These are my favourites for this week…
Traditional perennials: hostas
hostas are great at the front of a border or bed and thrive in deep shade through part sun. Most hostas prefer shade, but those with yellow leaves or fragrant flowers prefer more sun. They come in many colours and sizes these days from miniature to huge. If you do plant the large ones, be sure to give them lots of space as they do not look their best when crowded.
Modern perennials: geraniums, not the red annual type your grandmother planted, but the perennial variety
Perennial geraniums also look great at the front of borders or beds. They tolerate shade and part sun. I love them because they are the first to green up in the spring, offer some colour with the blooms, but look great even when not in bloom. They come in many colors and sizes. Some of the larger ones can tend to be floppy, so I stick to the smaller ones.
Shrubs: Black Lace Elderberry
black lace elderberry
The deep wine colour of Black Lace Elderberries look wonderful mixed with all of the shades of green in your gardens. They die down to the ground each winter in my area, and are often slow to come back in the spring, but can grow to heights of six feet or more. This spring was so late and the winter so cold, I thought my black lace had died. Thankfully I decided to give it another week, and sure enough, one week later it was one foot tall! The pale pink flowers are pretty but I consider them a bonus as they don’t last long. The dark coloured lacy foliage is the reason I love this shrub. This season it is a great backdrop for my lily trees featured in the third picture.
Vines: Silver Lace
silver lace vine
Although the Silver Lace vine blooms in the fall and so not blooming this week, I am always suggesting it to my clients. It is quick growing, covering any structure very fast with white lace like flowers, a beautiful sight in September through November. Unfortunately I lost mine this past winter due to the severe cold weather we experienced. It is only hardy to zone 5 which is pushing the envelope for my Ottawa garden.
Coleus are great for filling in blank spots and contributing splashes of colour in shady spots of your gardens. I never used to like them, but after seeing them tucked in among perennials in a client’s garden, I’ve changed my mind and added some to my own gardens this year. Coleus come in many combinations and shades of pink, red and green; all make vibrant additions to a garden or container.
Stay tuned for next week’s choices…