Native Perennial Loves Shade & Moist Soil Woodland Plant 6-12" H & 1-3' W Less popular than other Phlox varieties, but just as beautiful. Comes in a few different colors (purple pictured here). Great groundcover for shadier areas. Attracts butterflies. Drought tolerant. Blooming now.
Galium Odoratum or Sweet Woodruff - 4/27/12
Perennial (zone 4-9) Shade loving groundcover Naturalizes (spreads) quickly from season to season 12-20" W & 6-12" H Deer Resistant Plant White Flowers are in bloom now. Wonderful groundcover for an area that needs to be filled in quickly. Light green foliage provides great contrast to other plants in the garden.
Ranunculus asiaticus - 5/4/12
12-18" H with flowers Comes in pinks, oranges, yellows, reds, & whites Normally an annual around here (Zone 8-11), but due to our very mild winter, this guy came back for us this year. Excellent for cool weather containers or mixed in beds with violas, pansies, or alyssum. Full sun (ours is in part sun), well drained soil. Does not like to sit in wet medium. This is my FAVORITE cut flower. Elegant, and delicate, these plants are very popular in the beginning of the season. Buy them at your local retailer as potted plants, or if you're in a more southern location, try planting bulbs in the fall.
Rumex sanguineus or Red-Veined Dock - 5/11/12
Tallest foliage seen in this centerpiece by Bohemian Rose Designs with a red dianthus, red leaved celosia, Trifolium repens 'Dark Dancer', Centennial Geranium, Calibrachoa 'Vampire', and a Red Sempervirum or Hens n Chicks, for Dave's 65th Birthday. Gorgeous foliage plant that works great with any reds. Full to Part Sun, insignificant white flowers, 12-15" T & W. Perennial zones 6-9. TIP: When making mixed containers, it's best to think about a plant as a whole. As we see with this container, the flower is not the most important aspect of the plant. Try playing with foliage colors. Sometimes the most stunning containers don't have any flowers at all.
Nepeta x faassenii 'Walker's Low' or Catmint - 5/18/12
18"x18", Full Sun, Blue/Purple flowers from April to October Zone 3-8, Fragrant, Deer Resistant, Salt Tolerant Attracts Butterflies, Drought Tolerant once established PPA Plant of the Year for 2007. This perennial is about as good as it gets. Once it blooms, cut back spent flowers and it just keeps going, like the energizer bunny plant! Silver/Green foliage. Very popular plant because it's just such a great performer.
Tropaeolum or Nasturtiums - 5/25/12
Sun/Part Sun, Annual, Vining habit Native to South and Central America Repels cucurbit pests (squash bugs, cucumber beetles, caterpillars, etc.) Attracts predatory insects. Great addition to any vegetable or herb garden. Large flowers come in vibrant shades of orange, yellow, white, pink, and red. All parts of plant are edible. Peppery flavored flowers. Greens can be used in salads. Flowers make beautiful ornate edition to any summer cuisine. We use them in our container herb gardens to add a bright touch of color. Wonderful trailing, vining plant.
Lamium maculatum 'Aureum' or Spotted Dead Nettle - 6/1/12
Zones 3-10, Perennial, 6-12"H 12-18"W Full to Part Shade, Creeping Groundcovering Habit Pink Flowers through Spring and Summer Excellent Light Green Foliage with White Stripes There are a lot of varieties of Lamium that are more popular, such as 'White Nancy' or 'Beacon's Silver' that have more silver foliage, but 'Aureum' (shown here) is my favorite by far. The light green foliage provides great contrast for any shade garden or even a shade mixed planter. This variety is harder to find than the others, but totally worth the effort of looking! One of my favorite shade perennials. Happy June everyone!
Spiraea japonica 'Magic Carpet' or Magic Carpet Spirea - 6/8/12
Deciduous shrub, Zones 4-9 Full to Part Sun 2'T X 3'W, Pink Flowers in early summer. Attracts Butterflies, Drought Tolerant once established. The foliage of this plant comes in early spring as vibrant red new growth, fading to bronze. Through the season it maintains a light green foliage. Pink flowers start in early summer. If you prune the whole shrub back about 1/3 after it blooms, it will bloom again. In the fall the red and bronze foliage returns. A very interesting plant, with winter being it's only unflattering season. I love it in cottage gardens, or mixed beds. It will not disappoint!
Astilbe - 6/15/12
Full to Part Shade. Too much sun will scorch leaves. Native to Asia & North America. Zone 4-8. Grows 6"-40" Tall & 18"-30" Wide, Depending on Variety. White, Pink, Lavender, & Red Flowers in Early/Late Summer. Moist/Clay Soil tolerant. Deer Resistant. Fragrant. Good Cut Flower. These are excellent shade plants, because the foliage looks similar to a fern, then provides excellent color to a shady area when in flower. Some varieties start early in the season with a purplish hue to their leaves. Excellent in mixed beds in a group. Will spread slowly over time. Any variety of Astible is a good choice. Just pick a flower color you like.
Cranesbill Geranium - 6/22/12
Cranesbill Geranium Zone 4-9, 9-18" H 12-18" W Magenta, Blue, Purple, Pink, and other color blooms from May to October. Full sun to part shade. Excellent Perennial for a long season of color. Mounding habit. Grows quickly to fill in an area. It's unusual because it does bloom for such a long time. Not that common in perennials. You really get your money's worth with this one!
Clivia miniata or Kaffir Lily - 6/29/12
Excellent houseplant for bright, indirect light locations. Can be brought outdoors during warmer months, but is not cold hardy. Prefers very dry, shade/part shade conditions. Direct sun will burn foliage. Bring indoors for winter, and only water once a month, mimicing it's Native South African climate. This plant is poisonous if ingested in large amounts. Our dog has chewed on the leaves of our's with no crisis situation, but better safe than sorry. Beautiful sprays of orange, yellow, or red flowers in early summer which mature into large, inedible berries. Performs best when pot bound, but be sure not to keep medium wet. Too much moisture will encourage root rot.
Hydrangea - 7/6/12
6-7'T 8-10'W, Sun to Part Shade Comes in white, green, pink, blue, or red. Mophead (shown here) or Lacecap. For a lot of hydrangeas (namely macrophylla), color is determined by pH of soil. For the blues, add aluminum sulfate to your soil. For pinks, add Lime. Or, just wait to see what happens! They also make excellent cut flowers. I know that hydrangeas are everywhere, especially on Long Island where we live, but there's nothing like a great big hygrangea bush in full bloom. It's one of my favorites, and they're in bloom everywhere right now, so I couldn't resist making it the plant of the week!
Hosta 'Sum & Substance' - 7/13/12
Zones 3-9, Full to Part Shade Light Green, Very Large Leaves. 6'W X 3'T. Mounding Habit. Mid to Late Summer (now) Lavender Blooms attract Hummingbirds. THIS PLANT IS DEER FOOD. If you have deer, you unfortunately, should not go for this one, but if you don't have deer, this is an excellent foliage addition to any garden with a spot of shade. This variety is also slug resistant. I recommend you keep them in a group of at least 3 for good coverage of an area, but give each plant its room to grow. For me, this plant is all about the leaves. The flowers are beautiful, but the leaves provide such a textural contrast to anything else I have in my garden. Happy Friday the 13th!
Coleus or Solenostemon scutellarioides - 7/20/12
Shade loving annual. Zones 10-11. 18"-36"T, 18"W. Heat Tolerant (appropriate for this week!) Wonderful colors of foliage. Many varieties available, each more interesting than the next. Blooms are insignificant. Pinch blooms to encourage fuller plant growth. Mix with other annuals or perennials for an interesting contrast. I like to play off the colors of the foliage from coleus with the colors of other annual blooms. Since the show of coleus is not about the flower, it tends to make the whole garden pop. For more fun, mix different varieties of coleus together.
Verbena bonariensis or Tall Verbena - 7/27/12
Zone 7-11. Tender perennial around us, meaning if you're lucky, and we have a mild winter, it may come back, but best to treat it as an annual. Full Sun. Moist, well drained soil, but is drought tolerant. 2-4'T x 1-3'W. Attracts butterflies. Long bloom time. Likes it hot. This is a great plant to mix in with perennial beds for three reasons. 1. Long bloom time, so when your perennials fade out, this is still going. 2. Height. This plant is not so much about the foliage as it is the flower, which sits around 3-4' tall, on long stems, so the flower seems to float above the rest of the bed. 3. Heat tolerance. In the dead of summer (NOW!) this plant shines like a champion, while the rest of your annuals are looking a bit fried.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides or Hardy Plumbago - 8/3/12
Zone 6-9. 6-12"H x 18"W. Sun to Part Shade. Deciduous. Great groundcover to plant in groups among spring bulbs, as this foliage emerges late, around the same time your bulb foliage is fading out. This plant starts blooming now, and goes strong until the first frost. Blooms are a gorgeous deep blue. When planted in groups, it makes a very vibrant late season statement in your garden. In the fall, the foliage turns a pretty red color. This plant attracts butterflies when it's in bloom. It's also known to be deer resistant, but I'm not sure how true that is on Long Island. I'm always hesitant to claim deer resistance, because around here, they eat just about everything! Either way, this plant is a BEAUTIFUL late season bloomer.
Tricyrtis or Toad Lily - 8/10/12
1-3' T 1-2'W, Depending on Variety. Zone 4-9. Shade to Part Shade. Native to parts of Asia. Found naturally on the edges of forests. Emerges Late Spring, and does not compete well, so be careful not to overpopulate the Toad Lily Bed with too many other plants. Blooms of white, mauve, yellow, purple, blue, or pink arrive late summer to late fall. Attracts butterflies & hummingbirds. All parts of this plant are poisonous. Supposedly deer resistant. Best if planted in groups as this plant is small and delicate. To make an impact, there must be more than one. I recommend planting at least 5 in a group. Their growth pattern is similar to an asiatic lily. Blooms grow on top of an upright stalk. The best part about this plant is the funky little flowers. Definitely a conversation starter in your garden!
Mentha requienii or Corsican Mint - 8/17/12
Zone 6-9. Part shade to part sun. Evergreen groundcover. 1/2" Tall and 18" Wide. Decorative herb of the mint species. Used to flavor Creme de Menthe in the past. Has wonderful mint aroma, especially when disturbed. You can use this plant in walkways, or as a grass substitute, as it can handle foot traffic. It looks beautiful mixed in with bluestone slabs or cobblestones. Blooms of pink/lavender come mid to late summer, but they are very tiny and easy to miss if you're not paying attention. This wonderful little plant consists of tightly packed foliage, and is quick to spread itself out. Wonderful plant.
Ipomoea alba or Moon Vine - 8/24/12
Zone 8-11 (Annual Vine in NY). Native to Florida, Mexico, Argentina and other subtropical/tropical areas. 8-10' H & 12-15" W Should be given a trellis, or some support system to climb. Night blooming member of the Morning Glory Family. Large White Fragrant blooms open in the evening and remain until morning sun hits the petals. Tends to get flowers later in the summer around us (August). Seeds are poisonous, so take care around children and pets. This is a great plant to use around any area you would be in at night, i.e. behind seats around your firepit, a wall near your BBQ, or up the side of your front porch. The flowers are huge and beautiful. When they're open, the smell fills the area. LOVE night bloomers!
Buddleia or Butterfly Bush - 8/31/12
Zones 6+. 5-10' T & 5-10'W. Deciduous. Full Sun. Blooms Late June/July to Fall Frost. 6-8" long blooms in purple, pink, red, white, yellow, or combinations. Attracts hummingbirds, birds, butterflies, moths, and other pollinators. Deer Resistant. To keep bush from looking scraggley, cut back in early spring to about 1/3 of it's original size from previous year. This bush grows very quickly, so you can cut it back hard with no problem. Butterfly Bushes have been known to have invasive tendancies in other areas, some as close as Connecticut, but it is not listed on the Invasive Species list for Long Island. If new unwanted bushes start growing, just remove them, or transplant them to an area where they can grow full size. You'd be hard pressed to find a butterfly bush in full bloom without a butterfly on it. A MUST for any butterfly garden.
Lagerstroemia indica or Crape Myrtle
Great late season flowering landscape tree or shrub, depending on age and variety. Deciduous. Zones 6+. Beautiful, long lasting flowers in a variety of colors including the red pictured here, purples, pinks, corals, and whites. Attracts pollinators of all kinds including bees and butterflies. Height and width depend on variety and pruning habits. Those left unpruned grow to be smaller trees in the world of landscape trees, but much larger than a shrub. Can be kept smaller as a shrub if pruned correctly. Some dwarf varieties are available. Dwarf varieties will stay smaller. When you purchase this tree, make sure to read the label carefully so that you know what you are getting. Striking late season bloomer for any yard.
Anemone hupehensis or Windflower - 9/14/12
Zones 5+. Sun to Part Shade. 16" H x 24" W. The variety shown here, "Pretty Lady Susan" has a compact growth habit. Some anemone varieties are much taller and wider, some are around this size. This particular plant is a fall bloomer. It gets 2" vibrant pink blossoms with yellow centers. It makes an excellent cut flower. Anemones in general, no matter what variety make an excellent addition to any garden or bouquet. There are spring bloomers and fall bloomers. Available colors are incredible and include pinks (shown here), or whites, for fall bloomers. Spring bloomers can be blue, purple, red, pink, white, and combinations of any color. Definitely a great garden plant.
Heuchera or Coral Bells - 9/21/12
Zones 4-9. Sun to Shade. Some Varieties (including 'Creme Brulee' shown here) are Heat Tolerant. Mounding Habit. 16"T x 20"W. Blooms late spring to early summer. Flowers are pink or red, forming long spikes that rise above the foliage, but this plant is all about the foliage. There are many varieties of Heuchera, all of which will send your garden or container pallet soaring. It comes in green, orange, red, purple, burgundy, and yellow, or any combination thereof just to name a few. It spreads itself out nicely to form a grand clump of color. Try mixing it with plants that are all about the flower in your perennial bed, or with similar colored flowers in a container. This plant can add a level of sophistication to any gardening project. Maintains its color through fall.
Rosa or Rose - 9/28/12
Well, obviously we here at Bohemian Rose Designs love roses. ;) The Rose is a legacy for my family. The women in my family have carried the name Rose for generations. I, being the Bohemian member of the family, named my company Bohemian Rose Designs in honor of all those great women in my family that came before me with our shared name. Anyway, the flower is just as beautiful as the name. There are over 100 species of roses for you to choose from. Short ones, tall ones, bushy ones, climbing ones, all of which come in a rainbow of colors. Some are harder than others to care for, and some are more disease resistant than others. Some are really easy, such as the knock out series (the doubles are gorgeous and wonderful performers) or the OSO Easy series (again, easy to take care of). Whatever you choose, don't be afraid to try roses in the garden. They smell wonderful, bloom for a long time, and add incredible colors to your garden. Even now, when the nights are getting colder, roses are going strong.
Begonias - 10/5/12
There are many, many different types of Begonias. Some are grown for their flowers (Tuberous mostly i.e. Non-Stop), some for their foliage (Rex mostly), and some are grown for both. Some have a trailing habit, others more of a mounding habit. These are excellent annual additions to any garden, and are often under appreciated. My begonias are still going strong in October, even after my impatiens have long since petered out. They come in many colors, and can be brought indoors for overwintering. The Rex Begonias I find especially interesting, because of their fabulous foliage. If you're lucky, you even get flowers to boot! I have a feeling that next season we will be seeing a lot more begonia sales due to the impatien problem we had this season.
Sempervivum or Hens and Chicks - 10/12/12
Zones 3-8. Full Sun to Part Shade. Low Creeping Habit. Groundcover. Forms Mats of Evergreen Perennial Rosettes. Drought, Heat, and Cold Tolerant. Does NOT like wet feet. Good Drainage is essential. Many different varieties with colors such as Greens, Reds, Blacks, Silvers, Purples, Burgundys, Oranges, and more. Colors are determined by variety and lighting conditions. These plants are very popular options for a Green Roof, Succulent Wreaths or Frames (bright indoor light or outdoors). A new trend we've seen in the past few years is implementing green walls within a home or restaurant. These plants are excellent candidates for these uses due to their adaptability to harsh conditions (namely drought tolerance). Also an excellent plant for cemeteries or other memorial sites, again, for its drought tolerance. Beautiful little details for any garden with decent drainage.
Moss - 10/19/12
Usually Zones 2-9, depending on variety. Thousands of different kinds of moss. Most are very low growing, mat forming plants. Others can form mats up to 6" Tall. Evergreen groundcover. Thrives in moist, shady areas with acidic soil (pH 4.5-6.0). Absorbs all water and nutrients through its leaves, as it has no true root system. Moss is very commonly used in Japanese Gardening, as it has a very tranquil and calming effect in the garden. It has not been as prevalent here until very recently. It's popularity as a grass alternative for shady moist areas is growing, but it should be utilized more in my opinion. It is relatively maintenance free once established, as long as there is no debris or leaves on top of it, as that can cause the moss to rot. There is no need for fertilizer, and it can handle foot traffic, but it is slippery when wet, so care should be taken after it rains.
Callicarpa or Beautyberry - 10/26/12
Zones 6-10. Deciduous Shrub. 4-8' Tall & Wide. White to Pink flowers May-July. Vibrant Purple berries (seen here) last well through winter months, and provide important food source for birds. Callicarpa americana is native to Southeastern US. Has been used in the past as a natural mosquito repellent, and has been scientifically proven to contain insect repelling chemicals. A jelly or a wine can be made from ripe berries, but caution should be used because some parts of this plant are poisonous when ingested. Attracts birds and butterflies. Should be planted in a place that gives it ample space to grow with light shade. Excellent shrub with four seasons of interest. Very striking addition to any garden, especially in winter months.
Annual Geraniums - 11/2/12
Zones 8+ (Zone 7 if it's a very mild winter). 6-8"T & W. Here, we use geraniums as annuals that can be wintered over very easily indoors. For best flowering results, plant in the garden in later May, when all risk of frost has gone. These plants will flower very well in a full to part sun location from Spring straight through to the frosts in the fall. If you then put your geraniums in a well drained container, you can winter them over in your house, or even in your garage (like my grandma :)). Annual Geraniums are an excellent addition to any garden. You absolutely get your money's worth with these plants. This picture was taken post hurricane Sandy, yesterday (11/1/12). My geraniums look better than my mums! To all those dealing with Sandy aftermath, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We hope that life for you will return to normal as soon as possible.
Ornamental Kale - 11/9/12
Annual in Zone 6-7. Lasts through frosts. Great for fall color in garden beds and containers. Comes in green, purple, white, red, blue, and combinations. Ornamental Kale is edible like any other cabbage or kale, but the ornamental ones typically don't taste as good as the ones grown for food. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamins and Nutrients. Kale is similar to cabbage, but a notable difference is cabbage has a head in the center, kale does not. Kale grows best in full sun in well- drained, rich soil. Excellent decorative plant for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Goes well with pansies in a container, or in a garden bed looking a little sad after the cold sets in.
Phalaenopsis Orchid - 11/16/12
Houseplant. Can be brought outdoors during warmer months, but NO direct sunlight. Indoors, this orchid prefers bright filtered light. Water once a week during growing season, and once every two weeks when in flower, or during winter months. Flower spikes develop in late winter or early spring. Once flowers open, they can last for months if well cared for. Also, one flower spike can generate more than 20 flowers. Even after the initial flowers are spent, the spike has the potential to generate more flowers, so don't cut the spike off until it's brown! To induce a flower spike, the night time temperature must be lower than the daytime temperature (optimally 55 degrees). To repot, use any Orchid Mix available at most big box retailers. Be careful not to bruise roots. Make sure to use a pot that has good drainage. Use orchid fertilizer when not in flower. This plant is low maintenance and high reward. Great cut flower, too. A Bohemian Rose favorite!
Turkey Mum - 11/22/12
This novelty beauty is actually a football mum (popular cut flower) that masquerades as a turkey only around Thanksgiving time. The mum itself can be planted like any other mum. Once it fades, that's pretty much the end. But there's something silly and great about the novelty plants found in your local grocery store. Just ask my mom! Happy Thanksgiving folks! We are thankful indeed!
Schlumbergera or Christmas Cactus - 11/30/12
Zones 10-12. Houseplant. Place in bright lighted area away from heating sources or cold drafts. Native to South American jungle. Well drained soil. Flowers typically between Nov and Jan, but can flower other times during the year if it likes where it is. Non-toxic holiday poinsettia alternative (for kids and pets). 1'T x 2'W. Flowers come in red, purple, pink, white, salmon, and combinations. These plants can live for many years, and have been handed down in families through generations (30+ years). If well cared for, they are very rewarding plants that will bloom again and again. Excellent holiday plant for anyone looking to give a great gift.
Pansy - 12/7/12
For the past 2 months or so, if you visit a garden center, you see Mums, and "Icicle Pansies," which are the "cold hardy" version of the spring time pansy. What most people don't realize, is they are the exact same plant. The "icicle" part is really just a marketing tool. What I recommend to wise DIY'ers is that you buy or grow your pansies in the spring time, and once they produce their seed pods, cut them off and save them until midsummer, and plant them to produce your fall "icicle" crop. Each plant grows 4-8" T&W, so groupings of multiple plants are recommended. They are great in containers and in beds. Another fun fact, pansy flowers are edible. Just realize that the pansies from the garden center might not be grown organically, so if you intend to eat them, grow them from organic seed, or find an organic garden center.
Ligustrum or Privet - 12/14/12
Zones 3-9, 4-15'H x 4-8'W, changes depending on variety. Evergreen, or deciduous depending on variety, but most around here are evergreen. Used extensively as a privacy hedge. Small white flowers in late spring/early summer. Purple/black berries follow which attract birds. Best time to start pruning is after flowering, then 3-4 times after that during season to ensure thick hedge. Full sun to part shade. Things to be aware of: Privet is poisonous, mildly in humans, but more so in horses and other pets. Also, there are many varieties that are invasive all over the world. Ligustrum obtusifolium or Border Privet is the only one on the Suffolk County "Do Not Sell" list, but L. ovalifolium (California Privet) and L. vulare (European Privet) are on the Management List, meaning while it is not illegal to sell them, the purchaser should be aware of their invasive properties and manage the plant accordingly. This is my favorite time of year for privets, normally a green shrub that I just don't notice. As it gets colder, the foliage turns this auburn, almost black color with lighter green shades at the base of the plant. Excellent fall and winter interest, but heed the warnings above and be careful.
Euphorbia pulcherrima or Poinsettia - 12/21/12
Tropical Houseplant. Likes brightest indoor light possible and warm conditions. Keep away from cold drafts as cold damage can cause leaf drop. Keep soil moist, but not sitting in water. Poinsettias are beautiful holiday plants, but it should be noted that it is VERY difficult to keep a poinsettia and have it bloom from year to year. They are very picky, photosensitive (light), plants that thrive on tropical sunlight. So it is best to repurchase your plants from year to year and leave the lighting program that these plants need to the professionals. This ensures that you have a picture perfect poinsettia for the holiday season. In Mexico and places south of here, poinsettias are beautiful, very common outdoor shrubs that get very large. Here, we just don't have strong enough sunlight in a natural setting. These are grown in greenhouses where light can be controlled. Happy Holidays to all!
Cyclamen persicum - 12/28/12
Houseplant, though there are hardy cyclamens for your garden as well. C. persicum is the plant most commonly found in the florist around the holidays with poinsettias and christmas cactuses. 8"H x 12"W. Filtered sun. 1/2"-3/4" flowers rise above foliage of plant. Fragrant flowers come in pink, red, white, and all shades in between. Likes high humidity, especially in winter, so use of a pebble humidity tray is recommended. This plant goes through a dormant cycle, most likely in the summer months, where it will drop its leaves. Refrain from watering when it looses its foliage. Start watering again around September when foliage starts to reappear. Bring indoors for frost as this particular cyclamen is not hardy.