Eden's Dark Margin Bergenia
The long spikes of purplish-red blooms just enhance the color show of this groundcover!
The foliage is the real star of this groundcover, even though the flowers are lovely as well. The leaves are big, leathery, and winter-tough. Older varieties tend to look pretty ratty after a harsh winter, but 'Eden's Dark Margin' is a splendid performer in rough climates. Expect this plant to reach about a foot high and wide.
Now the blooms! They are a rich plummy color, arising on 6- to 8-inch spikes in early spring. The buds of Bergenia can be frost-tender, but once they open, these flowers are very tough, shaking off those unseasonable frosts effortlessly. This is a real boon for gardeners in areas where spring seems to keep reverting to winter!
Bergenia used to be a plant that only looked good in certain climates, such as the Pacific Northwest. But you will find 'Eden's Dark Margin' an easy and attractive groundcover anywhere within its hardiness range. Unless you live in the far North, don't give it full sunshine, and if you're far south or southwest, limit it to just a few hours of sun or dappled light a day.
Now, about that name: Pigsqueak. It seems that if you hold a leaf just right between your thumb and fingers and rub it hard, it will squeal. Sounds like a good practical joke just waiting to happen!
Space these plants about a foot apart in enriched, moist (but never wet) soil receiving partial to full shade. Bergenia is not happy in heavy clay, nor in standing water. So make sure the soil is light and loose, and you're on your way to years of year-round beauty. Zones 3-8.
|Variety||'Eden's Dark Margin'|
|Zone||3 - 8|
|Bloom Season||Early Spring|
|Plant Height||12 in|
|Plant Width||12 in|
|Additional Characteristics||Butterfly Lovers, Flower|
|Bloom Color||Dark Purple, Red|
|Light Requirements||Shade, Part Shade|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
|Uses||Border, Containers, Foliage Interest, Ground Cover, Ornamental|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
The dry, sparse appearance of bareroot perennials can be alarming to the novice gardener, but in reality ordering bare root is often the smarter choice. Foliage and blooms can be seductive, but the health and long-term potential of a plant truly lies in its roots. Bareroot plants have several advantages over plants in containers—bare roots are less likely to be harmed in the shipping process, their timing is easier to control, and they are field-grown for larger, healthier root systems. This why Wayside Gardens has had great success with bare root plants, and you can too!
It is safer to ship plants in bareroot form because there is no risk in harming new growth, and therefore the plant actually has a better chance of making it safely into the customer’s garden.
And thanks to refrigerated storage, the timing of bareroot perennials can be precisely controlled. “(Bareroot perennials) are dormant,” explains JPPA Lead Horticulturist Benjamin Chester, “But as soon as they leave the refrigerated storage they’ll begin breaking dormancy.” And once the plant ‘wakes up’, it is ready to begin the growing season in earnest, which means it will quickly catch up to the level of container plants.
The most important benefit of bareroot perennials is that they can be field grown rather than confined to containers. The bareroot Cherry Cheesecake Hibiscus pictured hereperfectly illustrates the difference between a field-grown perennial and a containerized one. Wayside Gardens used to offer this variety in a quart container, like the Monarda next to it. But the Hibiscus was simply too cramped in that space, so Wayside switched to growing it in the earth and selling it bare root. The result is a thick, fibrous mass of roots that used to fill up several cubic feet of soil and which, even in its bare, pruned form would be too large to fit back into the 1 Quart container. What a difference a little space makes! While small and slow-growing cultivars can start well in containers, large and vigorous cultivars need more room to stretch out and develop a solid root system.