Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cash & Carry – the Growing Season of 2009 & Starting from Scratch: Part 1

Late April/early May I had a really bad case of Spring Fever at work. I just needed to get out, by myself and breathe fresh air – recharge my batteries. A mere 5 minutes from the office there is a wonderful nursery – “A Growing Place”. After taking the afternoon off, I wandered through-out their nursery enjoying their garden vignettes (a unique feature of theirs) waiting for something to hit me. 

It didn’t take long to gravitate to their ‘shade plants’ area. I was looking for ‘non-grass green’ plants to give my ‘Shade Garden’ some pizzazz (you know me, it’s about the ‘pop’ of color – the pleasant surprise when you round a corner in the yard). The Heuchera was the first thing that caught my eye. It was on my ‘plant wish list’ in the garden journal, and with the awesome variety available – where to start?

I am also in love the Japanese Painted Fern. When the variety of Heuchera over-whelmed me, I walked down the aisles of plants and saw the ferns – with my name all over it! That gave me an anchor of color to start with, and I was off & running. With the fern in hand, I headed back to the Heuchera – only to come up short when I saw the deep plum Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans – “Black Scallop”). “BAM”!! Rock n roll, baby!

Surfing an adrenaline high – two years dormant from construction – and arms loaded, it was finally off to the Heuchera. Now that I had a color palate (remember: the OCD thing?!!), I saw a “Key Lime” Heuchera that was absolutely stunning! Here is a quick shot of the end result (it’s a little blurry – I used my cell phone camera):

Included in the garden is some of my reclaimed Stella D’Oro Daylilies. I thought the complimentary yellow color would highlight the purple/plum in the ferns & Bugleweed. In the background, you’ll notice white Wax Begonias.

One (of many) pearl of wisdom gleaned from Fine Gardening magazine, was the benefit of white blooms. Not only do they give you a crisp, clean shot of color – but they look phenomenal in dusk & moonlight! It adds an iridescent glow to your gardens when you least expect it!

I'd also like to add the disclaimer that any links I put in my blogs are informal and just resources I've used & enjoyed along the way.  As I mentioned in my first blog - I am a 'visual learner' and the resources I use appeal to my simple nature!  :o)


  1. I love the way these plants look together. I'm in the early stages of planning a woodland garden, and I have both heuchera and fern on my plant list but hadn't thought about including daylilies. Hmm. Thanks for the idea. -Jean

  2. Hey, when you Google "Bunny Buffet", guess what comes up 2nd on the list!!! Woo-hooo!!!

  3. I love the combination of the bugleweed, heuchera, and painted fern! I found your blog in a roundabout way through blotanical. Welcome! I also have a shady garden and love these plants with beautiful foliage.

  4. P.S. I think the name of your blog is great!

  5. Great plant combo, I like how the purple of the painted fern echoes the purple in the Ajuga leaves. I'm so jealous you work right by The Growing Place. It's my favorite nursery, but it's 40 minutes away from me in non-rush hour traffic. Or maybe it's a good thing I live so far away, I'd be broke & my garden would be a complete mishmash of plants. I'm getting very excited about the opening of garden center shopping.

  6. Thanks! I may get brave & scan a sketch from my garden journal -- I'm geeky enough to admit I put the complimentary color wheel in it, because I've become a bit of a color freak & plan my gardens that way -- it makes my friend Judy nuts! ;o)


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