Bergenia ciliata 'Susan Riley' flowers

Bergenia ciliata ‘Susan Riley’

To be honest we had quite a bit of employee pushback when we said we were growing a Bergenia- I’m sure they immediately thought of that hulking, horrible looking, weevil notched ground cover with clouds of pepto pink flowers in winter/spring. That old horribly abused plant is definitely not this. HUGE round leaves have light fur on the reverse and make a wonderful statement in part shade to full sun (with water). In very early spring this cultivar named by Richie Steffan of the Elizabeth Miller Garden in Seattle- sends up wide inflorescences of pink tinted white flowers. Best with overhead protection of trees to ensure a late freeze doesn’t damage the flowers. This is a DECIDUOUS species and doesn’t seem to be root weevil food or suffer a bad looking period. New leaves ensure freshness all season. Give it a LOT of room to spread. Tropical looking foliage adds bold dimension to borders, woodlands. Regular summer water in well drained rich soil. Thanks Richie.

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Heuchera ‘Huntsman’

A really good Heuchera that works well in the garden and not just containers. Maple shaped leaves are bronze with a darker central zone forming a mound 1′ x 1′. From April to August a continuous parade of clouds of pink flowers held on 30″ wiry stems. Very pretty and creates an ethereal effect. Evergreen for rich well drained soil that retains moisture. Regular summer water. Better bloom in full sun though tolerant of part shade. Long lived carefree perennial.

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Heuchera cylindrica

Green Alum Root. Fantastic native Heuchera found east of the Cascades but a stellar garden plant on the west side too. Handsome scalloped leaves form a tight evergreen clump. For weeks and weeks in late spring to summer 20″ spikes have columns of small green flowers at the top. Very pretty. Amazing massed in part shade and rich to average well drained soil. Regular summer water though established plants thrive on very little. A pretty Oregon native perennial. Thrives in such diverse places as partly shady hellstrips to the front of borders. Not bothered by pest and disease and much more durable than the hybrids. Easy to grow. Climate adapted. Oregon native plant.

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Heuchera sanguinea

Coral Bells. This is the original species that lept into gardens nearly a century ago. Native to the mid and higher elevations of the southwestern U,S. this is a tough, beautiful, long blooming species that will live for decades in a garden. Maple shaped leaves, occasionally decorated with white form rosettes and in time colonies. In April to July a fantastic display of red flowers on 16″ straight stems. They create a pool of color above the plants. We love this species also for its ease of cultivation. Full sun to part shade in rich to average soil with light summer water, or none when a patch is established. Excellent long lasting haze of red color for the front of a border or with in other perennials. Adored by hummingbirds and moderately deer resistant. Very easy to transplant and move around where you need some color. Evergreen to semi evergreen foliage. Rosettes to 1.5′ wide. Indispensable, old fashioned but always beautiful and reliable. Avoid heavily compacted soils.

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Heuchera sanguinea ‘Big Red’

This is a very old selected form of Coral Bells. The brilliant red flowers are much larger than the species. A very long blooming perennial beginning in April and contenting solidly to July. The  soft green maple shaped leaves are handsome year round. Spreads to form expanding colonies. To 2′ tall in bloom above a congested rosette of leaves. Adored by hummingbirds and a very adaptable plant. Full sun to light shade in rich to average soil. Established colonies of this showy spring perennial can live for decades. Excellent massed tougher for a bold blast of color or spread out for explanation points of bright red. Light consistent summer water. Though established plants make due with much less. Mix with other similarly designed perennials. Very a good with Wulfenia schwarzii, Saxafrage x geum dentata, or even lower and airy growing Dianthus. Light deer resistance. Native to the southwestern United states mountainous areas.

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We found this vigorous seedling in a batch of Heuchera sanguinea. The leaves are pale green and liberally splashed with white. Unlike, the red flower of the species straight spikes of HOT PINK flowers rise in a cloud above the playful foliage. This is just a seedling and unlike many variegated plants it shows excellent vigor and longevity. Evergreen clumps of foliage. Loved by hummingbirds in bloom from April to mid-July. Tolerates full sun to quite a bit of shade at the expense of blooming Excellent paired with ferns Hosta, Tiarella. To 14″ tall in bloom and spreading to about 2′ wide when happy. Rich, moisture retentive soil high in organic matter. Established plants are surprisingly drought adapted. Do not let other plants crowd or over top this perennial. The lack of light and competition will take it out. Instead match it with a similar sized perennial. See above. Easy, forgiving perennial.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Heuchera x ‘Canyon Delight’

This is a really good garden Fairy Bells that has performed for years in our garden. Its derivative of two western species and boy does it know how to bloom. From a low evergreen matt of nice looking maple shaped green leaves it send many many 2′ stems bearing clouds of true red flowers. Each flower is clad minute fur giving the extra substance. A saturated color that appears in our climate for up to two months beginning in April. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Avoid boggy soils in summer. Its a carefree, long lived perennial that really performs in landscapes. Visited frequently by hummingbirds (yep). Create a clouds of rich red. Evergreen.

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Mukdenia rossii

Fan plant is a nice looking spring blooming perennial that gets its common name from the fan shape of the leaves. They emerge light pink and then change to medium green with a sheen. To 20″ high and spreading in moist rich soil with regular irrigation. Part shade to shade. White flowers in March/April. Remarkably unmolested by slugs and snails. In fall the foliage turns bright red before going deciduous.

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Saxafraga x geum ‘Dentata’

Really cool evergreen Saxafrage that has deep green spoon shaped leaves that are strongly serrated. The serrations are remarkably symmetrical and give the plant a very architectural appeal. In late spring wiry stems to 10″ supply clouds of small white flowers. If you look closely each flower is adorned with yellow and red polka dots. Spreads moderately fast to form large, dense colonies in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil with regular moisture in summer. Avoid blasting sun and dust dry soil. Not hard to grow in a cool position. Very hardy with a great year round appearance. Excellent lining woodland paths or as a pool of cool leaves beneath established shrub. Very good in winter containers. Easy to pick up and move if you need a new patch. Lovely.

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Tellima grandiflora

Locally native on our nursery site Fringe Cups or Fairy Bells as they are commonly known are a spreading perennial for moist shady sites. Low mounding maple shaped leaves cover the ground densely and in late spring vertical spikes appear to 18″ tall and sport rows of small green cup shaped flowers which change to white and finish with tints of pink. Closely related to Heuchera and thrives in the same conditions. It will even take full sun in moist conditions. It is a background plant because it often suffers from powdery mildew late in summer which is mostly just ugly and I’ve never seen harm to the plant. The drier the conditions the worse the affliction. Good air circulation helps but its best to just accept that this is how this native perennial rolls. Semi-evergreen in winter. Woodland borders, shady containers. Very easy to grow. Often grows with Claytonia as seen below. Flowers emit a sweet fragrance.  Oregon Native Plant.

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