The Great Whites

Three White Plants in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Veronicastrum, eupatorium and parthenium (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

As far as color in the garden goes, white gets a bad rap.  It’s too bland.  It’s ho hum.  It’s just plain boring.  Yet white is also the color associated with awakening, growth and creativity.  The color translation of white is inherently a positive one as well, signifying illumination, brilliance, spirituality, humility, even assisting in happier thought processing. Sometimes a dash of white can hit the spot.  In fact, ivory flowers ignite the shadiest gardens (think Cimicifuga racemosa, with its soaring white spires) while simply sparkling in sunny locales. White, like the opposing black, goes with everything, and any garden combination could benefit from a shot of it.  Whether used to brighten a space, to add a little pizzazz, or to cool down a mass of sizzling blossoms, white may be the ticket you’re craving . . . you just didn’t know it.  Here’s a few of the favorite pearls I’ve grown to love over the years:   [Read more…]

Reliable Favorites

An inviting walkway in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

An inviting walkway (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Each spring brings opportunities-and a little inspiration-to take on chores we put off over the winter. Perhaps it’s the sun’s warmth that inspires us after the long winter, or possibly just the change of seasons that makes us want to shed old “stuff” and reinvent ourselves in some small way. We might do a thorough house cleaning to refresh our spirits, paint one of our rooms a bright, cheerful color, or simply update some curtains. And for those of us whose spirits are longing to be outdoors, we may pick a few new plants to lift our spirits and celebrate the coming summer. If plant inspiration is something you’re thinking about this spring, here are a few of the long lived (in Zone 5 New England) beauties that give me great joy each year that they return. [Read more…]

My Mentor’s Garden

View from entrance of Kathleen's garden in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

View from entrance of Kathleen’s garden (photo: Kathy Diemer)

Though her nursery is no longer open, Kathleen Nelson’s garden is always open to friends and plant enthusiasts.  On a recent sweltering day, I drove over to Kathleen’s and with hats to protect our heads from the intense sun, we strolled about her garden reminiscing.  Kathleen shared some of her favorite plants at the entrance; flowing Amsonia hubrichtii, violet flowered Verbena hastata, sprawling Kirengeshoma palmata, vibrant Spigelia marilandica, towering Silphium terebinthinaceum and a glowing Carex elata ‘Bowles Golden.  As we walked, she shared the events that helped her evolve as a gardener and become an environmentally responsible steward of her land. [Read more…]

Another White

Another White | A Garden for All by Kathy Diemer

Another white (Photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Splashes of white light up any garden space and one of my favorites is the Eastern U.S. native Parthenium integrifolium, commonly known as wild quinine. I was introduced to wild quinine about ten years ago and haven’t stopped loving it yet.  This plant produces unusual clusters of white on strong stems that rise up from the base around 3′ in height and are guaranteed to delight you.  An ornamental asset; these flat topped whorls of pearly alabaster flowers last several weeks and continue to put forth showy fresh blooms from early June to August. I do prune the florets when they brown, this may help prolong the display. [Read more…]

A Garden for All