For June, I wanted to pick a collection that really is diverse. I know we all love flowers, and that's a part of this collection, but really the group is a sophisticated collection of texture and form.
Anemone 'Dainty Swan' is a cure. Each spring I have to suffer through people who "grow flowers sell flowers: show corm-grown Anemone and talk as if those are the only Anemone in the world. How sad. Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery in Scotland knew better. They introduced the Swan series which introduced early flowering woodland Anemone genetics to the garden. 'Dainty Swan' has an incredible coloration of a washed cranberry color on the back of the petals. I picked this Swan because of its rarity and growth habit. All the Swan love dappled shade and a good top dressing of compost after planting. Flowers in the shaded areas is always possible with the right plants and giving them time to establish.
Anthyrium 'Godzilla' is everything I've always wanted from a Japanese painted fern. Their incredible foliage has always been undeniable but some of the smaller varieties can get lost in a garden. 'Godzilla' does not have that problem as it is a substantial plant. Used either in the back of the border for structure and color or in the front of the border as a specimen, 'Godzilla' is perfect. As always, Anthyrium want dappled light and an organic matter rich soil. If you are successfully growing Hosta then Anthyrium should also do well.
Astilbe chinensis 'Purple Candles' makes Astilbe a focal point in light shade. I've talked and talked about why taxonomy matters. So many of the Astilbe on the market are Astilbe japonica and are smaller with less interesting foliage, where Astilbe chinensis have incredible substance and beautiful foliage. 'Purple Candles' is one of my favorites because is provides large beautiful flowers in shade conditions. Remember the more fertile and loamy your soil, the more sun exposure your Astilbe can take and that is particularly true in Northern latitude gardens, lets say North of Indiana.
Dahlia 'Café au Lait' and Dahlia 'Breakout' how do these fit with the others? They don't but they do prove a very valuable point. 'Café au Lait' is by far the most well know dahlia but as a plant it's "meh". On the other side is 'Breakout' little known but a better plant. You'll receive one tuber of each and you'll see. The dahlia photo here is of 'Breakout'