colored leaves and sprays of peachy-pink flowers. Part to full shade. Height: 10-15 cm (4-6 inches), Spread: 20-25 cm (8-10 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Part-shade– Private garden, Brampton, ON.

Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade' has lobed and ruffled leaves that are a mix of chartreuse and lime. The flowers are peach on tan-colored stems. Part to full shade. Height: 25-40 cm (10-16 inches), Spread: 40-45 cm (16-18 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar Cultivar: Heuchera 'Citronelle'

Heuchera 'Winter Joy' has ruffled, lime-green leaves that have a light touch of yellow. The flowers are white. Part to full shade. Height: 25-30 cm (10-18 inches), Spread: 40-45 cm (16-18 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar Cultivars: Heuchera 'Lime Rickey', Heuchera 'Lime Ruffles', Heuchera 'Pear Crisp'

Heuchera 'Delta Dawn' has rounded leaves with a lime edge and a russet centre. The sprays of flowers are white in color. This cultivar is reputed to be both strong and vigorous. Full sun, part-shade and full shade. Height: 20-25 cm (8-10 inches), Spread: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar Cultivar: Heuchera 'Miracle'

Heuchera 'Sashay' has dark green foliage with a rust colored underside. Part to full shade. Height: 20-25 cm (8-21 inches), Spread: 20-25 cm (8-21 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Heuchera sanguinea 'Frosty Morn' has lobed and ruffled leaves that are a mix of chartreuse and lime. The flowers are orangy-red on tan-colored stems. Part to full shade. Height: 25-40 cm (10-16 inches), Spread: 40-45 cm (16-18 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar Cultivar: Heuchera 'Arctic Mist', Heuchera 'Snow Angel', Heuchera 'Shamrock', Heuchera x villosa 'Carnival Limeade', Heuchera x villosa 'Carnival Cocomint', Heuchera 'Helen Dillon'

Full sun– Heuchera and a Dianthus in Chen's garden.

Heuchera 'Crimson Curls' has ruffled, bronze and brown leaves with a crimson underside. Creamy-white flowers appear in late spring/summer. Evergreen. Part to full shade. Height: 20-45 cm (8-18 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Heuchera with Dark and Moody Tones

Huechera 'Cherry Cola' has reddish-brown leaves and cherry-red flowers in late spring/early summer. Full sun or part-shade. Height: 40-45 cm (16-18 in), Spread: 30-40 cm (12-16 in). USDA zones: 4-9.

Full sun–private garden Brampton, Ontario.

Heuchera 'Cajun Fire' is red in spring, black in summer and maroon in the fall. 'Cajun Fire' has white flowers on dark stems. Full sun, part-shade and full shade. Height: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches), Spread: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Heuchera 'Black Taffeta' has glossy, ruffled almost black foliage. The sprays of flowers are pink in color. Evergreen and reputed to have great vigor. Part to full shade. Height: 20-25 cm (8-10 inches), Spread: 30-35 cm (12-14 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar cultivars: Heuchera 'Chocolate Ruffles', Heuchera 'Plum Pudding', Heuchera 'Bressingham Bronze'

 Full shade–Private garden in Campbellville, ON

Heuchera 'Midnight Rose' has lobed leaves that are black in spring and lighten in the summer to have a splash of pink. The sprays of flowers are white. Full sun to part-shade. Height: 25-60 cm (10-23 inches), Spread: 40-50 cm (16-20 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Full sun– Mira's garden in Guelph, ON.

Part-shade– Chen's garden, Milton, ON.

Heuchera with a Hint of Autumn Color

Full sun to part-shade–Peach colored Heuchera in a private garden, Mississauga, ON.

Heuchera 'Champagne' has peach and gold leaves with a matt finish. The flowers are light-peach on maroon colored stems. Part to full shade. Height: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches), Spread: 30-35 cm (12-14 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar cultivars: Heuchera 'Peach Flambe', Heuchera 'Vienna'

Heuchera 'Marmalade' has foliage ranging in color from umber to deep sienna. The underside of the leaves are a blend of orange and magenta. The flowers are reddish-brown. Part-shade. Height: 25-40 cm (10-16 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar cultivars: Heuchera 'Amber Waves', Heuchera 'Autumn Leaves', Heuchera 'Kassandra'

Full sun–Peach colored Heuchera in Joe's garden, Brampton, ON.

A little reminder that Heuchera work well in containers. Lift them from the container in the late fall and plant them in the garden.

Heuchera  Kira 'Jersey' emerges in spring with lobed silver leaves with dark rose veins. As the summer progresses, it becomes peachy-rose in color with a light silver overlay. 'Jersey' has dark red stems and flowers. Part-shade to full shade. Height: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches), Spread: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar cultivars: Heuchera 'Georgia Peach', Heuchera 'Carnival Watermelon', Heuchera 'Midas Touch', Heuchera 'Paprika'

Full sun–Peach colored Heuchera in Chen's garden, Milton, ON.

Heuchera 'Encore' emerges a deep purple overlaid with silver in spring and becomes peachy-rose overlaid with silver. The sprays of flowers are short and white. Full sun or part-shade. Height: 15-20 cm (6-8 inches), Spread: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Heuchera 'Zipper' is a smaller sized variety that has large, ruffled leaves that are burnt orange with an amber underside. Full sun, part-shade and full shade. Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Similar Cultivars: Heuchera Little Cutie 'Ginger Snap' (smaller), Heuchera 'Southern Comfort', Heuchera 'Galaxy'

Heuchera with a Silver Finish

Heuchera 'Midnight Ruffles' has ruffled brown-black foliage that has a bit of a silver sheen. The maroon underside of the leaves contrast nicely. In spring, 'Midnight Ruffles' produces tan colored flowers. This hybrid was bred to be both vigorous and heat tolerant.  Full sun or part shade. Height: 30-35 cm (12-14 inches), Spread: 60-65 cm (23-25 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Part to full shade–Heuchera in the foreground– Private garden in the Toronto Beaches.

Heuchera 'Great Expectations' has silver and purple leaves with black veining. Cream flowers appear on dark stems in early summer. This is a villosa hybrid that was bred to tolerate heat and humidity (Heuchera villosa is native to southeastern U.S.) Part-shade to full shade. Height: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches), Spread: 30-35 cm (12-14 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Heuchera 'Glitter' has shiny, silver foliage with black veins and a grape colored underside. Sprays of fuchsia-pink flower appear throughout the summer months. Part-shade to full shade. Height: 20-25 cm (8-10 inches), Spread: 30-35 cm (12-14 inches). USDA zones: 4-9.

Part to full shade–Chen's garden, Milton, ON

You may have noticed that there aren't any pictures of Heuchera in my own garden in this post. 

That's because they can be very pricy plants (especially the newer cultivars)! As with hosta, I have started to invest in one or maybe two each year. In my mind, they're attractive foliage makes them well worth the expense.

Up shortly, I have a shade garden for you.