|From In the Garden|
There are so many good plants in bloom this month that I had to narrow my choice down to one single question:
What is a show stopper in the garden right now?
The answer to that question has to be the Japanese Rose, aka Kerria japonica. My particular cultivar is 'Plenifora'; which is a double kerria that grows to about 6 feet tall and spreads slowly by suckers. It is growing in a spot where it only gets afternoon sun and it is doing great! I planted this shrub last spring and rarely watered it last summer. Despite neglect it bloomed off an on all summer and fall. And just look at it now! I think a showstopper indeed. Especially more so since it is sited under mature oak trees.
According to this website the kerria is hardy to Zone 5. Yeah for northern gardeners! This plant is a must have in all gardens. I like the green stems in the winter and I like its ease of care and long period of bloom. On my recent trip to McMinnville with my friends Judie and Phil, I insisted they should also get a kerria, and they did. You see, kerrias are poisonous and are listed as rarely damaged plants when deer maraud your garden. A good thing for gardeners with deer problems like my friends Judie and Phil. So far I do not have a deer issue here, and my dogs do not eat my plants so I do not worry about the kerria being poisonous. If you have plant eating children or pets take care when planting the kerria.
I also wanted to show you some other plants in the running for the coveted title of Plant of the Month in my garden. Last April's Plant of the was pulmonaria, a stellar performer even this year but not quite the showstopper like the kerria.