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Virginia bluebells

Mertensia virginiana

To come across a stand of bluebells in bloom in the woods is a dream. Bluebells is among our most revered of wildflowers, perhaps because their beauty is so fleeting. Arranged in clusters, the tubular clear-blue flowers that flare at the mouth open from pink buds. Lance-shape foliage emerges purplish-brown but becomes a medium green before going dormant after bloom time. Plan to fill bluebells' place in the border. It prefers moisture-retentive soil in sun or light shade, especially at midday. Excellent with spring bulbs.

Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

To 2 feet wide

Flower Color:

Seasonal Features:

Problem Solvers:

Zones:

3-8


how to grow Virginia bluebells


plant Virginia bluebells with
Perennial geranium

One of the longest bloomers in the garden, hardy geranium bears little flowers for months at a time. It produces jewel-tone, saucer-shape flowers and mounds of handsome, lobed foliage. It needs full sun, but otherwise it is a tough and reliable plant, thriving in a wide assortment of soils. Many of the best are hybrids. Perennial geraniums may form large colonies.

Bergenia

The glossy green leaves of bergenia look outstanding all year long. In fall they take on a magnificent reddish-bronze hue. The thick, leathery foliage squeaks when rubbed between your fingers, giving this plant the other common name of pigsqueak.The pink, rose, or white blooms that appear on sturdy stalks in spring are just a bonus compared to the usefulness of the foliage. Not surprisingly, this is often used as groundcover. In cold regions, the semievergreen leaves are often damaged by spring frosts and can take much of the spring to recover.

Phlox

Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any large sunny flowerbed or border shouldn't be without. There are several different kinds of phlox. Garden and meadow phlox produce large panicles of fragrant flowers in a wide assortment of colors. They also add height, heft, and charm to a border. Low-growing wild Sweet William, moss pinks, and creeping phlox are effective as ground covers, at the front of the border, and as rock and wild garden plants, especially in light shade. These native gems have been hybridized extensively especially to toughen the foliage against mildew problems; many recent selections are mildew-resistant. Phlox need amply moist soil for best overall health.

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