I recently added a bluestone patio that has caused the need for yet another border! Not wanting to go out and buy more plants I combed my garden and found a few crowded in plants, including some boxwoods. The new bed was still pretty empty though and so I had the idea to do a ‘plant swap’ with several of my gardening friends. Each of us would increase our collection of plants without spending money. I have now traded plants with four gardening friends and added about 25 new plants to my garden. The plants given to you by friends stand out from the ones you buy as they have the added association to someone you like.
My garden friends and I took turns strolling through each other’s gardens and when we saw something we didn’t have we ask for a small piece. We mostly divide plants that are well established. Here are some of the new plants that I scored that are filling in my new border:
Stephanadra incise -Cutleaf Stephanadra I had seen this shrub on several garden tours over the years and I finally had the right shady spot for one. It has graceful arching branches with yellowish white flowers in May and is a hard to locate in nurseries.
Niccanda Physalodes – a beautiful annual that once planted self- seeds freely and does not need to be planted again. It grows quite large 3’-5’ and has lovely pale blue roundish flowers. The leaves have an interesting shape and I look forward to having this plant in many more areas of the garden. In warmer climates this plant is considered invasive; however in the cold northeast I think it will be fine. AND it repels flies!
Artemisia lactiflora Guizho which has beautiful dark green leaves and delicate white flowers is the most unusual of all of the artemesias. I can’t wait for this plant to double in size.
Physotegia virginiana Variegata has wonderful light variegated foliage. Apparently it blooms bright pink in September (in our area of the Catskills.)
Old variety of blue phlox – you tend to see the prettier older variety of phlox in and around old farms and I finally got one which I have been admiring in two friends gardens for years. The hybrids in my opinion may be taller and mildew resistant but they don’t have the subtle color variations of the older varieties.