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Silver in Winter, and in Shade | Letter from the Editor


Winter is generally not a gardener friend. I have to admit, however, that the effect on my garden is magical when the first frosts hit – or even when snow dusts off. I look forward to that here in New England every year. The way in which the plants seem to be sprinkled with the finest iridescent glitter is a sight that supports me in the coming months of dark sadness.

Maybe that’s why I love silver-colored plants so much. Your ability to repeat that early winter magic year-round is so enticing. And when you incorporate this trait into a plant that thrives in dark and sometimes bleak shade, it’s even better. Unfortunately, I only have a few silver-colored shade plants. But after reading Frank Fitzgerald’s article Silver in the Shade in our last issue, my spring shopping list grew exponentially. Among his suggestions is the Brunnera ‘Sea Heart’, a newer variety known as a more vigorous plant than the more popular Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. And while that alone would justify its place on my shopping list, ‘Sea Heart’ also tolerates heat and moisture quite well, which means that its sparkling silver-green leaves don’t get crispy like my other brunneras in summer.

As I write this letter, I am staring out the window at a light snow falling on my garden, and it gives the evergreens a silver sheen. Watching this gives me even more justification for adding a lot more silver-colored plants to my landscape in the spring – and when my husband questions the massive indictment in the nursery, I just tell him you can’t put a price on magic.

– Danielle Sherry, Editor-in-Chief

More articles on great plants for shade:

Really tough shade plants

3 ways to use silver to brighten up your shade garden

Best colorful plants for shade for your region

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