There are 17 Hellebore species. Most are native to the mountainous regions of Europe, especially the Balkan region of the former Yugoslavia, south along the eastern Adriatic to Greece and Turkey. Many of the species have been interbred, producing countless hybrid Hellebores in a rich array of colors and forms.
Winters may be long and cold, but your garden can allay that dreariness and be transformed into a place of natural beauty with visually arresting textures, colors, fragrance and flowers. To create such a beautiful winter scene, you need to make sure you select the right plants.
When pairing roses and clematis, you need to consider size, color, fragrance, and timing of their respective blooms. The diverse clematis family provides you with a wide choice in terms of flower size (large, small, single, double) and shapes (cross-shaped, bell-shaped, star-shaped), color (purple, blue, pink, red, white or bicolor), fragrance, disease-resistance.
Native to Japan, Korea and China, Acer palmatum is a species to which most Japanese Maples belong. It includes a rich variety of deciduous shrubs or small trees with graceful habits, elegantly cut leaves and extraordinarily colorful foliage, particularly in the fall when the leaves warm up to dazzling shades of golden-yellow, red-purple and bronze, before shedding to the ground.
Combine Japanese Maples with multiple seasons of interest, forms, leaf shapes or colors will extend their colorful impact in the garden and provide double the pleasure.
A single Japanese Maple placed in a prominent place attracts attention from every part of the garden. While extraordinarily good-looking on their own, Japanese Maples however, look more charming when planted with companion plants. Well-behaved, they make perfect partners with other plants and help create strikingly beautiful combinations in the garden.
With one of the longest-blooming seasons, up to 6-8 weeks, Japanese Anemones add brilliant color in the landscape, from mid or late summer through fall. Well suited for borders, cottage gardens, coastal gardens or naturalized areas such as prairies or meadows, Japanese Anemones put on a spectacular show in the late summer garden
Considered as one of the most colorful of all ground covers, Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox) is a popular evergreen perennial with masses of delicate pink, magenta, purple-blue or white flowers in mid to late spring. They bloom so profusely that they literally blanket the dark green, needle-like foliage.
Highly placed among the favorite rose companion plants are Nepeta (Catmint), hardy Salvia (Sage) and Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender), whose exquisite flower heads contrast beautifully with the billowing pink, red, yellow or white roses.
Fabulous planting partners for dahlias, ornamental grasses help create incredibly beautiful planting combinations. In contrast with dahlias which boldly inject bright colors and broad-petalled flowers in the garden, grasses contribute their beauty in a more subtle fashion through their transparency, luminosity, texture and seasonal changes.
The Chicago Botanic Garden undertook an evaluation project to determine which clematis were suitable for cultivation in midwest gardens. Initiated in the spring of 1990 and continued through the fall of 1995, 64 species and cultivars were included in the project. Here is a list of Clematis varieties which performed extremely well and obtained good to excellent ratings.