It’s hard to limit my favorite plants to just five. But, since my phone is ringing off the hook, it’s looking like everyone’s getting excited about spring. So, here are my top five favorite plants for low maintenance visual interest:
5. Lenten Rose (Hellebores) – I LOVE a shade garden. There’s just something about the lush, green foliage colors that really gets me going. It’s difficult to get a large variety of flowering plants for the shade, but Lenten Roses are definitely up there as one of the best! They are a low growing, evergreen, herbaceous plant that blooms through the spring. Once you get them established in your soil, they require virtually no maintenance other than the occasional watering. I won’t say these are deer proof, because I’ve seen things that look downright painful to eat get munched down to a nub. However, these are known to be deer resistant.
4. Hosta – while we are in the shade, let’s talk about my other favorite. There are so many varieties of hostas, you are sure to find one that suits the environment in your garden. There are blue hostas, green hostas, big hostas, and small hostas. (I’m thinking Dr. Seuss should have taken on hostas for a book.) Just don’t plant these guys if you have a deer problem! They are definitely a favorite of mine and of the deer!
3. Pink Muhly Grass – love, love, LOVE me some Pink Muhly. I love it so much that I had to stop and take a picture with it. It has such a fine, upright texture throughout the year and, in the fall, it blooms a really cool hazy, soft pink bloom. Pink Muhly loves the sun and does well in drought. It will tolerate some shade and it looks amazing planted in clusters.
2. Rose Creek Abelia – this little guy is a woody shrub. Abelias are seen growing wild in the woods. The ‘Rose Creek’ Abelia is a compact cultivar with the cutest little white/pink flowers. It blooms from Late spring to the first frost. The only maintenance it needs is just snipping a wild hair every now and then. Rose Creek can tolerate some shade, but performs best in full sun. Rose Creek is also deer resistant and a great butterfly attractant!
1. Limelight Hydrangea – Y’all. These are so wonderful. The show they put on throughout the year makes it totally worth it to deal with the fact that they are deciduous. They start with bright green blooms in the summer that fade into a rich pink in the fall. Some hydrangeas can be difficult to keep happy, but put these in the sun and give them room to grow, and you have an amazing show! They are great for cut flowers because they don’t wilt quickly AND (like we need any more reasons to love the Limelight) they dry really well!
The secret to any beautiful landscape is balance and variety. Get creative and have a little fun with colors and textures!