“So good, it’s almost too good” my friend and colleague Richie Steffen, Curator at the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden, said about this plant when it was selected as a Great Plant Pick (www.greatplantpicks.org). This is a fairly new addition to the Soest garden as part of a collection of various silver-variegated cultivars. ‘Jack Frost’ is, by far, the most popular of these selections for its large heart-shaped silver leaves netted in green, profuse “forget-me-not” blooms in mid-late spring, and remarkable vigor and hardiness.Read more
Another early season charmer, this sweet little ground hugger has captivated avid gardeners for years and we’re fortunate to have several clumps of this spring ephemeral under the new Shade Bed under the large Oak in the Soest Garden. Topping out at only 6 inches in height and forming a clump about a foot wide, the tight buds burst into pure white with a single row of guard petals encasing a central tuft of frilly pompoms.Read more
Helleborus Ivory Prince (‘Walhelivor’)
Introduced a few years ago, Skagit Gardens kindly donated three plants of this lovely hellebore. Developed by English plant breeder David Tristram, this fabulous perennial is strikingly evergreen with blue green foliage faintly marbled in silver gray. In January, pale maroon-pink buds emerge from the base and slowly develop and come into bloom in February when it opens to a 3” cream white flower with a green base and over a period of several weeks, it gently ages to a pale green with a pink cast.
Chrysanthemums or simply “mums” have always been frowned upon by savvy gardeners for being so common, disposable and overused. However, when sophisticated gardeners come across ‘Apricot’ in the Soest Garden, nothing else makes them fall to their knees begging to have this profusion of bloom and warm delicate color in their autumn landscape. Starting in mid-October, deep pink buds burst open like a fireworks display of peachy pink petals and continue through frost!Read more
Known in the trade as Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, it certainly lives up to that name come fall. This “tough as nails” perennial thrives in fully exposed sites, poor soil with very little irrigation once established. Another beautiful quality about this plant is its winter interest as the leaves fall and you’re left with the dried slim stems and clusters of flowers that persist until basal new growth commences in the spring.Read more
Formerly called Cimicifuga, these sexy dark-leafed selections have taken the perennial garden world by storm with its elegant form and architectural habit in the garden.
The fine fern-like foliage emerges a deep green that ultimately deepen in color as the summer progresses and by late summer, strong erect stems catapult spikes of curvy, voluptuous, creamy-white blooms that have a soft fragrance.
The sea hollies put on quite a show every June and July and this selection, by far, has been one of the most outstanding ever introduced to the Pacific Northwest. While many Eryngiums sulk and flower poorly in our mild and often wet Pacific Northwest conditions, ‘Sapphire Blue’ not only holds up under these conditions, it actually flowers prolifically in full blazing sun and dryish conditions once it is established making it quite drought tolerant and relatively carefree.Read more
An absolute standout year round, these highly architectural, evergreen plants light up the dark winter landscape with its steely gray green foliage and the dramatic fluorescent yellow stripe down each sword-like leaf.
Withstanding poor soils and incredibly drought tolerant once established, it also performs well in containers combined with other evergreen perennials such as Heuchera and red-leafed Euphorbia. It also looks stunning with the vertical spikes of blue Veronica come summer.
Probably the most asked about plant at this time of year with it’s crepe like white petals and bright yellow stamens, it almost a resembles a profusion of fried eggs sunny-side up!
With grey green foliage to set off the blooms, it makes a dramatic statement in the perennial bed as it towers up to 8 feet in height and continuously blooms for several weeks.
Beds 2 and 3 are knitted together with this stunning early spring charmer! It is in full bloom this week (and has been since mid-March) with a profusion of baby blue flowers atop silver stippled grey green foliage
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 0.75 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 1.5 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: March-April
Bloom Color: Pale blue
Sun: Part to full shade
Water: Medium wet