1011 N. Woodlawn, St. Louis, MO 63122-2803
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There’s a reason Old-Fashioned Bleeding Hearts have been around for more than 150 years


The corgis and I ran across the most beautiful display of Old-Fashioned Bleeding Hearts this evening (Dicentra spectabilis). This gorgeous, spring-blooming perennial loves a rich, well-drained soil in partial shade with some protection from the hot afternoon sun. The pink flowers are especially pretty this time of year blooming near Azaleas, Redbuds, and Dogwoods. It’s nature at its color-coordinated best!

Speaking of color, they also come in white (Dicentra spectabalis ‘Alba), and there’s a very showy gold-leafed variety, Dicentra spectabalis ‘Gold Heart.’


And through the weeds…native plants!

MayapplesI was walking my dogs through the woods near my Webster Groves house, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted these Mayapple plants poking up. That wooded area is LOADED with invasive bullies — so much honeysuckle, ivy, and euyonymus.

I love that Mother Nature can rebound, even in the face of smothering exotics. The Mayapple ( Podophyllum peltatum) is a Missouri native that thrives in the rich organic soil of wooded areas. It goes dormant in the heat of summer, but returns every spring. So if you have a shady, wooded spot, this is one plant that not only would be happy there, but also sooo easy — you can’t beat natives for ease!

Other great Missouri natives that love woodland locations include:

Celandine poppies ( Styllophorum diphyllum)


Virginia bluebells ( Mertensia virginica)

Wild ginger ( Asarum canadense)

Maidenhair fern ( Adiantum pedatum)

Columbine ( Aquilegia)
…and many more…

The yellow of the Celandine poppies and the striking blue/purple bluebells make a great combination, and the wild ginger is a fantastic groundcover. And maidenhair fern is my all-time favorite fern. It even looks great in a container on a shady porch. Read about more Missouri native plants here.

Happy gardening,


Why St. Louis Gardeners Should Mulch

Mulch framedMy mountain of leaf mulch was delivered yesterday. If my garden was a more manageable size, I would definitely use Cotton Burr Compost as a top dressing (I know some of the gardeners at Sugar Creek do).

Here’s more info about Cotton Burr, straight from the company’s website:

Cotton burrs are rich in carbon and protein. They also contain significant amounts of plant macro and micro nutrients. When composted, cotton burrs are a superior food source for beneficial soil organisms. In Nature, it is those organisms that convert nutrients in soil to a form plants can use, aerate the soil, and keep harmful diseases and organisms in check. In short, Back to Nature Cotton Burr Compost and Blends are unmatched when it comes to conditioning your soil.

Why mulching is important: it helps with weed control, keeps soil from drying out as quickly in the heat of summer, and enriches the soil as it decomposes.

Mulch — your garden will thank you! 


When it’s drab outside, Lenten Rose saves the day (and the garden)

My garden is brown, brown, brown — loaded with dead leaves, fallen twigs, and the bones of last year’s weeds. In the middle of all this BLAH are the most beautiful magenta flowers — the Lenten Rose.
This long-lived perennial is a must-have if you’re looking for a flower that gives you winter/spring punch. Its foliage is evergreen, not tasty to deer or rabbits, and it blooms in later winter and early spring, sometimes with snow on the ground!
Flowers come in lots of colors: white, pink, magenta, apricot, and yellow. Blooms are single-petaled, double, frilly, or simple. It likes rich soil, some shade, and a spot by the door where you can see it when you’re dashing in and out of the cold.
Right now, Sugar Creek Gardens has a ton of different varieties to select from.
Happy gardening,

It’s Easter In The Fairy Garden

My fairy gardens have been dormant over the winter months. After Christmas, I put away the decorations and hibernate until spring.
So here we are — ready for Easter! I had enough stuff that I had to debut TWO Easter fairy gardens, now enjoying the view from my front porch. Most of the fairy garden decor came from Sugar Creek Gardens’ own Fairy Garden Gift Shop (who can resist?), but much of the Easter-specific stuff I picked up from miniature-dollhouse stores online. The “teapot house” came from Goodwill for a buck!  The fairies love a bargain.
Mark your calenders for our free Fairy Gardening and Mini Landscaping talk at the nursery on Tuesday, May 12, 5:30 p.m.
Happy gardening!
P.S. Send us pictures of your fairy gardens — we’ll feature them on the Sugar Creek Gardens’ blog for others to enjoy and be inspired ( mailscg@aol.com).