Bergenia

Pigsqueak

You can experience how this no-trouble rhizomatous ground cover earned its common name if, following a rain, you rub a leaf between your fingers—but it is Bergenia’s fine firm foliage mass and Saxifrage-like, waxy flowers that justifies its presence in the garden. With bold, rounded outlines, the great, glossy, and nearly evergreen, rich green leaves are a handsome backdrop for dense heads of lovely spring blooms that rise above the cabbagelike rosette on stalwart, red-tinted stems.

In winter, leaves become tinged with burgundy and are most welcome in holiday arrangements. Bergenia endures neglect, poor soil and some drought, but performs best in part shade.

A 1972 Eric Smith hybrid raised at Britain’s Hadspen House, this rarely offered Bergenia emphasizes arresting contrast. Enhanced by rose-blushed centers, flamboyant red calyces and hefty burgundy-hued stalks, the massive, densely set flower heads initially develop a soft pink coloration, which dramatically matures to white above thick deep green leaves. The tailored evergreen clump can be planted in drifts as an easily grown ground cover, broadcasting bold lustrous texture plus warm coppery red winter highlights.

Blooms April–May

Size: 16" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Bergenia</i> ‘Bressingham Ruby’

Amidst a compact base of lustrous greenery, glistening deep rosy red Hyacinth-like blooms herald the spring and later, leaves transmute bronzed wine tints that warm winters’ somber landscape. With its tidy habit, this gem is well-suited for edging a path or for gracing a container at any time of year. (PP#7344)

Blooms April–May.

Size: 16" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Bergenia</i> ‘Bressingham White’ <i>Bergenia</i> ‘Bressingham White’

Distinguished for the pure white color of its mature blossoms, its amazing floriferous nature, and for its leafy robustness, ‘Bressingham White’ was bred by British horticulturist Alan Bloom. To create an eye-catching contrast of color and texture, combine this Bergenia’s broad leaves with the ferny foliage of Corydalis ‘Blue Panda’.

Blooms April–May.

Size: 12" – 15" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

This superb prismatic cultivar claims its name with eye-catching red painted winter foliage that chases the chill from a December day and warms a holiday wreath. The thick slow spreading rosettes of lusty varnished heart-style leaves launch showy magenta-red flowers perched on stout stalks. Vaunting color galore, nearly 4-season appeal and an adaptable valiant persona, ‘Winter Glow‘ can grace the rockery or a border’s front lines.

Blooms April to May

Size: 12" – 18" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Bergenia</i> ‘Magic Giant’

Big varnished rosettes of thick, extra large rounded evergreen foliage beams purplish bronze colors that indeed work magic on a bleak winter landscape. A verdant foil the rest of the year, dark green leaves reach up to a foot long and 9 in. across, while supporting dense rosy pink flower clusters, defined by red centers, white stamens and open starry faces on stout wine-hued stems. Bedazzled with jewel tones and texture galore, this hybrid Bergenia crafts an exceptional, easy care ground cover for moist poorly drained banks, stream sides or borders.

Blooms April–May

Size: 16" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Though this cultivar is more diminutive than our other Bergenia selections, its year-round allure is huge. Narrow jade green leaves compile a gleaming evergreen base that launches lovely clusters of bright pink flowers, looking a bit like cherry blossoms, on thick burgundy-tinted stems. Introduced by German-born Anne Eskuche, ‘Pink Dragonfly’s enticements extend far beyond the perfectly proportioned blooms as unique plum red shades morph the foliage into a colorful winter spectacle.

Blooms April–May.

Size: 12" – 15" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Highly regarded by British plantswoman Beth Chatto for their lovely presentation, the salmon-tinged rosy pink Hyacinth-like floral bells ring in spring with open flared mouths above a tight-knit smaller-sized foundation of gleaming spoon-shaped foliage. ‘Rosi Klose’s profuse uniquely hued blooms and verdant trouble-free disposition can enhance the rockery, a stone wall or pond’s edge.

Blooms April–May

Size: 12" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Saturday Strolls & Plant Chats 2018!


Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Achillea 'Hella Glashoff'

Amazing Achilleas, Invigorate your summer plantings!

Amazing Achilleas…. These sturdy, dependable perennials produce small indivdual blooms that populate broad, flat flower heads, lending welcome horizontal elements to any garden bed. Ideal for bouquets, fresh or dried, the long-lasting blossoms range in color from alabaster to soft yellow and gold, as well as terracotta, pink and sassy red. Cut back their flowers in midsummer and enjoy a fall encore! Spicy scented, attractive fern-like green or gray-tinged foliage cloaks their strong straight stems. Slowly spreading and somewhat drought tolerant, Yarrow seem to thrive on neglect. They can handle low soil fertility plus coastal wind and salt spray. Be sure to check out our diverse on-line Achillea selections!

Invigorate your summer plantings.… A few simple maintenance techniques will help plants appear fresh throughout the upcoming dog days of summer. The addition of a chipped bark mulch or well-rotted compost, applied as a top-dressing, not only reduces water requirements, but generally makes it easier for plants to maintain perky looking leaves and vigorous habits. A July or early August trimming of long-blooming perennials, such as Nepetas and most Geraniums ensures myriad flowers that will keep on coming ‘til the first frost. Featured in this newsletter, you’ll find the fabulous plants that caught my eye as Boobah and I took our morning walk through the nursery and adjacent display borders this past week. Hopefully, you’ll have room to ensconce several of them in a well-traveled spot. Happy Digging!

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