gardening / northern gardening / Perennials / shade gardening / spring flowers

When you wish upon a shooting star…

Shooting StarsThis little Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) is as much of a late spring treat as lily-of-the-valley or lilacs. A perfect rock garden plant, it tolerates part shade but will also bask in the sun. It is hardy to zone 4. This purple variety is an eye-catching show-stopper that would be stunning en masse.

Also available in pink and white, the little hanging flowers are pristine little badminton birdies with intricate petal detail and a cluster of yellow stamens. It is a native Missouri wildflower.

This little baby came from my days at the Minnesota State Horticultural Society (I get a little rush of homesickness when I think back.) The Hort Society was holding a Spring Plant Sale, with plants primarily purchased at the late, great Shady Oaks Nursery in Owatonna, Minnesota.

I was at the plant collector stage of my horticulturism. When I saw a plant that intrigued me or was a populuar variety in the gardening tribe, I purchased it. (Look I have a purple coneflower, a ‘Sum and Substance’ hosta, a Bergenia.) This is an important time in a plantperson’s development. It’s when you discover what your true loves in the plant world are. You must go through this stage before you progress to the planting in three, fives, and sevens.

My yard is peppered with souvenirs of this period and I love each and every one.

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