For years, I hesitated on adding Euphorbia to my garden, because I read somewhere that certain varieties were invasive. I am weary from battles with uncontrollable invaders and always hesitant to add new or unknown plants that could prove to be problematic.
Then some glossy gardening magazine shots and a recommendation of Euphorbia polychroma from Canadian gardening celebrity Marjorie Harris made me reconsider.
So, I bought a few varieties of Euphorbia to try in my own garden.
The first is Euphorbia polychroma 'First Blush'. It is nicely compact (30-40 cm) and has pretty white and green foliage, with a hint of pink. This is the third year for it in the garden and I love its variegation when mixed in with other sun loving perennials.
This spring, it is looking a bit worse for ware after our particularly long winter, but I am hoping it will come along as soon as the weather warms a bit more.
The second plant is Euphorbia poly 'Bonfire' and it has quickly become a favorite. The plant is a chameleon: emerging foliage in spring is yellow, orange and lime with burgundy undertones.
Then, brackets of tiny yellow flowers tipped with orangy-red appear in late May.
In fall, the leaves turn a beautiful shade of crimson.
'Bonfire' has a neat, mounded shape and is nicely compact at 40 cm tall. Mine is in full sun, but 'Bonfire' can apparently take part shade.
New to the garden this spring, is Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', which I had made note of after reading a few recommendations on blog posts. I hope to find a sunny spot for it in the front garden.
The next plant that I recommend for interesting foliage actually has a flower, but I grow it because I love its soft, feathery leaves and wacky looking seed heads. Pasque flower 'Pulsatilla' or wind flower is a plant I first admired in my mother's garden when I was home (Nova Scotia).
Here is a seed head in late spring.
A rather weird looking seed head in fall. It is almost a bit creepy isn't it?
The foliage and flower stems are soft and feathery.
I now have a plum and a red colored plant. (There is also a white variety, but I lost mine and have to replace it). I have had mine for two or three years now and can tell you they make a nice dense mound, perfect for the front of a sunny border.