Sally Matless is sharing some scenes throughout the year of her garden in Norwich, Vermont.
A satiny purple tulip glistens with water droplets. How long do we have to wait until these start flowering again? I’m already over winter!
In this wonderful mixture of different foliage plants, the dark purple leaves of Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (Zones 7–10 or as an annual) and Oxalis triagularis (Zones 7–11 or as annual) contrast beautifully with the silver-patterned foliage of Begonia ‘Gyphon’ (Zones 8–10 or as annual) and silver lace fern (Pteris ensiformis, annual or houseplant).
This glowing hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum, Zones 3–9) looks like the cultivar ‘Gold Nugget’, which moves through various shades of yellow and green touched with orange through the seasons, with the brightest colors in the cooler months of the year.
When a yellow-green coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides, annual, perhaps the variety ‘Electric Lime’) combines with the electric purple foliage of Strobilanthes dyeriana (annual), who needs flowers? Both of these are usually grown as annuals, but cuttings will root easily in a glass of water to be overwintered on a sunny windowsill.
Tender succulents such as this beautiful Echeveria (perhaps the variety ‘Ruffles’) can’t take frost, but they are easily overwintered indoors in cold climates and have leaves as beautiful as any flower.
Tuberous begonias (Begonia hybrid) have flowers that look like roses. They perform best in climates with cool summers, and as the name suggests, form tubers underground that can be overwintered to grow again next year.
Rich purple bearded iris (Iris germanica hybrid, Zones 3–8)
A hardy waterlily (Nymphaea, Zones 5–9) blooms in a water feature. You don’t have to have a pond to enjoy water lilies; many of the smaller hybrids will grow and bloom just fine in a water-filled container as long as they have plenty of sun.
It is easy to see how ‘Waterlily’ colchicum (Colchicum autumnale ‘Waterlily’, Zones 4–10) gets its name. The big, petal-filled flowers bloom in the fall, innocent of any foliage. The leaves will come up in the spring before dying back in the summer. All summer there is nothing visible above ground until these huge flowers pop up at the end of the growing season.
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