Planting Ideas: Spring Fever

March 5, 2014 | By | Comments (2)

Guest post by Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, the Seattle-based authors of Fine Foliage.


Why this works:

Celebrate spring with some bright, juicy foliage to light up your shade garden. Woven together like a tapestry these three plants fuse together effortlessly, each leaf shape distinct yet the color echo between the fiery coral bells and the pink flowers of the bleeding heart showing a well thought out design with great attention to detail. This combination of bold color and big textures makes the heart race a little faster – must be Spring Fever!

Design credit: Terra Nova Nurseries Inc.

Key Players:

Fire Alarm coral bells (Heuchera ‘Fire Alarm’) – this fiery hybrid will ignite your containers and gardens. The large, smooth leaves transition through shades of deepest mahogany to fire-engine red during the year the most vivid colors appear in spring when tall stems of airy white flowers add to the spectacle. Evergreen in milder climates this showstopper is still worth growing for three season interest elsewhere. 1’ x 1’. Sun, part shade. 

Golden Lotus hellebore (Helleborus Winter Jewels ‘Golden Lotus’) – the evergreen foliage on this hellebore is so perfect it could be mistaken for the rays on a green daisy! A tiny dot of dark red at the center of each rosette and pale, frilled flowers add the final designer flourish. 1’ tall x 2’ wide. Shade, part shade.

Gold Heart bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’) – bright colors are so welcome in spring after months of grey and this herbaceous perennial knows how to deliver. The golden fern-like foliage acts as a spotlight in the shade garden. Tall arching stems emerge in spring, from which dangle rows of perfect pink heart-shaped flowers. 2’ tall x 3’ wide. Shade, part shade.


  1. Planting Ideas: More than just pie | A blog by Sunset

    […] Planting Ideas: Spring Fever […]

    April 10, 2014 at 9:00 am
  2. JBannis

    IME, the colorful Heuchera (“coral bells”) don’t do well even in the mild San Francisco Bay Area. They’ll hang on through one year, never growing larger, and disappear by the next year. Very disappointing.

    March 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm

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