Shade Bloomer

Lively, puckered blooms like mini snap dragons cascade over rocks onto the dry creek bed, or skirt around weigela to complete the garden scene. I have found multiple purposes for easy care, creeping lamium: a filler plant to brighten part shade or shade gardens, a ground cover especially amongst shrubs or trees, and I use it in containers. Once lamium has served the season in a container, I transplant it into the garden and get double bang for the buck - mixed with coral bells and lady's mantle, you have a super easy part shade garden. Typically lamium offers a lavish show of bloom in mid to late spring, with a continued sprinkling of blooms the rest of the season. Sheering back mid-season can provide a second wave of bloom and fresh foliage. Flower choices include white, yellow, pale to deep pink and purple. And foliage options are silvery green, variegated green, yellow green or spotted green. Lamium’s sprawling form is part of what makes it a good filler plant, however it can be over-vigorous in good soil and sun. It is easy to pull out but why make work. This aggressive tendency has some gardeners avoid lamium, but in the proper setting, it can be attractive and useful. False lamium or ‘yellow archangel’, is not aggressive and offers an orderly clump with sharply variegated leaves and yellow blooms. My favourites of the creeping varieties are the common ‘white nancy’ (silvery leaves with white blooms), ‘aureum’ (yellow green leaves), and ‘beacon silver’ (silver leaves and purple blooms).

Technical stuff – Dead nettle/lamium, hardy perennial to Zone 3, most have height of 6”-8” (some to 12”) and spread of 12”-24”, most bloom mid-spring with some continued bloom through season, part shade to shade, happy in most soils, can be aggressive spreader in richer soil and more sun.

Posted on April 4, 2014 and filed under Groundcover, Perennials.