|A shade garden perennial to love - Actaea racemosa or Cimicifuga racemosa
For the drum roll of attributes, read further for what makes this perennial an easy decision to be addicted to – or love. First, it has an amazing late season flower. Its wispy blossoms might make one think of all the snow covering the plant beds right now but come blossom time, you’ll only be thinking late summer thoughts. It’s a sensational backdrop to even the most bedraggled of beds. There is a long list of varieties that range from dark green to black/purple foliage. For a special variety, one we often choose for part of our landscape planting plans, try ‘Hillside Black Beauty.’ You can find some varieties that offer soft pink flowers but the white is our favorite.
This tall, late-blooming perennial provides a wide hardiness zone (3-9) so it can blend with the best of the rugged companion plant materials. This must-have plant is great for adding contrast with texture plus it can break up too much of that ‘good thing’ garden green. This woodland plant mixes well with ferns, hosta, and groundcovers, i.e., another favorite – Epimediums. Because of its height, Actaea racemosa is best located in the background so it can take its bow. This plant can reach 4 to 6 feet in height so place it accordingly but that’s what makes Actaea racemosa a number one plant to love. You can also position it in front of an evergreen backdrop that makes its flowers pop.
For some you could call it plant addiction, that is if being addicted to growing beautiful borders and shade gardens can be horribly bad. As Robert Palmer sang, “It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough. You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love.” It is the month of February, the month of love and heart, so pick your favorite tree, shrub, or plant that you know you're addicted to and make sure there’s more of it in your landscape plans when the snow finally melts and the ground starts to thaw.
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