New! Start a Garden for Part Shade
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Start a Garden for Part Shade

New! Start a Garden for Part Shade

We apologize but due to state restrictions beyond our control we cannot ship this garden to Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah or Washington.

SKU: S87525
1 for $110.00
Quick Facts
Common Name: Preplanned Garden
Hardiness Zone: 6-8S/W Exposure: Part Shade
Blooms In: May-Sep
Mature Height: 12-36" Read our Growing Guide
Ships as: BAREROOT OR POT GROWN
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Shipping Details Shipment begins in late March 2023, depending on your zone. See shipping tab for details
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Product Details

Product Details

Are you new to gardening? Do you have a part-shade garden bed that could use some colorful, easy-care plants? Our Start a Garden for Part Shade collection contains 6 different perennials (plants that return year after year) and 1 shrub that all thrive in part shade (defined as 3 to 4 hours of direct sun per day) and evenly moist soil. The plants were chosen by our horticultural experts to provide ease of care and a long season of interest. These plants tend to be forgiving, tough, and beautiful, all of which makes them ideal for beginners. 1 plant of each variety listed below, 7 plants total. Covers approximately 24 sq ft. Planting diagram included.

  • Geranium Rozanne® (PP 12,175)
  • Dicentra 'Luxuriant'
  • Astilbe chinensis 'Visions'
  • Alchemilla mollis Improved Form
  • Hydrangea paniculata Bobo® (PP 22,782)
  • Japanese Painted Fern: Athyrium niponicum var. pictum
  • Ornamental Grass: Carex oshimensis EverColor® 'Eversheen,' (PP 25,938)
  • Before purchase, you’ll need to know your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. This will determine whether or not the plants in this collection are hardy in your area and able to tolerate regional extremes of heat and cold. Click here to learn more about hardiness zones and to find yours. If your zone is between 6-8, this garden is for you.

    What can you expect?

    Your new garden welcomes springtime with the pinkish-red-and-white, heart-shaped blossoms of compact, award-winning Fern-leaf Bleeding Heart, Dicentra ‘Luxuriant,’ which often blooms again toward autumn. The plant’s gray-green, Fern-like foliage remains an attractive accent over an extended season.

    Award-winning Athyrium niponicum var. pictum (Japanese Painted Fern) produces frosted, gray-green fronds that add a contrasting form and intriguing color to the garden from spring to fall.

    Late spring ushers in the dynamic and extended color show provided by two contrasting companions: Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) produces mounds of matte green, rounded, scalloped leaves that serve as a base for delicate clusters of chartreuse flowers held aloft on slender stems. Award-winning Geranium Rozanne® mounds and sprawls a bit, generating a seemingly endless supply of beautiful, violet-blue flowers.

    In summer, Astilbe ‘Visions’ produces a mat of feathery, reddish-green, weed-suppressing foliage that serves as a launch pad for fuzzy plumes of vivid raspberry pink.

    For varying texture and bright color over a full season, Ornamental Grass Carex oshimensis EverColor® ‘Eversheen’ adds a fountain of slender, dark green blades, each detailed with a central stripe of yellow.

    Anchoring this garden is a favorite, award-winning, compact shrub, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo.’ Small by the standards of most Hydrangeas, this modest dynamo tops out around 3-4’ tall. Plants are covered from midsummer to fall with large, conical blooms that emerge greenish-white and shade pink in autumn. They are super for cutting, fresh or dried.

    Plants in your Start a Garden collection will arrive in one of two forms: potted and/or bareroot. Bareroots may sound intimidating, but they’re not. In fact, they’re remarkably easy to plant. Visit the Growing Guide (see tab above) to learn more now or consult the Quick Start Guide you will receive when your new garden arrives.

    Enjoy this garden of beautiful, part-shade favorites for many years to come. We hope it’s the start of many great gardening adventures.

    For more information on growing and care, click Growing Guide.

    Shipping

    Shipping
    Every state has agricultural regulations that restrict the shipment of certain plants. We're sorry, but we cannot ship this item to the following states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington.

    HOW PLANTS ARE SHIPPED

    The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.

    WHEN WE SHIP

    We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. We also ship a wide range of containers and planters, tools, supplies, fertilizers, garden wear, garden decor items, as well as indoor decorations like wreaths and dried bouquets when available. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the green Shipping Details box for each item. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at the expected time of delivery.

    OUR GUARANTEE

    We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.

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    Growing guide

    Growing guide
    Print Grow Guide

    Welcome to the world of gardening & our Start a Garden series

    Growing Your Start a Garden for Part Shade

    Your Start a Garden for Part Shade collection contains 6 different perennials (plants that return year after year) and 1 shrub that all thrive in part shade (defined as 3 to 4 hours of direct sun per day) and evenly moist soil. The plants were chosen by our horticultural experts to provide ease of care and a long season of interest. Most will keep looking good well into fall. These plants tend to be forgiving, tough, and beautiful, all of which makes them ideal for beginners. Deer generally don’t find them appetizing.

    As you begin your first garden adventure, keep in mind that freshly planted perennials need time to settle in and establish roots. In their first season, they will divert much of their energy to this endeavor. As a result, your plants may or may not produce flowers in their first year. Waiting for plants to settle in and grow is a process by which many gardeners begin to develop one of the most important traits a green thumb can possess: patience. Experienced gardeners know that in a first year, a perennial “sleeps.” In the second year, it “creeps.” And by the third year, it “leaps.” Watch over time as your perennials gain in size, forming broader clumps and increasing their foliage and flower shows. As a general rule, expect your plants to reach their mature size in three years.

    This guide includes the following sections:

    Knowing & Growing Your Plants

    The plants in the Start a Garden for Part Shade are ordered below roughly in order of their peak season of interest. The plants near the top of the list blossom or leaf out ahead of those near the bottom:

    • Alchemilla mollis (Common Name: Lady’s Mantle)

    In cultivation since the 1800s, Alchemilla mollis may be considered one of the essential plants of any part shade garden. The foliage emerges in early spring and quickly sizes up to create a dense mound of round, scalloped, faintly hairy, light green leaves. (Their shape and texture makes them ideal for catching raindrops.) Topping the foliage in early summer is a mass of small, yellow-green flowers that arrive in clusters atop slender stems, creating the impression of a chartreuse foam atop the plants. The distinctive hue makes a stunning contrast to plants that flower in shades of purple and blue including some perennial and annual Salvias, Perennial Geraniums, Nepetas, and Tall Bearded Iris. Lady’s Mantle is frequently enlisted to edge borders, line pathways, and create mounds of carefree, weed-suppressing color at the feet of Roses, Peonies, and dark evergreens. It also can be planted en masse to serve as a ground cover. These plants perform best in partial shade with moist but well-drained soil, but they also will thrive in full sun in cooler regions of the country if the soil moisture is kept steady. If, after subsiding, the flowers begin to look untidy, cut back the stems below the canopy of leaves. Later, if you like a completely tidy look to your winter garden, you may also cut back the foliage and stems after a hard frost, but you may wish to consider leaving some in the garden to provide habitat and ‘winter blankets’ for wildlife.

    • Dicentra (Common Name: Bleeding Heart)

    Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) is one of the most enchanting perennials in the plant kingdom. It is one of the first garden plants that many of us learn to identify because the heart-shaped blossoms appear in neat lines or bunches, some on arching stems (Dicentra spectabilis types), others more upright and nodding (Fern-leaf or Western Dicentra varieties). Children love them. While Dicentra spectablis arrive in spring, often flowering in concert with Daffodils and Forsythia, Fern-leaf varieties, including the hybrid Dicentra ‘Luxuriant,’ flower later in the season, adding considerable charm to summer and autumn gardens.

    All Dicentras are at their best in evenly moist, rich soil in partial to full shade. To help the soil in your garden retain moisture, it’s helpful to apply a 2” layer of mulch around (but not on top of) your plants. (Ideally, you want to keep the mulch several inches away from the base of your plants.) This coating of mulch also serves to keep the soil cooler. Dicentra is occasionally bothered by slugs and snails, but this is rarely a serious problem. If grown in poorly drained, wet soil, the crowns of the plants may rot. Avoid wet sites and allow for good air circulation. If desired, plants may be gingerly divided in early spring. Gently separate the brittle roots, replanting vigorous pieces from the outer edge of the plant. Some species of Dicentra (including Dicentra spectabilis) go dormant early in the season. Plant them behind perennials that leaf out or flower later in the season to hide the yellow foliage and stems. Later-blooming Fern-leaf types remain attractive and continue flowering often into autumn. Remove the dead foliage after a hard frost or anytime it becomes unattractive. A light 1-2” mulch after the ground freezes helps protect from winter heaving.

    • Astilbe chinensis (Common Name: Astilbe)

    Astilbes are one of the great garden plants for part shade. Once established, they are remarkably carefree, long-lived, and generous. They start the season by producing mounds of feathery, weed-smothering foliage. In summer, they send up slender but sturdy stems topped with fuzzy flower plumes that add weeks of color to the garden before subsiding. The flower spikes are marvelous, fresh or dried, in bouquets. Spent Astilbe blossoms may be pruned away after their color fades, but if you leave them standing, the toasty brown flower heads last into winter, giving the appearance of brave little soldiers dusted in snow. Astilbes will not prosper in dry soil. These plants require even, steady moisture and a few hours of direct or indirect sun per day to do their best. Soil that is rich in organic matter (such as leaf mulch or compost) is also preferred.

    • Geranium (Common Name: Cranesbill)

    When most people hear the word “Geraniums,” they think of pots filled with the colorful, lollipop-like flower heads of annual Geraniums (botanically known as Pelargoniums). But the garden universe is fortunate enough to also include an array of Perennial Geraniums (Cranesbills). These rugged, indispensable, problem-solving plants are highly cherished by gardeners for their adaptability, long season of interest, and fuss-free dispositions. Perennial Geraniums form attractive mounds of deeply dissected leaves that are festooned with five-petaled, single blossoms all summer long. On some Cranesbills the foliage changes to reddish orange in autumn, and it can remain evergreen in climates where plants aren’t covered in snow.

    Perennial Geraniums prefer part shade and average, well-drained soil. If over time, plants seem to not be doing well, a balanced, granular fertilizer can be applied in early spring. These plants rarely need to be divided. Some varieties will spread and sprawl around other plants. This won’t harm the other plants, but if you don’t like the look, simply give the Geranium a haircut to create a tidier mound. Perennial Geraniums are largely immune to pests and diseases. Position your Geranium along the edge of your garden bed, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself adding more.

    • Carex oshimensis (Common Name: Sedge)

    Expect year-round interest from this versatile, low-maintenance Ornamental Grass, which thrives in part shade to full sun in Northern regions and part shade in hotter and drier areas. The plants form tidy tufts that add contrasting texture, movement, and subtle color to gardens. They are superb mixers with a range of other plants from perennials and annuals to smaller shrubs. They can also be massed to form a ground cover. Carex prefer moist, well-drained soil but also grow well in average garden soil. The plants are largely untroubled by pests and diseases. They spread gradually by underground rhizomes to form nice neat clumps. Carex keep their good looks all winter unless buried by snow. They are evergreen in mild climates. In colder regions, they are semi-evergreen with some leaves turning from green to the color of straw. Do not cut Carex back in the fall. Instead, let the foliage catch snowflakes while providing winter interest in your garden and shelter and habitat for birds and other wildlife.

    • Athyrium niponicum var. pictum (Common Name: Japanese Painted Fern)

    Most Ferns thrive in light to heavy shade with soil that is well-drained and rich in organic matter. A few will grow in full sun in the North, provided the planting site is damp. Water Ferns regularly if rain is not sufficient, and do not let the soil get completely dry. A 2″ thick mulch of composted leaves or Pine needles will help keep roots cool and damp. When Fern fronds appear to be smaller or the clump has a bare center, it is time to divide. Some Ferns form crowns while others grow as mats of fibrous roots. Dig up the whole clump and take 6″-square pieces from the most vigorous growth. Replant at the original depth and water well. Ferns are largely untroubled by pests and diseases. After heavy frost, cut back the decaying foliage to soil level. In cold climates, you may wish to apply a 2-3” layer of mulch to serve as a winter coat and prevent any frost heaving.

    • Hydrangea paniculata (Common Name: Panicle Hydrangea)

    Carefree, low-maintenance Panicle Hydrangeas are beloved by gardeners for many reasons. These shrubs have mounding forms that in late summer and fall are festooned with generously sized cone-shaped flower heads that refresh and reinvigorate the garden at a time when many other blossoms are subsiding. Panicle Hydrangeas also flower on “new wood” (the new season’s growth), which means they are guaranteed to bloom even after a harsh winter. (Hydrangea varieties that flower on “old wood” can sometimes lose their flowers to untimely frosts or cold spells, which can quite literally “nip them in the bud.”) Most varieties of Hydrangea paniculata thrive in full sun in the North, but they require afternoon shade in the South. They do best in soil that does not dry out, so avoid planting them in hot, dry, exposed sites. Mulch around the base of the shrub (but not on top of it) to conserve moisture and buffer soil temperatures. Do not fertilize your Hydrangea in the first growing season. In subsequent years, fertilizer is optional. (See Caring for Your Garden, Fertilizer, Soil & pH, below.) If you do choose to apply a fertilizer, do it only once in spring with a fertilizer designed to encourage blooms (such as 15-30-15).

    Hydrangea paniculata sets its flower buds in late spring. Do not prune your Panicle Hydrangea in its first year. In subsequent seasons, prune in late winter or early spring only to reshape plants, if desired, and prune lightly later in the season to remove dead or broken branches and spent blooms. (The flowers are terrific for bouquets, fresh or dried, so you may also find yourself cutting plenty as your shrub matures and the flower count increases.)

    Panicle Hydrangeas are generally free of serious pests and diseases. Occasionally powdery mildew will infect the foliage, especially in humid areas with poor air circulation. Fungal leaf spots may occur, especially in fall when watered with overhead sprinklers, but they do not affect the overall health of the plant. If the problem becomes serious, treat with neem oil or horticultural oil and be sure to rake up and remove from your property all fallen foliage in the autumn. (Do not compost the afflicted foliage. Bag it up and remove it or the mildew may reappear the following spring.)

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    About Bareroot Plants

    Plants in your Start a Garden collection will arrive in one of two forms: potted and/or bareroot. Bareroots may sound intimidating, but they’re not. In fact, they’re remarkably easy to plant.

    Bareroots are exactly what the term would imply: a healthy division of a mature plant to include a portion of its roots (minus most or all green growth and soil) and a portion of the crown (the point where a plant’s roots meet its stems). Depending on the type of plant, these roots may present themselves in a broad array of shapes and sizes – from the knobby looking chunks of a Liatris to the wisps of an Astilbe (which often trail a mass of delicate roots). Bareroots don’t look like much on arrival, but they are the beginnings of beautiful plants. Most bareroots are shipped packaged in damp sawdust or shredded paper. Plant them as soon as possible upon receipt or keep them in a cool, dark place (such as a basement or a closet) for up to 2 weeks.

    To plant bareroots:

    • Remove and discard the packaging material
    • Save the plant tags, which provide helpful information and may also serve to mark a planting site
    • Soak bareroots in water for 1 hour to rehydrate them then plant at the depth recommended on the plant tag
    • Water thoroughly
    • Depending on when bareroots are planted, they will take some time to settle in and develop root systems

    If your bareroot is planted in spring, it will gradually begin pushing up top growth and you’ll see the emergence of leaves and stems as the plant begins to grow above ground. If your bareroot is planted in fall, it will develop a good root system and may send up a few leaves before going dormant for winter. Top growth will emerge in spring as the days grow longer and sun warms the soil.

    If you experience a bit of trepidation with your first bareroots, the ease of planting them and their vigor once settled will win you over in no time. In the span of a single season, they become established plants that are poised to perform like champs in your garden.

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    Laying Out Your Garden

    To lay out your garden to best advantage, first see the Planting Plan that is included in your box. (You may also find it on the product page on our website. Search SKU #87525.) Keep in mind that you don’t have to position your Start a Garden for Part Shadeplants exactly as we show them in the plan. Our diagram is just one possible design based on the heights, shapes, and compatibility of the plants. Your garden bed may have different dimensions, you might wish to tuck your plants into several areas, or you could use them to flank a path so you can stroll through the garden.

    As you lay out your garden, keep in mind the following: The Hydrangea shrub will be the tallest and largest element. The perennials in this collection will all mature to approximately the same height and spread so they can be laid out in many different ways. The Japanese Painted Fern and Bleeding Heart would be best planted at the front or edge of the garden bed. If there is any variation in how the sun reaches your garden (i.e., more sun or shade in one section), the Hydrangea, Geranium, and Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) would all prefer the sunnier spots. The Hydrangea can be situated in such a way as to create shade for the other plants.

    The mature height and recommended spacing for each perennial can be found on the tags that accompany each plant. (It’s best to keep these tags and put them in the ground alongside your perennials. That way, you’ll remember which is which, and, in periods of dormancy when perennials die back to the ground, you’ll know where you planted them.) Keep in mind that garden design is flexible and plants are forgiving. As your perennials settle in and grow, you may or may not like the arrangement. If you are not pleased, take advantage of mild conditions in spring or fall to gently dig up your plants and relocate them to create a more agreeable design.

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    Caring for Your Garden

    Light: The plants in this collection will grow and flower best in part shade, which is defined as 3 to 4 hours of direct sun per day. Part shade can mean different things depending upon your garden. For example, part shade might mean that your garden receives an hour or two of direct sun in the morning and again later in the afternoon, with shade during the middle part of the day. Or, it might mean the opposite, that your garden receives 3 to 4 hours of direct sun all during midday when the sun is highest in the sky, while being shaded in the morning and later in the afternoon. Lastly, your garden might receive all of its sun only in the morning or only in the afternoon. If planted in the South or Southwest, plants in this garden require protection from the hottest rays of the sun, so afternoon shade is needed.

    Watering: Start a Garden for Part Shade plants flower best in evenly moist but well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.

    Immediately after you plant your new perennials, water them well to settle the soil around them. In the weeks and months that follow, hydration will be key to helping your plants become successfully established. Pay attention to how wet or dry the soil is – you don’t want to let the plants dry out entirely, but they will suffer if they are in constantly wet soil (the roots may rot). The best way to assess the moisture level in your soil is to stick your finger in it to a depth of 1”. If the soil feels moist, do not water. Wait until it feels somewhat dry. The general rule is that new plants need approximately 1” of water per week whether it’s supplied by Mother Nature, your garden hose, or a watering can. Once your plants are established, they will need watering only during periods of prolonged drought (i.e., no rain for several weeks). If possible, avoid overhead irrigation or, if sprinklers are a must, water only in the morning. It is best practice to water plants at the soil level, which means wetting the ground around and between them but not spraying directly on or at them. Water sprayed on leaves can promote fungus and disease. Another important rule of successful hydration is to water plants deeply and infrequently. Why? Watering daily or too frequently in small amounts encourages plants to produce shallow roots, which may not be sufficient to sustain them during dry spells. Watering deeply and infrequently encourages root growth well below the surface of the soil, which is where plants are likely to find moisture in times when rain is scarce.

    Fertilizer, Soil & pH: There is no need for fertilizing at the time of planting since doing so may negatively impact a plant’s proper development. Instead, we hope you and all new gardeners will develop what is widely regarded as best practice when it comes to using fertilizer: In lieu of feeding individual plants (which is often encouraged by some companies that sell chemical fertilizers and additives), think in terms of feeding the soil which, in turn, will nourish your plants naturally. It’s easy: After your perennials have had a year to settle in, apply 1-2” of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, around the base of the plants in early spring. This will take care of their nutritional needs. No additional fertilizer should be necessary. All of the plants in the Start a Garden for Part Shade are adaptable to most soil types but prefer a moist, well-drained loam with a neutral pH from 6.0 to 7.0. Testing your garden soil’s pH is not a requirement (some of us here at the farm have never done it in our home gardens while others swear by it). To learn more about soil testing and how to go about it, click here.

    Pests/Diseases: The plants in this garden are generally free from diseases and insect pests. But like any plants, they are most susceptible to disease when faced with stressful conditions. Eliminate the stress for your plants by providing them with what they need: adequate sun, proper watering, and good drainage.

    Reflowering: Deadheading is the process of removing spent blossoms to encourage the formation of additional flowers, prevent unwanted seedlings, and/or improve the appearance of your plant. [See plant descriptions above for specifics about deadheading the individual plants in this collection.]

    Dividing/Transplanting: Allow your plants to fill out for a few years. It’s OK to let them touch and grow together. But if plants begin to appear crowded, which can impede good air circulation and force them to compete for resources, you may choose to divide some including the Fern and the Carex (Sedge). Division is best done in early spring or fall when temperatures are most likely to be mild. (The higher heat of summer can stress plants, making division and transplantation a bit more perilous.) To divide your plants, use a shovel to dig up a section or the entire root ball. Using the blade of the shovel, chop the root ball into sections or, if the divisions separate easily, use your hands to tease them apart. Transplant the divisions to new areas of your garden, use them to fill in any gaps, or share with friends and family.

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    Companions

    • Astilbe [Your garden already features one Astilbe, but these indispensable, fuss-free plants come in a range of colors (to include whites, pinks, purples, and reds) and heights. There is beguiling variation in the forms of flower plumes, which range from chubby and densely fuzzy to airy and light. Choose several Astilbe varieties to create interest and drifts of color in your garden.]
    • Brunnera [The heart-shaped, often variegated leaves of this favorite are only part of its appeal. In spring, it sends up slender stems capped with tiny blue flowers that resemble Forget-Me-Nots.]
    • Ferns [Your garden already features one Fern, but there are many varieties, each with its own distinctive silhouette, color, form, leaf structure, size, or other characteristics. Mix and match to add beauty, texture, and interest to your garden.]
    • Pulmonaria [The spotted leaves of this ground-covering essential are attractive over a long season. Springtime brings the addition of colorful flowers that bloom in concert with many spring-flowering bulbs.]

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    Calendar of Care

    Early Spring: Early in spring, cut back last season’s remaining stems and foliage on the perennials before new growth appears. Look for the early emerging foliage of the Astilbe, Alchemilla, and Dicentra. Tease out the dried blades of the Carex. If there is winter damage, cut them back. If not, you may leave them on the plant and wait for new growth to push up amid the old blades. (Birds may help you clear away some of the old grass. They often pull out strands and use them to build their nests.) Hydrangea paniculata can be pruned in late winter or early spring, before new growth appears, to tidy its form, remove any dried flower heads, and encourage flower production. Weed the garden and, every year or couple of years, depending on the vitality of your plants and the condition of your soil, you may wish to apply a 1” layer of compost after the plants have emerged. The compost will enrich the soil, which provides food for the plants. For best results, apply the compost around the base of the plants, not on top of them.

    Late Spring: Your Japanese Painted Fern is a good sleeper and will emerge later than the other plants in this collection. Give it the time it needs to shake off its winter slumber. Once the ground warms, a 1-2” coat of mulch around perennials and 3” under the Hydrangea will help conserve moisture in the soil and insulate roots. (Make certain not to cover the plants themselves with mulch. The idea is to spread it around them.) If spring proves drier than usual and there is no rain or only light precipitation for a few weeks running, water your garden. (See Caring for Your Garden – Watering, above.) Check the Bleeding Heart and Fern for snail or slug damage. If they invade, set out shallow bowls of beer, use child- and pet-safe iron-phosphate pellets, or handpick and remove them to keep the population in check. This will keep the foliage looking its best.

    Summer: Be sure your plants are getting enough water. If it hasn’t rained, get out the hose or the watering can. (See Garden Care – Watering, above.) Astilbe blossoms may dry out prematurely in exceptionally hot weather. Dried flower heads may be left on the plants or pruned away. The flower clusters of your Lady’s Mantle may appear unsightly once they are past bloom. If you don’t like the look, prune them away below the leaf canopy. Any dried leaves may also be removed. Weed the entire garden to remove unwanted “volunteers” that can crowd or take nutrients away from your garden plants.

    Fall & End-of-Season Care: Rake up the Hydrangea leaves when they fall and discard them (don’t compost) to eliminate the spread of any possible fungal diseases. Depending on how you want your garden to look in winter, all plants except the Hydrangea may be cut back once they finish blooming or begin to decay. Even if you like a tidy appearance, consider leaving some dried seed heads, stems, and foliage in the garden to provide food and shelter for wildlife. In colder regions, a light, 1-2” coating of mulch is beneficial.

    To learn more, see our Expert Resources for New Gardeners.

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