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THE PLANT OF THE MONTH

The Plant of the Month will be available the first of each month, starting in April, at the nursery … just ask a staff member for its location! These plants are carefully chosen to feature current bloom times and to serve as an accent in your garden. Try something new!

April: Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Zone: 3-8      Height: 1.5-2'      Spread: 1-1.5'

This showy blue flower says “Spring is here”! Easily grown in well-drained soils in shade or partial shade, Bluebells are best left undisturbed. The flowers actually start as pink buds but quickly open to blue, pendulous flowers which will bring many pollinators including bees and the first butterflies. The plants will increase in size each year and form a colony with no care from the gardener. The plants go dormant during the summer and can be overplanted with annuals.

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May: Cerastium (Snow-in-Summer)

Zone: 3-7      Height: 6-12"      Spread: 1'

Cerastium is a low-growing, silver-leaved ground cover, happiest grown in full sun. Noted for its tolerance of a wide range of soils, the plant produces white flowers in late spring. Plants spread rapidly by runners and will self-seed if spent blooms are not removed. Many gardeners grow Cerastium in rock gardens and stone wall pockets.

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June: Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)

Zone: 5-9     Height: 3-4'      Spread: 2-3'

This unusual plant gives your flower bed a two-toned appearance: emerging flowers red but mature to yellow! Flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and mark an easy transition from spring bulbs. Deer, in general, avoid this plant but hummingbirds and bees are drawn to it. Deadhead faded flowers  and divide every 2-3 years in order to minimize over-crowding.

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July: Allium (Ornamental Onion)

Zone: 5-8     Height: 12-18"      Spread: 12-18"

This hybrid perennial/rhizome gives long-blooming, fragrant rosy-purple flowers from mid to late summer. Drought-tolerant and both deer and rabbit resistant, it attracts bees and butterflies and will give an architectural accent to your high summer garden. It prefers full sun,  tolerates a wide range of soils and will cheerfully grow in containers. Deadhead or dry the flowers and cut back the foliage in late fall.

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August: Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)

Zone 3-9     Height: 2-2.5'      Spread:1.5-2'

Late summer is brightened by planting bold drifts of these daisy-like flowers.  In bloom from July to September, these bright yellow or orange flowers are best grown in full sun in rich, well-drained soil and naturalize well. Drought-tolerant when established, the plants stand up to heat and humidity, attracting birds and butterflies. Deadhead flowers to encourage more bloom.

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September: Aralia cordata (Japanese Spikenard)

Zone 3-8     Height: 4'      Spread: 4'

This shrub-like perennial actually dies back for the winter but all season long its tall, striking wide form is a perfect anchor and background for a woodland garden. The large, ornamental, bright chartreuse leaves thrive in part to full shade and moist woodland soil. 2 foot spikes of tiny white flowers bloom when little else is blooming in a woodland garden and are followed by bunches of purple berries which attract song birds. Deer and pest resistant.

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