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Adding A Glow To The Garden
by Jennifer Moore
by Jennifer Moore

email: moorelandscaping@sympatico.ca

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...

http://www3.sympatico.ca/moorelandscaping


September 5, 1999

This is the last of the three-part series; white flowers and plants with a white sheen. I have been listing perennial plants that can give a gardener this effect, yet annuals, trees and shrubs can achieve the same look. Euonymus or "Variegated Dogwood" are shrubs and the tree, "Harlequin Maple" are examples that can be combined with annuals of white impatiens, petunias, cleome and nicotiana. The selection is endless in all the plants available, with the choice being a person's preference and what is hardy and suitable in your area. More perennial plants to consider are:

Hosta

A large sweep of hostas planted on their own make a wonderful effect. There are many varieties to choose from but the varieties with white-edged leaves are what I find the most pleasing. Many people believe hostas are only grown in shady locations, but this doesn't hold true. Hostas can grow in full-sun when given adequate moisture, as well as in pots. Potted hostas do however, need to be planted into the garden to winter over, but once spring arrives they can be re-potted. Hostas come in a large selection of leaf sizes; miniatures measuring only 2 inches wide x 4 inches long x 4 inches tall, to larger sizes measuring 8-10 inches wide x 18-20 inches long x 16-20 inches tall. They are attractive to slugs and snails as well, but controlling them is not difficult. Hostas bear mauve bell-like flowers on tall stems in mid-summer, with some varieties emitting a pleasing scent.

Artemesia

This large family is an interesting one; every type of leaf and plant shape is in this family. From short mounded varieties to the more commonly seen "Queen" and "King" varieties with their 2.5 foot tall silver-leaved branches and tiny white flowers at the top of the stems. These two varieties are easy spreaders, almost classed as invasive with their roots spreading underground quickly. They can easily be controlled by pulling the runners out that are not wanted. Growing in full-sun to part-shade, they can also withstand drought conditions. The flower stems can be hung upside-down to dry, to use in dried flower arrangements and wreaths. Be aware that some people with sensitive skin can obtain a light skin rash from working closely with this plant.

White Swan Coneflower

This plant looks stately, with its tall stout stems and dark green, rough leaves. The creamy-white flower petals encircle an orange-brown center, making it very eye-catching. "Echinacea" as it is also called, is best planted in full-sun, near the back of the border, as it can reach 4 feet tall. It is best planted in full sun, well-drained and rich soil. Another variety, "Purpurea" is a dark burgundy flowering type, that is used for the herbal remedy to help stimulate the immune system and ward off colds.

Baby's Breath

A mass of very tiny, cloud-like blossoms float above the very thin, grey-green leaves. This is very commonly seen in flower arrangements to give it a softer look. It is best planted in a very deeply-dug planting hole, as it has a long central root. Add well-rotted manure or compost to the planting hole when planting to ensure a healthy floriforous plant. They are best suited in a full-sun, well-drained soil that has more lime to it. To help it from flopping over, add a few thin stakes in the early summer to grow through.

Hydrangea

Members of this family are appreciated everywhere by gardeners. The "Oak Leaf" variety is a deciduous shrub that blooms in late spring, showing their softly curving, dark-green leaves and soft white flowers. Another deciduous shrub is the "Pee-Gee" variety that blooms in mid-summer. It's flower heads are balls of hundreds of individual 4-5 petalled flowers. They are suitable to dry, to use for arrangements and hold their shape quite well, even when spray-painted lightly. This variety can get quite large, so an adequate space is needed. A climbing variety blooms in early summer with their vines reaching 20-25 feet up a supporting wall. All varieties do well in full-sun to part-shade in moist, rich soil.

Physostegia

Also called "Obedient Plant", this unusual plant is worth growing. As it's common name suggests, the individual flower heads can be positioned to face either side of the stem and the plant is "obedient" to the person positioning them. The small, tubular florets grow along the top half of the square stem, which rise above long, narrow foliage. The leaves are dark-green and glossy with a serrated edge, which provide a nice contrast to the white flowers. Physostegia grows best in full-sun or part-shade, in well-drained soil, but needs moisture if there is a drought. It grows to 4 feet tall and flowers in late summer.

Silver Mound, Goat's Beard, Fall Anemone, Snake Root, Pampas Grass, Dictamnus are still more of the many plants available that are in bloom now to early fall. There are varieties for all types of locations; for every garden space, for every soil, sun, and water condition. Why not experiment with what you can do, to give your garden a lift.

Jennifer Moore

Email: vj.moore@sympatico.ca this is the end

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