Shade plants

Okay so winter is back. But the wonderful Kelly came and fixed my pipes, we were able to get rid of most of the flood and I hope things will be all right in the spring. We gardeners are nothing if not hopeful.

I mentioned Dan Heims? terrific talk last week He was dealing mainly with shade plants since we?re all getting more shade anyway (trees grow, building rise,construction is rampant).??He?showed us an amazing roster of shade plants, most of them new to the nurseries.

I have been trying a few of them so I can comment on howgood they are:

Acanthus hungaricusis a great plant and it grows well and looks spectacular with huge leaves and a candle of the most amazing eggplant purple bloom. The new one is called A.?Tasmanian Angel? and has a variegated foliage which will make it hard to place but quite a sight in the right placeI?m hoping it will survive the mud of the flood and if it does it will prove to be onetough plant.

Actaea I?ve also tried and like:Athyrium ?BurgundyLace?, a form of Japanese painted fern that can get both large and colourful (2in by 15in and grows in Z.5). This is one tough baby. It sat ignored all last year and come through beautifully.

Dicentra ?Gold Heart? is a deep golden form of bleeding heart that is just spectacular. It holds up in shade (thought not deep shade) and it isn?t a profligate spreader like thespecies (which keeps coming in from next door I might add). And there is a new one called ?King ofHearts? I liked the look of.

Hakonechloa ?All Gold? is a slightly newer form of the Japanese hedge grass. Haks are among my favourite of all plants. Great as edgers, perfect in containers and even the ochre tones they turn in winter are pleasing. This new form is intensely gold and makes a brilliant splashwherever it?s used.

?I?ll continue on with this list in the next few days (promise this time, I?ve been trying to beat deadlines).

?As you can see the web site is slowly shifting and I hopeyou like the improvements. Have a look at the trip to Italy. It will cheer you up if you are feeling down and send it on to anyone you know who would love atrip that includes gardens, wine and olive oil and a lot of fun.