Plant Buying Trip Part One

Once again, Lake Michigan is providing us with some April-esque weather, and I don't mind it a bit. We've been on this seesaw before--cold and dry, then cool and wet, and finally warm and sunny. This sequence of weather patterns seems more than a little schizophrenic, but I'll take it over a sustained heat wave any day.

Dicentra 'Burning Heart' planted with Galium odoratum.
Last Monday, my neighbor Lesley and I drove to Sunrise Greenhouse in Grant Park, IL and drove home with a little space to spare in my Saturn Vue. I'm happy to say I found some real gems, including a little bleeding heart I fell in love with called 'Burning Heart', with cherry red flowers hovering over blue fern-delicate foliage.

In keeping with my lifetime goal of trying everything once, I purchased a single pot of each plant that caught my eye. (If I still love it after an entire calendar year, I will buy more.)

The little bleeding heart's placement beneath Magnolia 'Pink Charm' is to eventually provide a wonderfully layered color echo. If the Dicentra remains in leaf throughout the season, I can't think of a better match for the deep pink of the Magnolia flowers.

Magnolia 'Pink Charm'
I considered planting Rodgersia 'Cherry Blush' beneath the Magnolia, but it might grow a bit large for that and possibly upstage the Magnolia. I'd tried growing Rodgersia before but had no luck with it. Persistence pays off in gardening, however, and the Rodgersia henrici I planted last year has come up and even looks as if it will bloom! 
This is the Rodgersia 'Cherry Blush' I just bought.
Last year's Rodgersia as it emerges from the ground.

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