Years ago I read a book that with a collaboration of several different authors. They shared their love of Gardening and why they do it. All with various reasons striking a cord of familiarity within me. I reflected on my particular obsession as I opened a box from England this week. Many of you may recall my blog post about Snowdrops. My collection grew this year and I even ordered some from across the pond. Unlike the ones I ordered from Turkey these bulbs came in plump and beautiful, full of promise.

plantswoman design mail order snowdrops

I wondered then if I have developed an obsession for snowdrops. If so I wouldn’t be the only one and then I thought it wouldn’t be the only thing. Most gardeners I know are enjoying the lush wonderful summer, looking towards fall and some are even looking forward to spring again. The bulbs from England are, Galanthus ‘Primrose Warburg’, A rare yellow form, Galanthus ‘White Swan’ A double form, and Galanthus plicatus ‘Madelaine’, a yellow form with long petals.

If you check out the website where I purchased them you will see that they are sold out. In England they would usually sell them ‘in the green’. When you order them for the U.S. they send you bulbs in the fall. You should however still order them in the spring because they will sell out before fall.

plantswoman design clethera first snow

Obsession continues with new plants. I love to try out new plants in my garden and if they are truly as wonderful as their advertisement goes I put them in a client’s garden. One that I’m particularly fond of this summer is the ‘First Snow’ Japanese Clethra.

This introduction from Monrovia is amazing. From the variegated foliage to the racemes of fragrant flowers in mid summer to the tricolored bark and seed capsules in the winter, what’s not to love? Needs partial to full sun, regular water, and shines in a shady woodland garden. It could even take wet feet.   What’s not to love? Right?

plantswoman design crazy color combinations

Sometimes color combinations come around by accident. This year the rain in the summer had many benefits. Usually the primroses in the garden are finished flowering by the time the Astilbe comes out but not this year!

This is Astilbe ‘fanal’, a lovely red flower that glows in the shade garden. The combination of that with Primrose bulleyanna is pretty shocking. I’m liking it because of the way the red sets off the orange. Funny enough the primrose buds start out red and burst into orange. My neighbor, a great gardener in her own right, gave me the seedlings from her garden. They tend to have lots of various colors when the seedlings bloom so some pulling or transplanting of various colors does have to happen when in bloom.

In a different area of the garden the cool colors reign.

plantswoman design cool color combinations

The Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’ throws its blue flower out into a shady spot. The variegated foliage of the Lamium maculatum ‘Aureum’ adds some texture to the combination. The beesia would be better with out the slug interest. The dark green fern fronds from neighboring Blechnum chilense also play with texture. Epimedium and Hellebore play a minor role at this time of year but a major role in the spring.

plantswoman design summer chaos

Lastly and lovely is the combination of hot and cool together.   The agapanthus ‘storm cloud’, with hot colors of orange Crocosmia and soft rounded cool leaf of Lotus in a pot shouts ‘SUMMER’ to me. Lots of plants, lots of watering, pruning, harvesting, moving, planting, and planning for the spring. It may look like ‘Summer Chaos’ to you but that is summer to me.