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Sally’s Garden in Vermont – FineGardening


Sally Matless shares some scenes from her garden in Norwich, Vermont all year round.

A silky purple tulip shines with drops of water. How long do we have to wait for these to start blooming again? I’m already over the winter!

Deciduous plantsIn this wonderful mix of different deciduous plants, the dark purple leaves of Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (zones 7-10 or annual) and Oxalis triagularis (zones 7-11 or annual) contrast wonderfully with the silver-patterned foliage of begonia ‘Gyphon’ (zones 8– 10 or as annual) and silver lace fern (Pteris ensiformis, annual or houseplant).

Gold nugget chickens and chicksThese bright chickens and chicks (Sempervivum, Zones 3-9) look like the ‘Gold Nugget’ variety that moves through various shades of yellow and green touched with orange as the seasons progress, with the lightest colors in the cooler Months of the year year.

Strobilanthes dyerianaWhen a yellow-green multicolored lip (Solenostemon scutellarioides, annual, perhaps the ‘Electric Lime’ variety) combines with the electric purple foliage of Strobilanthes dyeriana (annual), then who needs flowers? Both are usually grown annual, but cuttings easily root in a glass of water for winter on a sunny windowsill.

EcheveriaTender succulents like this lovely Echeveria (perhaps the ‘frilled’ variety) don’t tolerate frost, but they can easily hibernate indoors in cold climates and have leaves as beautiful as any flower.

Tuberous begoniasTuberous begonias (Begonia hybrid) have flowers that look like roses. They do best in climates with cool summers and, as the name suggests, form underground tubers that can hibernate to grow again next year.

purple bearded irisRich purple bearded iris (Iris germanica hybrid, zones 3–8)

hardy water lilyA hardy water lily (Nymphaea, zones 5–9) blooms in a water feature. You don’t have to have a pond to enjoy water lilies. Many of the smaller hybrids will grow and flower well in a water-filled container as long as they have plenty of sun.

Water lily colchicumIt’s easy to see how ‘Waterlily’ Colchicum (Colchicum autumnale ‘Waterlily’, Zones 4–10) gets its name. The large, petal-filled flowers bloom in autumn without any foliage. The leaves come up in spring before they die again in summer. Nothing is visible above the earth all summer until these giant flowers emerge at the end of the growing season.

Ascott Rainbow EuphorbiaEuphorbia × martinii ‘Ascott Rainbow’ (Zone 5–9) has incredibly colorful foliage from spring to autumn. What’s even better is that it’s very resistant to deer and rabbits.

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