Pam Palechek Fiani on Eight Months of Color at February Meeting

At the February membership meeting, Pam Palechek Fiani helped combat winter blahs with ideas for different plants to add for color and interest in the garden from March through October. Her presentation included a timeline on the bottom of all her slides indicating the primary month to enjoy each plant's best features. She covered the plants in chronological order and provided a two-page handout that might double as a shopping list.

Between each month, Pam provided a design tip including the value of photographing your garden in spring for some tough decision-making, after the thrill of spring wears off, when you decide that the purple flowers need a light color behind them for contrast and that the pink and orange blooms next to each other are not what you want next year. She talked about the need for focal points, natural or man-made, with man-made focal points such as pots, benches or sundials often overpowering natural focal points such as shaped shrubs, ornamental trees or the tallest plant. Pam talked about the value of putting something behind the focal point and of framing.

As she covered her list of plants, Pam included maintenance tips for plants that bloom repeatedly after haircuts, planting tips for bulbs that get a better start after being moistened overnight, and placement tips for plants that survive rabbits and/or deer. She included information about plants that stay put and those that spread, making a distinction between those that spread enough to share with a few friends and those that will take over the county.

A tiny sampling of items from her suggestions (two pages, single spaced) include:

  • MARCH -- Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)
  • APRIL -- Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris), Primrose (Primula x polyantha), and drumstick primrose (P. denticulate)
  • MAY -- Summer snowflake (Luecojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant')
  • JUNE -- Prarie smoke (Geum triflorum)
  • JULY -- Blue globe thistle (Echinops exaltatus)
  • AUGUST -- Joseph's coat (Amaranthus tricolor 'Illumination")
  • SEPTEMBER -- Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrid, "September Charm,' 'Margarete')
  • OCTOBER -- Toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta) and Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)