Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
Echinacea is quite possibly one of the North America's most popular native wildflowers.
Echinacea purpurea prefers full sun, but will grow in a variety of soil types.
75-85 cm tall with a similar spread.
Though there are many new cultivators, the old tried and true varieties are still my favourites.
Euphorbia polychroma 'Bonfire'
The letter 'E' is also stands for Euphorbia. Though I now have several varieties of Euphorbia in my garden, Euphorbia polychroma 'Bonfire' is still my first choice.
'Bonfire' is a mounded, low-growing plant. The foliage emerges green in spring and quickly transitions into a deep maroon. It has golden-chartreuse blooms in late May-early June that are very striking against the backdrop of deep, maroon leaves. It prefers full sun, will grow in a variety of soils and tolerates average to dry conditions. 30-40 cm tall.
This is 'Bonfire' in my garden in late May of last year.
'Bonfire' looks wonderful well into fall.
Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' The plant has wonderful gold and green variegated foliage, with fresh shoots that are tinged with coral red. The plant blooms on variegated bracts with tiny, red flowers.
It prefers full sun and grows to 50 cm.
I added Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' last summer, after admiring on several gardening blogs.
Sadly, I have to report that even after a mild winter 'Ascot Rainbow' looks very bedraggled. The jury is out on how well this beauty will do in my northern garden.
Euphorbia Polychroma prefers full sun and is adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions. This plant also has a neat mounded shape. Euphorbia Polychroma likes
sandy, well drained soil. 30-40cm tall.
Also new to the garden, is Cushion Spurge or Euphorbia Polychroma. Deep yellow bracts will hopefully appear later this spring.
So far, this plant has come through a Canadian winter much better than Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'. I can't wait to see the foliage turn brick-red next fall!
Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow' growing in David Tomlinson's garden called Merlin's Hollow
I gave Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow' a try in the garden a few years ago, but found that it refused to stay put and started to wander. Though I loved the orange flowers bracts, I ripped it out.
Then last June, I admired this same plant at David Tomlinson's garden called Merlin's Hollow. I asked David if he found that the plant spread uncontrolled, but he reported no problems with it.
Now I am wondering if I was a bit paranoid when I pulled it out of my flowerbed! What about you? Do you have any experience good or bad with Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow'?
The letter 'F' is for fern and in this case a native fern. Ostrich ferns, Matteuccia Struthiopteris grow in great drifts on the forest floor in a swampy area near our home.
They are also my favourite fern in the garden. The foliage has a wonderful cinnamon-like scent.
I love watching their curled, serpentine heads unfurl each spring.
I find these ferns indispensable for shade. Though they prefer moist soil, Ostrich Ferns do seem to tolerate the drought that always comes in late Ontario summers. They reach 1-2m in height and definitely require rich soil.
Ostrich Ferns are apparently the preferred species to eat, although I have never harvested their tender fiddleheads. I prefer to enjoy them all summer in the garden.
Have a great weekend everyone!