We’re past due for a look at another Powerhouse Plant, these are Plants For All Seasons - individual varieties which provide color and interest for at least two seasons of the year and not just a fleeting flush of flowers followed by months of not-very-much. I feature over five hundred of them in my latest book, Powerhouse Plants, and every month in Gardeners' World, Britain’s top-selling garden magazine (and also available in the US) I focus on one very special Plant For All Seasons, highlighting three features which bring color to the garden at different times of the year. This month, in the magazine, I feature Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire, next month it’s Mahonia ‘Charity’.
And every month or so, here on my Transatlantic Gardener blog, I bring you details of another Powerhouse Plant this month it’s Tiarella ‘Mystic Mist’ (above, click to enlarge).
Today, here in Pennsylvania, we’re snowbound but yesterday the rich red tints of Tiarella ‘Mystic Mist’ caught the eye in a shady corner by the front door, under the spiny, bluish green leaves of the hybrid holly, Ilex x meservae.
This is its winter livery, but this plant seems to be in an almost imperceptible but constant state of change. For in summer, its bright leaves are densely dusted in silver speckles, with a rather variable red flash in its central veins. In winter the red and purplish tones are more dominant. In spring, short spikes of fluffy white flowers, opening from pink buds, add a third dimension (left, click to enlarge).
There have been speckled forms before, but ‘Mystic Mist’ is more vigorous and more robust in the garden. It spreads well, although it’s better in soil with good drainage. It throives with us tucked bteween the holly and a rhododenendron.
There’s just one problem. In Britain ‘Mystic Mist’ is available from Heucheraholics and from Plantagogo. But, in North America, its creator has withdrawn it. You may still find it in retail nurseries, but I couldn’t find anyone selling it online. That’s a shame. Let’s hope it’s back soon.
British readers can find out more about Powerhouse Plants here.
And you why not take a look at some more fine Powerhouse Plants, Plants For All Seasons, here on my Transatlantic Gardener blog.