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 began in 2008 as metropolitan gardens to provide information on gardening in Seattle & places like it. Click on Gardening in Cascadia. It expanded to include Parks P-Patches Public Gardens in the US, Canada & Europe. Then Nature was added. (The only difference between garden & nature is intent.) Most recent posts are not about Seattle, or Cascadia. Many are Urban Landscape, mostly streetscape. Posts appear on 1st Friday & sometimes also on 3rd Friday.
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.