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More Unusual Plants To Delight The Gardener
by Jennifer Moore
by Jennifer Moore


Jennifer Moore is the owner and operator of Moore Landscaping based in Elora, Ontario. Jennifer is a talented writer and landscape designer providing unique landscaping services.

Her website can be reached here...

October 1, 2000

1pt.gif (86 bytes)As a continuation from the last article, the unusual or not-commonly-seen perennials obtainable will astound you. So many available in garden centers; to thrive in shade or sun locations and giving something different with their characteristics in the garden. These are more to try your hand at:

White Mugwort - A herbaceous perennial, its glorious, scented white plumes are seen in September among asters and chrysanthemums. Growing 5 - 6 feet tall, it is best placed at the back of the border, in part-sun or part-shade. It will thrive in full sun if the roots are given adequate moisture or the deeply cut leaves will look untidy.

Garden Phlox "Orange Perfection" - Not really an unusual species, but the colour is the reason for listing it. Usually seen is the pink, lavender or white varieties, but this is an apricot-orange colour that stands only 2 feet tall. It flowers in the summer, large heads of clustered five-petalled blooms, and does best in full sun. As with most varieties of Phlox, water should not be splashed onto the leaves and good air circulation should be given to prevent mildew from appearing.

Chameleon Plant - Called Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' in latin, this vigorous grower can thrive in wet conditions beside a natural pond or stream, or in a flowerbed with mulch. Its heart-shaped leaves are a greenish-blue with cream and reddish-pink markings. The flower is a very small cream bloom that appears in mid-summer on the very tip of the stems. It grows 6" - 12" tall in full-sun or shade locations and is hardy in zone 4.

Variegated Solomon's Seal - These perennials are native to North America and various parts of Europe. They grow best in part-shade, and can grow up to 3 feet high with a 1- foot spread. Its lance-shaped, slightly fuzzy, bright to dark green leaves are edged in bright white and are arranged alternately on the stems. In late spring, the arching stems carry drooping clusters of small, tubular flowers that are white tipped with green. These plants are nice to group in open spaces among trees, or in an informal part of the garden. They can spread quickly, therefore adequate room is needed around them. It should be planted in any good, moderately fertile soil that will stay moist, but not waterlogged.

Astrantia - These fascinating, 2 foot tall perennials originate from Europe and Asia. They have dark green leaves that are divided into 3 to 5 coarsely toothed lobes, with tiny, greenish-pink florets, which are surrounded by long, papery, white and pink, green- tipped bracts produced in the late summer. They grow best in part-sun with a moisture- retentive soil. The flowers of these plants are valued for drying and using in arrangements. There is a variegated form that has yellow and cream splotched foliage.

Ornamental Rhuem - seen growing wild in Siberia, China and the Himalayas, this plant should be only grown in a large space in part-shade or filtered sun. Large palmate leaves are the main attraction of this 5 foot tall plant, then attractive crimson flowers bloom above the leaves. This plant needs a deeply-dug hole prior to planting, watering in very dry spells and shelter during the winter winds. It does need to be well-spaced in the garden, as it can grow 4 to 5 feet wide.

Russian Vine - Called Polygonum baldschuanicum in latin, it produces bright red stems with long, heart-shaped golden leaves. It has creamy white with pink tinged flowers that appear through the summer and autumn. A rampant climber, it is ideal for covering walls and fences, reaching a height of 24 feet. It is best planted in part- to full-sun in any good soil and should be pruned slightly after flowering to keep it under control.

1pt.gif (86 bytes)Many extraordinary plants available are fabulous to plant in your flowerbed and are not only interesting to look at, but a great conversational piece as well. When looking for different perennials, expect to pay a little more or see a little less plant in the pot, but think of the rewards of having that extraordinary plant in your yard.

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