There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Friday, May 18, 2012

May Flowers

Hello again,
It is quite busy around Midwest these days. I hope it's the same for you.  And if it is, chances are you don't have much time to read much of this, so I'll go fast.
Sambucus Black Lace™
This is one of my favorite shrubs on the market.  It works incredibly well for those that need a substitute for failing Japanese Maples.  Though in our new zones, we might be able to get away with most Japanese Maples at this time.  The benefit to these is that they have these great flowers that go with it.  They just started blooming earlier this week for us, and I love the contrast of the silvery pink flowers against the dark lacy purple foliage. I've had them in the garden for four years and they are now 4' tall and 6' wide.
Iris sibirica 'Temper Tantrum'
Every year I have to post a picture of this plant.  Every time I see it, it makes me want to stomp my feet.  They are just starting to open up and they are already looking fabulous.  These stand 30" tall and nearly as wide.  My plants are 4-5 years old in the ground.  Though 'Caesar's Brother' is a great plant and the standard in Iris, 'Temper Tantrum' is the loudest one we carry and very worthy of your gardens.
Aquilegia 'Nora Barlow'
If you've ever been to the website, http://www.perennialsinfocus.com/, you've probably seen this plant on one of our pages. I have never been the biggest fan of double flowers but this one just looks amazing. It's hard for me to believe that a flower can do that.  These stand 3' tall and maybe 18" wide, but the plants are very upright.  It seems the color is outstanding on these this year, and all Aquilegia for that matter. Aquilegia alpina and Aquilegia canadensis both look stunning right now in the landscape.
Amsonia x 'Blue Ice'
Maybe you have caught on this year that I like Amsonia.  So here is yet another one that needs attention.  'Blue Ice' is a great early season blooming perennial that also looks good throughout summer.  Known in Europe as Rhazia orientalis, 'Blue Ice' was first named such because it was found in a crop of Amsonia tabernaemontana at White Flower Farm.  Now it is planted highly for many reasons.  I've used it here as a low perennial hedge.  In our garden designed by Piet Oudolf, it is prominently displayed all around the garden, and one of the most commented on plants of the garden when in bloom.  My next posting will be all about the Piet Oudolf designed garden, and I'll show some of his outstanding combinations with it.  Only growing 18" tall in our gardens and a little bit wider than that, it has the best flowering characteristics of all Amsonia.  However, it also has the worst fall color of the Amsonia we sell.  So that is the only drawback that I can think of.

Stay tuned for the next posting of images of the Piet Oudolf garden.  Thanks for taking the time to read, and until next time, have a great day!

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