The Other Stachys

Stachys and Friend in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Stachys and Friend (photo: Kathy Diemer)

We’re all familiar with the popular lamb’s ears or Stachys byzantina, but not as many know about its distant cousin, purple betony (or bishop’s wort) or Stachys officinalis.  Actually, other than the name, they look nothing alike.  Where byzantina has soft, frosty grey leaves (especially attractive with ‘Helen Von Stein’) officinalis has smaller, dark green oval shaped leaves with scalloped edges.  And it’s those interesting leaves, with rounded edges like an embroidered collar, that I find so attractive at the front of the border.  Of course, the rich pinkish purple spikes (in some ways similar to salvia) are an added bonus. [Read more…]

Living on the Edge

Lady's Mantle is the perfect edger in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Lady’s Mantle is a beautiful edger (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Living on the edge of the garden, up front and exposed, can sometimes be a scary place for a plant. All that pressure to perform and look good … after all, they’re front and center for all to see! But being center stage doesn’t have to be so risky, if you choose the right plants for your site and conditions. Here are a few of my long time durables that never fail to dazzle, despite the foul weather that Mother Nature dishes out. [Read more…]

Shades of Grey

Silvery combination in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Silvery combination (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

As summer winds down and fall colors blaze, a few soothers can help balance the display.  And that’s where grey foliage serves as a welcome moderator.  Surprisingly, grey plants can add more drama than some of the boldest flowers and foliage.  By simply mixing some different silver leaved forms and textures, you can create a visual wonderland that is both calming and tranquil.  And don’t we all need a peaceful escape every now and again? [Read more…]