This is your GPOD editor, Joseph, and a few days ago I drove up to Michigan to visit my friend Brigitta Stewart. She runs a small mail-order nursery called Arrowhead Alpines, and her personal garden is packed to the gills with fascinating and beautiful plants. Most of the plants were still dormant, but there were still a lot beautiful things to see.
Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’ (Zones 3–8) is vigorous, has large, richly colored flowers, and is less attractive to squirrels than many species of crocuses.
This beautiful Hepatica (Zones 3–9) has huge flowers. Different species of hepaticas are native around North America, Europe, and Asia. They’re all beautiful, early spring bloomers that thrive in a woodland garden.
Paperbark maple (Acer griseum, Zones 5–9) looks beautiful all year with its marvelous peeling bark.
There are hellebores (Helleborus hybrids, Zones 4–8) all over the garden, and they are at their peak in late winter and early spring. Brigitta has collected lots of wonderful varieties, and they have seeded themselves here and there in the garden as well.
On this, one of the most stunning hellebores in the garden, the new leaves emerge so dark that they are almost black, making quite a statement as they emerge.
There are countless species of trillium in the garden, and some of the earliest to emerge are these Trillium cuneatum (Zones 4–8). They have dark purple-red flowers, but who needs blooms when you have these incredible patterned leaves?
In the greenhouses can be found this wonderful tiny bearded iris (Iris pumila, Zones 3–8). Unlike the modern bearded iris hybrids, this is a species as you would find in nature, with each bloom a hard-to-describe blend of soft green and turquoise.
Back in the garden, Corydalis solida (Zones 4–8) blooms. This tiny bulb blooms early and thrives in a woodland garden.
This isn’t the most vigorous of Brigitta’s hellebores, but it may be one of the most beautiful.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
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