The old-fashioned bleeding hearts were planted four years ago. The first year they were tiny and only one bloomed. They went dormant in late June. The next year they never came out of dormancy and I thought they were goners. Last spring I was delighted to see them re-emerge, but they never quite recovered from their early trampling by some suburban wild thing or perhaps a neighbor's pet straying from home. This year they're happier than ever, and seem to have finally settled in. They've just started blooming. Behind them you can see some surprise lilies, a few baby Anemone sylvestris, an epimedium, three Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum,) and two tiny sedums started from cuttings late last fall - probably Autumn Joy.
Last spring I planted my first epimedium. It didn't bloom and went dormant in June, but I remained hopeful. This garden has been full of surprises the last couple of years. The epimedium's back this spring. Two more epimediums rescued from a compost heap late last fall joined the party this spring.
Last year Brunnera macrophylla 'Looking Glass' jumped into the trunk of my car when I wasn't looking. It didn't bloom, and it wasn't very pretty. I wished I'd gotten Jack Frost instead. So this year I did, but Looking Glass is turning out to be very nice too! I've always loved forget-me-nots, and blue flowers are my favorites. With these variegated brunneras, you get those same tiny blue blooms on a perennial with wonderful foliage that lasts all season.Celandine poppies were pass-alongs from a client last summer. They seem quite happy here. I love the blooms and the foliage.
Nothing but maple seeds seem to self-sow around here, but I wouldn't mind at all if a few of these babies managed to reproduce. So far even typically rampant self-sowers haven't accomplished this feat in this garden. It's a mixed blessing really. I hate the maple seedlings, wish I'd get some babies, realize I need to be careful what I wish for, and don't miss weeding. Aside from lots of maple seedlings and an occasional buckthorn, weeds are rare in our garden.
Hosta 'Night Before Christmas' was new last spring. It went dormant in July, and now it's back!
The first couple of years this garden had more losses than survivors. Even now, in the tangle of maple roots, everything establishes slowly. It has tested my gardening confidence and patience. This spring, after five years, there are delights and survivors in every ray of dappled sunlight that reaches through our leafy canopy, and even the deepest shade is coming to life.