Prairie Smoke and Harebells

I am always looking for attractive combinations of short, fill-in plants to grow among the larger perennials and shrubs in my coastal Maine garden. These plants function as a kind of living mulch, and add another layer of habitat to the garden. Mother Nature doesn’t separate her plants with bark mulch, so why should I?

Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) blooms early, in May. But after flowering, it produces plumes of fluffy white seed heads nestled in deep pink calyxes. Harebells (Campanula rotundifolia) begin their show of delicate blue flowers at this time, and the combination of white, pink and blue adds delightful spots of color between the clumps of Amsonia that line my stone walk.

The native range of both flowers includes the area between Newfoundland and New York, so they are both at home in Maine, and they thrive in my Two Lights garden. At about a foot tall and accustomed to fairly sunny, well-drained locations, Prairie Smoke and Harebells grow quite well together. If you allow seeds to form, the Harebell will reward you with additional plants in whatever little spaces they find, helping to fill in those bare spots.

MaryH @ Two Lights

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