Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' is a very attractive perennial for shade. The heart-shaped leaves are mostly a silvery-white, but with green veins. It's eye-catching. I think it's not gaudy, but probably too bright for some. The small, bright-blue flowers come in May. They are pretty, but bloom is usually not very dense. The plant forms a mound about 2 feet wide fairly quickly, but does not seem to exceed that. When in flower, it reaches 2 feet tall. It disappears in winter. Brunnera macrophylla is native to the Caucasus, Georgia & Turkey in forests & on grassy slopes. The common name is Siberian Bugloss. Brunnera macrophylla is better in part shade than deep shade. It needs moderate water in summer & tolerates some wetness in winter. Use it in a shaded perennial border, or between shrubs under trees.
There is a lot to see at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver BC. It's a more traditional botanical garden than the UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver, or the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, which are more forested & informal. VanDusen Botanical Garden reminds me of botanical gardens in New York & London. The RHS Garden at Wisley comes to mind. There is a beautiful visitor center, plant collections from Asia, the southern hemisphere including Chile, Australia & New Zealand, the Mediterranean, eastern North America, redwoods & other conifers including members of the cypress family, also lindens, maples, ashes, mountain ashes & rhododendrons. The diversity of plants is quite amazing. The are also interesting features including 5 lakes, a meditation garden, an Elizabethan maze, a tiny farm with vegetables, bees & medicinal plants. a formal rose garden, a rock garden, a fragrance garden & even more. It's really quite a beautiful, diverse & interesting place, well worth a visit when you are in Vancouver. The garden opened in 1975 & has had plenty of time to grow impressively. It covers 55 acres (22 hectares) & is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day.
This blog was started in 2008 as Metropolitan Gardens to provide information about gardening in Seattle & the Pacific Northwest. It was later expanded to include information about parks, community gardens & public gardens in the US, Canada, Europe & South Africa. These can be found by clicking on Parks P-Patches Public Gardens. Natural areas in the US & South Africa can be found by clicking on Nature. The primary focus has always been on Seattle. However, many posts are based on photos taken while traveling. Please feel free to use the basic gardening information & plant lists found by clicking on Gardening in Cascadia. There are also posts on Urban Landscape, which is primarily architecture. Comments are welcome. Posts are scheduled on the 1st Friday of each month October-March & twice a month April-September. If you have any questions, please contact Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org
The city of Seattle rests between 2 bodies of water: Puget Sound & Lake Washington. Puget Sound is a substantial part of the Salish Sea & a very small part of the Pacific Ocean. The Salish Sea is set apart from the Pacific by the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington & Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia. The dense, wet clouds of the Pacific Ocean travel as far as the Cascade Mountains, near the Salish Sea & not very far from the ocean. East of the Cascades lies the desert of the Columbia Basin. The moist, temperate climate of Seattle extends south to northern California & north to southeastern Alaska. The Pacific Northwest Coast from San Francisco Bay to Cook Inlet shares a flora dominated by evergreen coniferous forest. The central portion, west of the Cascade Mountains, is called Cascadia. The climate is cool & wet from fall to spring, warm & dry in summer. The Olympic Mountains block Seattle from much of the Pacific rainfall. Seattle is drier than the Atlantic coast of North America & northern Europe, cooler in summer & warmer in winter. It lies near the latitude of Paris & Quebec City.