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Regional Picks: Color in the Shade – Mountain West

Fine Gardening - Issue 147

Mountain West


‘Maggie Daley’ astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Maggie Daley’)

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8

Size: 16 to 20 inches tall and wide; flowers 28 inches tall

Conditions: Partial shade; fertile, moist soil

In late spring, lavender-pink flowers rise above this plant’s lacy, fernlike foliage, which forms an airy network beneath. The blooms appear a bit later than typical for other astilbes, and they extend later into summer. ‘Maggie Daley’ is moderately drought tolerant once established. Pair it with Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, Zones 5–8) for a beautiful combination. And deer and rabbit resistance is the pièce de résistance!


‘Firefly’ climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris ‘Firefly’)

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: Climbing up to 50 feet

Conditions: Partial shade; moist, fertile, well-drained soil

This somewhat rare climbing hydrangea grows best in areas with morning sun and afternoon shade. Attaching by aerial rootlets to buildings or trees, its main stem grows…

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