Thanks to this blog, we’ve been doing more thinking than usual about what plants to add to the garden. Our area plant sales start in late April so why not start the wish list?
No. 1 is Jack-in-the-Pulpit, or Arisaema triphyllum (no, I don’t know how to pronounce it). It’s a perennial that likes shade to part-shade and moist soil, blooms in the spring and produces red berries in late summer. We ran into the Mercer County horticulturist at the symphony a few weeks ago, and I mentioned that I was looking forward to the Master Gardeners’ plant sale and was hoping to find some Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I just hope she was serious when she suggested that she could provide some of that! So do I look for it in the Js or the As?
No. 2 is Virginia Bluebells, or Merensia virginica. This is another spring flower and one that likes shade and woods. Clearly it has to be deer-resistant to survive! Flowering is from March to May, and it is native to many parts of the eastern U.S. In England, the woods are carpeted with bluebells. Maybe they could go under the forsythia?
No. 3 is a shrub, of all things: witch hazel. It blooms really early, before forsythia. Just what you need when you are tired of winter in February! Most are yellow, which is perhaps a bit too similar to forsythia, but ‘Diane,’ apparently, is red. One concern is their size — eight feet by eight feet or so at maturity. Maybe there is a dwarf variety? And I’d like to know what they look like the rest of the year. I think the flower is funky, but he thinks it’s a bit ugly. So it may not make the cut.
No. 4 is clematis (kla-MAY-tiss in Brit-speak). We have a white one, courtesy of one sister, but the Brit thinks they’d do great against the deck, with roots in the shade and climbing up into the sun. He says just about any color except white would do.
Any thoughts on any of these plants? Or suggestions for what else should go on the wish list?