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How can you not fall in love with a perennial that has regal blue spires? And monkshood is that plant. Relatively unknown, it deserves a lot more attention. It produces tall spikes of hooded purple, blue, white, or bicolor blooms in late summer to fall. When not in bloom, its mounds of coarsely lobed foliage look great, too.
Plants grow best in partial shade, although in cool climates they will grow well in full sun. In dense shade, plants will become floppy. All parts of monkhood are poisonous.
Monkshood dislikes hot weather, so it's usually not a great choice for gardeners in hot-summer climates.
garden plans for Monkshood
more varieties for Monkshood
(Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii') is a late bloomer with large intense blue-purple flowers. The sturdy plants normally need no staking unless grown in too much shade. It grows 4 feet tall. Zones 3-7.
(Aconitum cammarum 'Bicolor') features pale lavender to violet flowers with darker purple petals below. It grows 4 feet tall. Zones 3-7.
(Aconitum napellus) blooms in deep purple-blue in late summer. Plants grow to 5 feet tall. Zones 5-8.
plant Monkshood with
Astilbe brings a graceful, feathering note to moist, shady landscapes. In cooler climates in the northern third or so of the country, it can tolerate full sun provided it has a constant supply of moisture. In drier sites, however, the leaves will scorch in full sun.Feathery plumes of white, pink, lavender, or red flowers rise above the finely divided foliage from early to late summer depending on the variety. It will spread slowly over time where well-situated. Most commercially available types are complex hybrids.
This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners -- it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged -- the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.
No fall garden should be without toad lilies. These Asian curiosities bloom with orchid-like flowers that demand a close look, when the garden is winding down in fall. They do best in light shade in humus-rich soil that retains moisture, and are suitable for borders or less formal parts of the garden and among shrubs gradually becoming large clumps. Some self-seed but not aggressively.