I remember when I was just a new flower
gardener and had no knowledge of the wonderful
world of blooms that were out there.
My family were gardeners but it was mostly of
the vegetable variety. We had to grow and can
vegetables to live way back then.
(I am an antique now after all)
The only knowledge of flowers were of the few
rose bushes or passed along plants of irises, hibiscus,
hollyhocks or daffodils with a few old fashioned
annuals thrown into the mix.
The annuals were generally petunias, pansies or
geraniums. And Grandma always brought the geraniums
into the house for the winter where they would bloom
on her windowsill and go back out again in the summer.
So when I started into making flowerbeds around
my home my knowledge was very limited into
what would grow or how to grow them.
Especially when it came to a shady flowerbed.
When I think of all of the poor plants I have killed
along the way it makes me cringe a little.
I wanted flowers that bloomed in the shade.
I was not in love with the foliage plants that were
offered back then and being poorer tended to limited
my access to materials to gain very much knowledge
on the subject.
Then the only flowers we grew were grown from
seed or were passed on from divisions from someone
else’s garden. That is why I still have a few plants that
were from my Grandmas garden.
Most of them now are considered old fashioned flowers
but even those old fashioned flowers today are made
over new with so many new colors, double blooms
and even repeat bloomers that they are anything but
old fashioned looking.
I remember the first flower catalog I got in the mail
was from the Michigan Bulb Company.
I went through it time after time just looking and
deciding what I could afford to buy, which was not much.
Now today I know the company offers a very limited
selection but at that time it was flower bonanza to me.
That is where I first saw the assortment of Astilbe
plants and that they would grow in the shade. So
they were one of my first flowers to buy from a catalog.
Then they were a spot of color in my flowerbeds
that I just loved and I still love them today.
I have several colors of them now and there are so
many great varieties today to choose from.
Giant plumes, early bloomers, late bloomers, etc.
When I started making my woodland bed last Fall
I knew I would be adding my Astilbes to the bed.
The Butterflies and Bees love them and long after the
colorful airy blooms have faded they still add texture
to the flowerbed.
Later through the magic of the internet and now
in these last few years through garden blogging
I have discovered so many wonderful and colorful plants
that can be planted in the shade gardens.
The possibilities and colors are limitless but I will
always have a fond place in my heart and around in
my flowerbeds for the feathery Astilbe.
Update on the Nikko Hydrangea bush.
It is getting bluer everyday now.
Happy Gardening Everyone,