You are my sunshine…
…my only sunshine…you make me happy…SO HAPPY! Helllloooo yellow and hello spring in full swing baby!Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa) is blooming and looking happy in my full shade for half the year /full sun for half the year bed from hell. This plant has been EXTREMELY adaptable – what a gem! The only negative I could say is that during the months this bed is in full shade it gets a little leggy – but after it finishes blooming (so pretty soon) I cut it back fairly hard and it grows back quickly and compact again until the shady months return. This truly is a bizarre and incredible plant – the other interesting thing of note is that it grows after I cut it back beautifully with the “normal size” leaves and in compact form. It remains that way until this bed goes back into entire shade in the fall. At this time the leaves get fatter and it still remains crazy healthy and only gets leggy before it starts to bloom again in the spring. Then I cut it back, and the leaves grow “normal size” again. And the cycle repeats. It is so neat to see this plant take on such different looks- It has been a staple in this bed! And believe me, I have tried several things in this bed and failed miserably. But I think I finally have it figured out!!!!
In this same garden bed Dahlberg daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba) has also demonstrated it is an incredibly adaptable plant. Normally grown as an annual in Central Texas, this year was mild and it remained green and put on a lot of growth throughout the fall/winter months in full shade. Parts of this bed are still currently in the shade and even those ones are flowering. I use dahlberg daisy as a living mulch in this bed with a few ‘Angelina’ sedum as well. My hope is that if (when) the dahlberg daisies freeze back, the sedum, being evergreen, will take its place. The daisies give the sedum a little shelter from the sun in the 6 months this bed is SCORCHED. That is the plan anyways. Although this year I never got to find out as it never did freeze back, and instead it is already a fluffy green carpet adorned with cheery yellow daisies. Dahlberg daisy seeds out easily as well, I have several little seedlings so my guess (although I don’t know from personal experience yet) is that even if the daisies did freeze back, their seeds would have quickly replaced themselves. BEAUTIFUL!
Does anyone out there have a similar bed from hell? What has worked for you?
Note: You would normally not cut Jerusalem Sage back hard after it blooms like I do. I only cut it back because I want to get rid of the legginess and enjoy its compact, beautiful, silvery-green foliage for the 6 months this bed gets full sun.