April Plant Of The Month

For April we’d like to introduce you Paeonia japonica or Mountain Peony.

Shade Peony BloomThis choice woodland species from Japan thrives in the dappled shade in contrast with other species of Peonies that require full sun.  It has delicate,clusters of ovate leaves and simple single white, cup-shaped flowers that hover above its stems during springtime.

It requires shade with dappled morning sun or bright light but never direct sun.

As a perennial, it also has a dormant period at the end of summer so it’s a good accent amongst other plants with a longer growth cycle while it is dormant.  Peony japonica blends with favorites such as Ferns, Hellebores, Hosta and Trillium.  However, it needs loose, fertile soil to grow well and will be overtaken by more vigorous plants so give it some breathing room.

It is captivating as a shade specimen or in a pot nestled among others in light shade.  Pictured here in bud and bloom.

Not for the impatient, it is slow to establish, grows slowly and needs ideal conditions to thrive.  A great plant for the connoisseur gardener!

To learn more about garden planning, landscape design, and easy plants for your garden, please contact us.

Shade Peony 2 BloomsShade Peony










Deciduous Delights

Birch trunksNovember is a great time to plant deciduous trees. With fall foliage all but gone, trees with interesting bark take center stage, giving a new dimension to the winter landscape. Many deciduous trees also bloom in early spring, before most other flowering plants, making them a welcome sight after a long winter.

Bring in Jaquemontii Birch trees to create layers that pop when set against a backdrop of dark conifers and other broadleaf plants and trees. Their bright white trunks and branches reflect light and cast dramatic long shadows in the low winter sun. Add early blooming white Snowdrops and Helleborus for lovely bright spots that relieve the post holiday-doldrums. If a stone patio or walkway is part of your plan, considering incorporating silvery quartzite that sparkles as it reflects light. Up-lighting and elegant holiday lights can add an almost-ethereal dimension.

Red Twig Dogwood, the handsome Paperbark Maple, and the exotic-looking Snakebark Maple also have striking bark that stands out in the winter landscape. Plant the trees in groves for a dramatic affect on a large property or use one in a planter to create a focal point on a tiny in-city balcony.

You might not spend as much time outdoors this winter but a look out the window at a beautiful winter garden can lift the spirits on even the darkest days.

Contact us to learn more about garden planning, landscape design, and fall planting.