Saturday, May 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up May 2021: Bring on Those Blooms!

Welcome to my May Garden!
The long awaited month of May, when the garden comes to life with blooms and color everywhere, has finally arrived. After a cold and snowy winter and cool spring, May brings temperatures in the mid-60's to low 70's, which is perfect for designing and working in the garden. After a long day at work, I unwind by taking a walk in the garden to see what is blooming. Come join me in my Long Island garden for a Bloom Day stroll!
Weeping Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist'
The first stop is 'Lavender Twist' Weeping Redbud which I planted last summer in the front garden bed. The beautiful blooms are such a joy to see in early spring, followed by its lovely heart-shaped foliage, which provides interest throughout the rest of the season. 'Lavender Twist' is great for smaller spaces, growing to 5-6 feet tall by 6-8 feet wide, and is hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
Back Island Bed
In the back island bed is a combination of evergreens Hinoki gracilis compacta (dwarf  Hinoki Cypress), and Mugo Pine with perennials Heuchera (Coral Bells) 'Palace Purple' and Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'. 
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'
The Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' really announces the month of May with its vibrant purple blooms.
Fragrant Snowball Viburnum  (Viburnum carlcephalum)
Here is a glimpse of Viburnum, which is just finishing its highly fragrant blooms in the back garden.
Evergreen and Perennial Border
In the evergreen and perennial border is Salvia Nemorosa 'May Night' to bring in the month of May (as the name implies!) Along with purple Salvia is Peony 'Karl Rosenfeld' (getting ready to bloom), Osmanthus (False Holly), Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and an assortment of Heuchera 'Caramel' and 'Palace Purple'.
Kwanzan Cherry
One of my most favorite of spring blooms is the blooms of Kwanzan Cherry. This tree, just planted a few years back, gets better every year with its profusion of soft pink blossoms.
Girard's Azalea
Springtime means the Azaleas are blooming. The Girard's Crimson variety shines displays its colorful blooms to brighten the back shade garden.
Back Pool Garden
Along with Azalea are Rhododendron buds forming for the next round of blooms and Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra) to add some golden color.
Colorful Combo
Another favorite spring combo is the foliage of Heuchera 'Caramel' and Sedum 'Brilliant' with the blooms of Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'. The foliage of Heuchera and Sedum will be followed up with blooms later in the season.
Helleborous 'Dark & Handsome'
I cannot believe the Hellebores are still blooming way into May! They just produced another full round of new foliage and more blooms, which seems to be a longer bloom time than ever before.
Helleborous 'Dark and Handsome'
This variety 'Dark and Handsome' from the Wedding Party Collection is the later blooming of  Helleborous with its dramatic purple-black blooms. Helleborous was actually the motivation behind my latest book, as I start the month of January with the amazing blooms of Helleborous 'Shooting Star'. I just cannot get enough of this magnificent perennial, which keeps on giving!
Sedum Mix
A new addition to the pool garden is this Sedum collection that called to me at the nursery. I added it to the pinkish-burgundy Sedum 'Dragons' Blood and golden Sedum 'Aurea' that was already there to give the collection a new punch! I love the uniqueness of all the different varieties of Sedum mixed together.
Garden Gal
The Sedum collection borders Garden Gal with Azalea 'Girards Fuschia' in the backdrop.
Skylands Golden Oriental Spruce
In the pool garden, the golden foliage of Skylands Oriental Spruce is surrounded by Azalea blooms.
Weeping Norway Spruce Foliage and Seed Cone
Weeping Norway Spruce is producing its interesting seed cones this time of year...
Skip Laurel Flowering
and Skip Laurel is displaying its soft white blooms for the month of May.
Allium 'Globemaster' Budding
The 'Globemaster' Allium is getting ready to display their huge lavender-purple blooms in late May to early June and I can't wait! Daylily 'Stella D Oro', Spirea 'Limemound' and Weeping Japanese Maple 'Red Select' are in the backdrop.
Foliage Combo Back Island Bed
As you know, I love combing foliage. Here is Mugo Pine (left), 'Palace Purple' Coral Bells (right) and Variegated Weigela (middle). Hinoki Cypress 'Compacta' is in the background.
I have found the perfect Mandevilla to place by the entry to the back patio. This year I chose this bright red variety which will bring joy all summer long and hopefully attract the hummingbirds like it has in the past!
Bring on Those Tulips!
Last, but not least, are my neighbor's tulips, which I admire every day as I pass them by. The lady next door, who's gardens were my inspiration while growing up, is now in her later 80's, and continues to add tulips to her driveway border each year. They just have a way of brightening my day, so I hope they brighten yours too!
Thank you for Visiting!
Thank you for visiting my May garden. As always, I enjoy hearing from you and seeing what's growing in your neck of the woods! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosMacro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden

Saturday, May 1, 2021

This Month in the Garden: 15 Perennials for Shade

15 Perennials for Shade

The shade garden can be the home to many varieties of perennials, displaying colorful foliage, blooms, or a combination of both. Here are 15 selections for shade, each chosen on the basis of interest, productivity and hardiness.
Heuchera 'Caramel' (Coral Bells)
Heuchera 'Caramel' is a newer hybrid introduction of Coral Bells with semi-evergreen caramel-colored foliage that lasts even through the winter months. Heuchera 'Caramel' is hardy in USDA zones 4-9 and produces stalks of creamy-pink blooms in late summer on a 12-18 inch high plant. Plant Heuchera 'Caramel' is a location with partial to full shade and a moist soil. Remove spent slower stalks in autumn and any winter-damaged foliage in early spring to allow for new growth.
Heuchera 'Palace Purple' (Coral Bells
I find Heuchera 'Palace Purple' to be the most hardy and longest lived of the Heuchera with beautiful burgundy foliage. The delicate white flowers produced on 12 inch stems in August to September that resemble baby's breath are just an added bonus. Heuchera can be grown in partial sun to shade and prefers a moderately moist organic soil. It is hardy in zones 4-8. 
Hosta 'Frances Williams' (Funkia or Plantation Lily)
There are 70 species of hosta with over 3000 varieties to choose from, ranging in color, shape and size. Once of the more popular varieties is ‘Francess Williams’, hardy in USDA zones 3-8, and known for its large 24-30 inch high by 3-5 foot wide chartreuse to yellow margined foliage and white blooms on 30-inch stems in mid-summer. 
Hosta 'Patriot'
Another variety of hosta, ‘Patriot’ is a hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and displays lavender flowers in mid-summer above 14-24 inch high by 2-4 foot wide white margined green foliage. The blooms of  hosta are excellent for pollinators and are an attraction to hummingbirds!
Carex (Golden Japanese Sedge)
Carex, hardy in USDA zines 5-10, Carex forms a semi-evergreen 12-18 inch tall by wide cascading mound of lime grass-like foliage that turns yellow-gold as it matures. Excellent for areas of partial shade and moderately moist conditions, Carex adds yearly interest tot the landscape.
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
Dicentra, also know as Bleeding Heart, is a wonderful addition for a moist, shady location. It is one of the most cultivated perennials in the spring garden, is hardy in USDA zones 3-9, and produces beautiful heart-shaped flowers in spring. It is an excellent addition to the woodland garden.
Astilbe 'Vision in Red'
There are numerous varieties of Astilbe, each known for their various sizes, color of blooms. One of my favorites is Astilbe ‘Vision in Red’. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, ‘Vison in Red’ displays purple-red blooms in mid-summer on top of a 12-16 inch tall plant. As with most astilbe, ‘Vision in Red’ prefers a location with partial to full shade and a moderately moist soil.
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' (Bugleweed)
Ajuga is a perennial groundcover that is hardy in USDA zones 3-9. Purple blooms form in spring above a spreading mound of green leaves that are highlighted with tones of cream and smoky pink. Plants grow to 4-6 inches tall by 12-18 inches wide and foliage turns to tones of burgundy in autumn. Ajuga thrives best in a location with partial shade.
Lobelia 'Cardinal'
Lobelia is excellent perennial for moist shady conditions and is hardy in USDA zones 4-9. Upright stalks of bright red flowers appear on a 24 inch tall plant in mid to late summer.
Ligularia 'Rocket'
Ligularia is another selection that thrives best on moist, shady conditions. It is hardy in USDA zones 3-9 and produces tall stalks of yellow blooms in mid to late summer on a 3-4 foot tall plant.
Ophiopogon (Mondo Grass)
Mondo Grass, hardy in USDA zones 6-10 is actually not a grass, but rather a member of the genus Ophiopogon, a genus of evergreen perennial plants native to India, China, Japan and Vietnam. Mondo grass prefers an area of partial to full shade and a moderately moist soil. 

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' (Black Mondo Grass)
Black Mondo Grass is considered a ground cover that grows to approximately ten inches tall and slowly spreads to about two feet in width. Foliage emerges as dark green in spring and matures to a deep purplish-black by summer. Black Mondo Grass is hardy in zones 6-10.
Acornus (Golden Sweet Flag) with Black Mondo Grass
To add that wanted interest and drama to the garden, combine Mondo Grass with other grass-like  plantings such as Variegated Liriope, Golden Japanese Sedge and Golden Variegated Sweet Flag (as pictured above). Sweet Flag is an evergreen perennial hardy in USDA zones 5-11, displaying golden variegated foliage that grows in clumps. It is best grown in a moist, partially shaded area and is great for naturalizing.
Chelone lyonni (Turtlehead)
Chelone lyonii is hardy in USDA zones 3-8, produces showy rosy-pink blooms resembling what looks like turtle heads. Blooms appear late summer into fall on a 24-30 tall plant. Chelone prefers a shady to semi-shady location with abundant moisture. Pinch foliage back in mid-spring to encourage fullness.
Liriope 'Variegata' (Lilyturf)
Liriope muscari 'Variegata' is popular for its grass-like, cream or yellow-margined leaves. Liriope can be grown in sun or shade and produces small purple blooms in August to September followed by round, dark purple berries. Liriope is very versatile as it can be planted just about anywhere in the garden as a complement to other plantings and is hardy in USDA zones 6-11. Liriope provides interest all season long as a lovely addition of texture to the garden and the late summer blooms just add an extra surprise! Cut back lilyturf in early spring to remove winter damaged foliage and to promote new growth.
15 Perennials for Shade
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden: 15 Perennials for Shade. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up.

For gardening info and tips: Visit my Author Page/Purchase My Books  Be sure to check out my newest book: Gardening by Month for 12-months of interest in the landscape!😊
Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2021. All rights reserved.