With the forever-changing and unpredictable winters we’ve all grown accustomed to, it’s hard to know what to expect each spring. Sometimes plants we never thought had a chance in hell of coming back sail through the winter unfazed. And then there are those occasions when you were positive a hardy, no-fail shrub would be sprouting in April without any trouble—and you were wrong. This episode celebrates those plants that Steve and Danielle were flabbergasted to see emerging this spring. These perennials and shrubs were thought to be long shots for returning, perhaps due to neglect (Steve) or wishful zonal thinking (Danielle), but regardless, they persevered. Nothing makes us feel better than an underdog’s success story!
Expert testimony: Joseph Tychonievich, horticulturist, frequent Fine Gardening contributor, and author of Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style.
Beesia (Beesia deltophylla, Zones 6–9)
‘Takeda Nishiki’ clethra (Clethra barbinervis ‘Takeda Nishiki’, Zones 5–8)
‘Fire Island’ hosta (Hosta ‘Fire Island’, Zones 3–9)
‘Summer Crush’ betony (Stachys ‘Summer Crush’, Zones 4–9)
‘Sundew’ Black Sea comfrey (Trachystemon orientalis ‘Sundew’, Zones 6–8)
Umbrella plant (Darmera peltata, Zones 5–7)
‘Snow Fairy’ blue mist shrub (Caryopteris divaricata ‘Snow Fairy’, Zones 6–9)
Weeping Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonicus ‘Pendula’, Zones 5–9)
Plants from this week’s expert testimony
Side note: Joseph also manages our Garden Photo of the Day blog. Check it out!
I have to say I had a surprise this spring when I went searching for my Jack in the Pulpit and realized it was never coming back since I had a new front walkway put in and the workers displaced the soil to place the flagstones in. So a month or two ago I went out every day to check and no Jack. One day as I'm walking down the walkway I look to my left and nothing was there. As I turned to my right to check out the weeping Japanese maple I see something popping up underneath.....JACK. I guess when they displaced the soil they piled it under the Japanese maple and it seeded? I had not one but 5 or 6 coming up. Talk about a surprise...WOW!!
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