Plants add gold to cool sea­son gar­den

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - GARDEN - By Nor­man Win­ter

Some­times I am amazed at the sheer beauty of the cool sea­son gar­den.

The tem­per­a­tures have pushed us a lit­tle closer to the fire­place the past few days, but out­side it is the “won­der­ful world of color.”

Pan­sies, vi­o­las, di­anthus and heuchera are just a few of the plants giv­ing us a ri­otous show of color right now.

My eyes, how­ever, im­me­di­ately go to the gold.

Mixed con­tain­ers or land­scape en­trances that fea­ture the pock­ets of gold or char­treuse, if you will, are the ones that seem to have ev­ery­one mes­mer­ized.

In Colum­bus, Ga., right now, it is chains of gold from Goldilocks lysi­machia, the Louisiana Su­per Plant award-win­ning Lemon Ball se­dum and the Golden Lemon thyme that are so riv­et­ing.

Goldilocks lysi­machia, or Creep­ing Jenny, is mag­i­cal, as dur­ing the sum­mer it ex­hibits true lime green in the sun. You just can’t get enough as it hangs down­ward from bas­kets, win­dow boxes and as spiller plants in mixed con­tain­ers

In the win­ter, how­ever, once it is ex­posed to the South’s frosty nights, it re­ally does look like it is a chain that has been carved of gold.

Plant it with vi­o­let-col­ored pan­sies and the look be­comes like na­ture’s sap­phires on a gold chain.

Goldilocks is a peren­nial in zones 3-10, re­ally mean­ing that no mat­ter where you live in the United States, you have a sea­son where it will be stun­ning.

How stun­ning, you might won­der.

Well, it won the “Knock Your Socks Off ” des­ig­na­tion mul­ti­ple times in the Univer­sity of Georgia Plant Tri­als.

It only gets a cou­ple of inches tall but has a ground­cover spread­ing abil­ity.

Golden Lemon thyme is a lit­tle bit of a mys­tery plant. One has to won­der: Why doesn’t ev­ery­one grow this plant?

It fills the role as a spiller plant as well, though it gen­tly tum­bles off the edge or rim of the con­tainer.

It needs a sunny lo­cale to get its golden color, and it’s cold hardy from zones 4-10 and reaches about 6 inches tall with a spread of 18 inches.

As you are plant­ing it, you will no­tice the culi­nary fra­grance or aroma of the leaves, which quickly tell you this will also be one for the kitchen.

Golden Lemon thyme is heav­enly in rock gar­dens or along stone paths. Keep your eyes open for the Archer’s Gold va­ri­ety.

Lemon Ball se­dum won the Mis­sis­sippi Medal­lion Award in 2018 and Louisiana Su­per Plant Award in 2019.

It is cold hardy from zones 7-10, mean­ing much of the South will find it a ter­rific peren­nial for mixed con­tain­ers, rock gar­dens or along paths. It ex­udes a lush lime green that will turn gold in the win­ter. It also loads up with un­count­able yel­low flow­ers. Its fo­liage and soft needle­like tex­ture, how­ever, will have your eyes fix­ated.

You can ex­pect it to reach about 6 inches tall, with a po­ten­tial spread of 3 feet over the years.

Goldilocks lysi­machia, Golden Lemon thyme and Lemon Ball se­dum are the ul­ti­mate fin­ish­ing touches to the cool sea­son’s daz­zling con­tain­ers, bas­kets or land­scape beds, so make sure you in­clude them.

NOR­MAN WIN­TER/TNS PHO­TOS

Lemon Ball se­dum adds a golden high­light to this bou­quet, along with heuchera, lamium and pan­sies.

Goldilocks lysi­machia can of­ten re­sem­ble gold chains.

Golden Lemon thyme is ver­sa­tile and works in planters and gar­dens.

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