Bushy plants bear showy, red-purple pea-like blooms age to rich purple in March-June. Ephemeral, dying back in August when you can cut it back. Spring gem.
Size: 12” x 12” Care: sun in north to shade in south, moist well-drained soil. Drought tolerant once established Native: No. Europe - Siberia Awards: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit, Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden Great Plant Picks
Introduced to gardens before 1629. Parkinson called it “Blew Everlasting Pease.”
Buxus microphylla var. koreana syn. B. sinensis var. insularis
Size: 24” x 30” Care: Light to Part shade in well drained, alkaline soil. Do not crowd with other plants, roots prefer no competition. Fertilize regularly for dramatic growth. Prune in early spring. Unlike English boxwood this can be pruned back hard. One of a few shade tolerant evergreens and deer resistant too. Also the most hardy Boxwood.
Introduced from Asia to American and European gardens around 1900 by Ernest Henry “Chinese” Wilson (1876-1930) who scoured Asia for plants.
Size: 4” x 4” Care: sun in well-drained to moist well-drained soil Native: Alps & Pyrenees Mountains
Grown in gardens for thousands of years. Sempervivum means “live forever.” Romans planted Hens and chicks on their roofs to ward off lightning. As a succulent it holds water and is probably more difficult to catch fire. “This practice was preserved for historians when Charlemagne (720-814), first Holy Roman Emperor and unifier of a large part of northern Europe, ordered that all villagers within his crown lands plant houseleeks on their roofs, presumably as a safety measure. He decreed: Et ille hortulanus habeat super domum suam Iovis barbam. (And the gardener shall have house-leeks growing on his house. Capitulare de villis, about 795, LXX.)”