Probably my most favorite place in any garden is a cool shady woodland setting.
Such reprieves are needed to help calm the nerves and revitalize the spirit. Lush growth, abounding textures and intriguing flowers and fruit all combine to create a serene space where one can admire and contemplate - what better place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Here are just a few of the marvelous woodland gems available this season (late March through April 2014) to help you create your own shady oasis.
Actaea pachypoda ‘Misty Blue’
Supernal native woodland perennial from Eastern North America with a mounding habit and lacy blue-green foliage. Tall stems of fluffy white panicles in spring through early summer are followed in fall by striking pure white berries with contrasting red pedicels. Tolerates most soil types but requires even moisture in light to medium shade.
Height: 60-90cm Spread: 60-90cm Zone: 3
Japanese Cobra Lily
Arisaema sikokianum “Silver Feathers”
A selection of A. sikokianum with dramatic silver feather patterns in the center of each leaflet. The flower is a purple-black pitcher with white stripes and a greenish inside, the spadix is large, white and mushroom-like. Partial shade with sharp drainage.
Height: 40-60cm Spread: 20-30cm Zone: 4
A beautiful clumping evergreen perennial from China, having glossy heart-shaped green leaves with that gasoline sheen; new growth is bronze-red. Tall spikes of small white flowers through spring and summer. Superb, tidy groundcover for partial shade; prefers a humus rich, well drained soil. Tolerates dry shade. Slow to establish.
Height: 30cm Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 6
Coptis japonica var. dissecta
Little known evergreen perennial from Japan's mountainous woodlands, plants form tidy clumps of glossy, dark green parsley-like leaves. Tall dark spikes of starry white flowers in early spring followed by pin-wheel shaped seed pods. Deep purple winter colouring. Average soil in light to medium shade. Carefree groundcover.
Height: 15cm Spread: 30cm Zone: 5
Epimedium x ‘Yokihi’
A vigorous Japanese hybrid that forms a broad mound of dark green leaves; deciduous. Wiry flower stems dance with spider-like blooms that have golden yellow spurs backed by bright cherry red sepals - absolutely stunning! Flowers early spring repeating in summer. Partial shade in average to humus rich well drained soil.
Height: 30cm Spread: 50-60cm Zone: 4
Unique perennial endemic to the mountains of Japan. Plants form rosettes of dark green, fern-like leaves which are topped by short (30cm) spikes of pendulous clean white flowers; spring into summer. Prefers moist, humus rich, well drained soil in cool shade. Makes and excellent woodland groundcover or a one-of-a-kind container specimen.
Height: 15-30cm Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 5 (4)
Sturdy woodland perennial from Asia that produces silky umbrellas that open to rounded, palmate leaves of medium to dark green. Panicles of fuzzy white flowers from midsummer into fall. Prefers partial shade and good drainage in a cool woodland site. Easy to grow and maintenance free!
Height: 60-90cm Spread: 60-90cm Zone: 5 (4)
How To Order These New & Unique Plants
These unique and unusual woodland plants will be available at Art's Nursery by late March or early April 2014, depending on the weather. As they are somewhat rare, please call ahead, 604.882.1201, to confirm availability as quantities may be limited. Pre-orders are being accepted.