Elegant Companions Of Spring Plants – Only a handful of spring bulbs grow to a good size. They include Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum), which flowers in late spring and early summer and likes a shaded or semi-shaded site, and the crown imperials. Grown in three colors – yellow, orange, or deep red – the crown imperials are at their best in mid to late spring in a semi-shady or sunny spot.
While the crown imperials are very imposing, the Solomon’s seal is cool, quiet, and elegant. Both bear their flowers well above ground level, so they look best if they are underplanted with a mound of low-growing plants in complementary colors that flower at the same time.
Find A Place For Your Topiary – During the fall season the key architectural ingredients start to grab the eye. And some of the best are topiarized shapes that range from traditional birds, urns and simple geometric shapes, to clouds, animals, chairs, and even cars.
The best way to decide where to place your topiary is to walk round the garden on a late fall afternoon when it is looking quite bare, and decide where it really needs livening up.
Jasmine Tobacco (Nicotiana alata) is a lovely heirloom flower gaining recognition among today’s gardeners. This ornamental tobacco plant is notable for the unusual color of its evening-scented flowers, which make it popular with flower arrangers. It makes an erect bushy plant, 60-75cm/24-30in tall, covered in sticky hairs and with lax group of long-tubed flowers which open out into a star at the end, about 7,5cm/3in long. These are freely borne all summer from early to mid-summer, and are unaffected by most weather.
Nicotiana ‘Lime Green’ is a half-hardy perennial which will overwinter, if the weather is mild and flower early. But it is usually grown as an annual.
Rudbeckia: Beautiful Fall Garden Plant – Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susans, Golden Coneflower) belong in every sunny garden. Coneflowers are easy to grow, sturdy and essential plants for borders in early fall. The petals of the daisy-like flowers droop away from the contrasting centers in an appealing way.
Rudbeckia is an outstanding perennial plant. Rudbeckia is an excellent cut flower and a great choice for mass planting. Rudbeckias are versatile plants that add bright sunny color to perennial beds, mixed borders and containers. They can be used alone in mass plantings, as a border, or along a fence.
Sea holly (Eryngium) is a spiky, stiffly branched, architectural plant, perhaps best given space to make its own statement, ideally in a gravel garden. It will also integrate in mixed, sunny borders, providing an excellent contrast to softer plants. If you are growing a blue sea holly plant in containers, place them with other plants that can tolerate dry conditions. Some of them are biennials. This striking plant has deeply cut, bluish-grey leaves, veined white, and spiky steel-blue cones of flowers. Cultivars, which vary in height and the exact shade of blue, include ‘Blue Glitter’, ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Big Blue’.
Sea holly should be grown in full sun and in light, well draining soil. Sea holly does not like to be disturbed so choose a spot where it will not need transplanting.
Shade Loving Plants – Just because shade loving plants thrive where the sun doesn’t shine, doesn’t mean that they can’t bring color into your garden. The shaded areas of your garden can be just as bright and appealing as the sunny ones. These shade-loving perennials turn all those dim areas, from part to full shade, into a delightful oasis that will only increase in beauty year after year.
Hellebores are among the earliest perennials to bloom in the new year, flowering by January or February in the South, and several weeks later in the North. The flowers are not showy, but when they are the only flowers in the garden, they seem beautiful.