By G. Bosley a.k.a. ‘groundhog’

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

 

 

Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ has been named Perennial Plant of the Year for 2012.  This is truly a wonderful, carefree plant for a shady garden.

I have grown several of the different Brunnera varieties available.  This is ‘Jack Frost’ in full bloom in late May.  The flowers resemble that of the Forget-me-not (Myosotis).  Clouds of sky-blue flowers on strong stems make a beautiful show for 4 – 6 weeks in the early spring.

 

Brunner ‘Jack Frost’ adds interest and contrast to the garden from very early in the spring until cold killing frosts in the fall.

 

 

 

  • Low, clump forming plant that grows 12″ – 18″ high.  The flower stems rise above the foliage  3″ – 6″ higher.
  • Clumps will grow 12″ – 18″ wide.  Side sprouts can be divided off and replanted.
  • The foliage has a rough leaf texture which makes it less palatable to deer and other garden pests.  These plants are virtually pest free.
  • The leaves emerge early in the spring and open into a heart-shaped leaf.
  • Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ has frosted silvery leaves that are veined in chalky mint-green, with a thin green margin.  The bright foliage will light up dark, shady areas in the garden.  Remains attractive all season.  ‘Jack Frost’ will withstand more sun than many of the other varieties without the leaves becoming scorched.  Brunnera ‘Hadspen Cream’ will scorch very easily if exposed to full sun.
  • Brunnera are shade loving plants.  Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ will tolerate full sun if  the soil remains moist.
  • Plant Brunnera in a rich soil with good moisture retention.  These plants prefer a moist soil, but will tolerate some drought once established.
  • Brunnera grows as a hardy perennial in hardiness zones 3 – 8.  In more southern locations this plant should be protected from full sun.  More tolerant of full sun in northern locations.

 

Brunnera massed Woodland Planting

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Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ can be planted in a woodland setting.  Does well planted under trees.  Is an excellent plant for a container, will survive winter if container can be protected, or dig the plant out in the late fall and plant in your garden for the winter.  Makes a nice ground cover and combines well with Hosta, Ferns, Heuchera and many other shade loving plants.  The attractive foliage makes this a show stopper any where in the shade garden.

This is a hardy perennial you can plant and almost forget about, almost maintenance free.  After flowering it is best to remove the faded flower stems, and then the attractive foliage becomes clearly visible.  If the faded flower stems are not removed the plant has a messy appearance for a while until the stems break off naturally on their own.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost' in May

 

 

Looks great in combination with spring flowering bulbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brunnera 'Jack Frost' in June

 

 

Pictured in June after the flowers have faded.  The stems remain green for a while and then brown as they dry out.  Most flower stems will break off on their own.  When deadheading or removing the stems by hand, it is advisable to wear gloves as the stems are covered in tiny hair and may irritate sensitive skin.

 

 

 

 

Brunnera 'Jack Frost' in July

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