It's true: I'm no native plant purist. I have box-store hybrids in my garden, and this beauty is the star of that show. It's a purple columbine which I likely purchased at either Lowe's or Home Depot, and for the past three years it has performed like a champ in nearly full shade.
Its lush foliage rebounds each February, unfazed by the driest, coldest winters.
And each March, it bursts forth with dozens of gorgeous, purple blooms that last for weeks.
No pesticides, no fertilizer, and very little watering, yet this little no-name box-store columbine outperforms my 'superstar' Texas Gold columbine (also a hybrid) by miles. I wish I'd gotten a dozen of them. But who knew?
What non-native hybrid are you lovin' in your garden this spring?
Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.