This first one today is only good if you have a large, damp spot. These leaves are over 2 feet across. Petasites blooms in early spring, sometimes even as early as February, so you get to enjoy it over a long season, but like I said, you need room for something that can get to 3 or 4 feet tall and whose leaves sometimes even get to 3 feet across. It makes quite a statement.
This is a not well known plant and is called Persicaria bistorta. The pink blooms are about 3-4 inches tall. It likes full sun and a very damp place. Ours grows at the edge of the bog. No scent that I can tell, but it does make good cut flowers.
Penstemon 'Elfin Pink' seems to grow in sun or light shade, is about 18 inches tall and is blooming right now. It has slowly expanded to form a nice sized clump. Good as a cut flower. It doesn't seem to set seed, or at least the seeds don't seem to make new plants.
Passion vine, Passiflora, is mainly a tropical thing, but this one type Passiflora incarnata, is hardy to zone 6. It is really late coming up, waiting until all chance of frost is way past, but when it does come up, it's vine almost seems to be growing while you watch. Pretty blue flowers on a vine that can get up to the second story windows in a good year. Egg sized and shaped green fruits appear after the flowers. More of a curiosity than an edible since our season is too short to ripen them.
This is a lovely variegated version of our native Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissis. The name of this cultivar is 'Snow Showers', or is that 'Star Showers'. Right now I'm not sure. It is difficult to get started sometimes, but once established it is a well behaved vine or will creep along the ground. Not vigorous enough to be a problem.
This is an annual, Nicotiana sylvestris. Seeds seem to be readily available and once you plant it, it will self seed so you should always have a few plants. It is a big thing, as tall as I am with a big, wide rosette of fuzzy leaves at the base. It is highly scented, so grow it near the house where you can enjoy the scent, especially in the evenings.
Bee Balm in a shade almost like this grows wild here along the roadsides. This is a tame version, Monarda 'Blue Stockings'. It is probably about 3 feet tall and blooms early summer, sometimes continuing sporadically until frost. Colors can be lavender, pink, blue and all sorts of shades in between.
Last for today are Virginia Bluebells, Mertensia virginiana. These are late spring blooming, after which they go dormant. There is a white version, but it is very weak compared to the blue form. It will readily self seed and is easy to transplant, so you can spread it around the garden or share it with friends. My favorite kind of plant.
More plants tomorrow, starting with Pinellia.