So let’s take a look at our containers in the shady back garden, shall we?

Last fall I purchased 2 Bowman’s Root (Porteranthus trifoliatus or Gillenia trifoliata, depending on who¬† you ask), after seeing them massed beautifully outside Lurie Garden. Though it’s been less than a year, I’ve made up my mind: I definitely want more.

How is it that the 2 leading common names of Aruncus dioicus are Goat’s Beard and Bride’s Feathers? Apparently plants can be a sort of Rorschach test, reflecting great variations in perception within the human psyche.

American Fringe Trees (Chionanthus virginicus) and Peonies have little in common, except that they are providing some of the most striking blooms in our garden at this moment.  

Suddenly, it’s gone from a cool spring to a warm summer.

Every year I like to give a little push for 2 native Currants that, I believe, could be more widely utilized in home landscapes.

When we moved into our current house, the front foundation planting consisted of clipped Japanese Yews (Taxus cuspidata). One of the first things I did was cut down the Yews and replace them with a planting of Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and various shade perennials.

We should really tear ourselves away from the Tulips out front and catch up on what’s happening in the Back Garden. For most of the year this is the shady part of the garden, but to date the tall trees have just barely started to leaf out.

A couple of years ago the rabbits in our garden discovered that they had a yen for our Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica). This was more than a little upsetting, as Virginia Bluebells are probably my favorite native spring ephemeral.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) can form extensive colonies of gleaming white flowers, blooming in woodland glades in early spring. They don’t do that for me, though. I mean, they bloom very nicely, but they don’t form big colonies.