Money for new garden flowers is in short supply this spring and I want to try to stay within a very limited budget. I am determined to stick to the spring wish list I have drawn up. (We will see how long that lasts!)
So when I arrived at the nursery, I quickly walked by the displays of Easter flowers, so as not to get distracted.
Okay-I got a little distracted! I stopped for a second to admire the paper thin blooms of some Ranunculus bulbs in flower.
I have been admiring all the hellebores in everybody's blog posts and really would like to have some in my garden. The selection available at this nursery however was disappointing however, so it wasn't hard to pass them by. (My favorites have been dark plum hellebores.)
The first plant to wink at me was this Jacob's Ladder. What is not most striking about this plant is not the flowers which are a soft blue, but rather the foliage, which is a soft green, with a rose colored accents.
Jacob's Ladder Polemonium "Stairway to Heaven' (Blue flowers May to July. Full sun to partial shade in well drained soil.I have always wanted a Brunnera. Next, I wandered over the the Brunnera. It has been on my list for a few years. I just wish it wasn't so darn expensive! The flowers are nothing to right home about, but the leaves are very handsome. And Brunnera likes shade, which I have in abundance in the back yard. There were many varieties to choose from:That is Brunnera 'King's Ransom' on the left and Brunnera 'Emerald Mist' on the right.
That is 'Brunnera marophylia varirgata' on the left and the more commonly available Brunnera 'Jack Frost' on the right.
In the end, I decided it was a toss up between 'Jack Frost' and this variety called 'Looking glass'(shown above). I couldn't make a decision, so I decided to wait and get one on my next visit.
White Bleeding Heart 'Dicentra spectabilis alba'
I so pleased with my white and pink bleeding hearts, that I want to add one of the more unusual varieties to my collection. Sadly, I have tried these smaller varieties in the past, with limited success. I am not at all sure where I have gone wrong.
At my garden clubs monthly meeting, we had David Tomlinson as a guest speaker. He has the most amazing garden (called Merlin's Hollow) in Aurora, Ontario and is a plantsman with years and years of experience. David grows most of his perennials from seed.
When he does buy plants at a nursery, he takes them home and washes all the soil from the roots. He is convinced that the perlite, in the growing medium that most plants are potted up, with is hugely detrimental to the new plants chances of over wintering. Apparently, the perlite encourages air pockets to form and that puts the young plant's roots at risk when the ground freezes. After he washes the roots, David re-pots the plant in good soil and allows it to recover, before planting it in the garden.
This is the first I have ever heard of this, but I wonder if he is not correct.
Dicentra Formosa 'Adrian Bloom'
I really liked the deep rose color of this variety called "King of Hearts', but in the end, I decided on the variety named 'Luxuriant'. Given my poor success rate with these varieties in the past, I wonder if I should I re-pot it as David Tomlinson suggests.
Foam Flower Tiarella 'Sugar and Spice'
Here is a pretty temptress. Foam flower is great plant for shade. I have had limited success with it because it is so dry here in late summer, but if you have a shaded, consistently moist spot, it is real charmer.
I saved a visit to the vast display of pansies for last. Who can resist their happy faces? I bought several colors for my urns and window boxes.
Next month, I hope to have some blooms in my own garden to show you. Many thanks to Carol for hosting GBBD. To see other gardens have in bloom click here.
Have a great weekend!