If, like ours, your garden has been subject to yet more frosts this week, then you might have been enjoying such delights as my subject today. I do realise that I might be over enthusiastic about walking round the garden in winter but this is precisely why I love it.
This barrenwort is a tough evergreen perennial (to about 40cms) and it forms a dense clump almost impenetrable by weeds. The heart shaped leaves are spiny edged (but not prickly!) and the sprays of bright yellow flowers appear in spring.
It grows well in shade or part shade under trees and among shrubs. This is a genus well worth investigating, there are so many to choose from, and some are better suited to damper situations than others. There is a very useful article about them on the ‘Hardy Plant Society’ website which is always a wealth of information.
Most epimediums fit right into the elusive ‘I’d like to have year-round interest’ group; you get the fascinating and delicate flowers in the springtime, immediately followed by beautiful new foliage which is often veined or marbled in varying hues of red and bronze – a treat in itself. In the autumn, the foliage mellows yet again, then ….. if you’re lucky, it will be treated to the mid-winter frosting which for me is the icing on the cake!
NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.
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