Amsonia offers a variety of features throughout the seasons. From late spring to early summer, 2- to 3-inch-wide clusters of small, light blue, star-shaped flowers are borne above the ferny foliage. The alternate-arranged leaves are bright green in spring and summer, but turn a bright yellow-golden color in fall.
Light: Plants thrive in full sun to partial shade.
Soil: This plant performs best in average, moist well-drained soil but tolerates less moisture. Once established, it can tolerate drier conditions.
Uses: This perennial for the seasons is an asset in borders, native gardens, cottage gardens or open woodland areas. It is best when massed. Arkansas blue star is attractive when mixed with ornamental grasses and plants that have attractive seed heads.
Unique qualities: Light blue flowers in spring are followed by marvelous foliage in summer. Golden-yellow fall color is second to none among herbaceous perennials.
Giving a terrarium another try
As a teen, I was fascinated by terrariums. My dad gave me a large glass bottle with a very small neck and we carefully created a little ecosystem in it. We filled the bottom with soil and put very small plants in it, using long, skinny dowel rods to place the plants. It was a fun project for us -- and the plants grew like crazy, creating a little jungle inside the jar.
I decided this would be a good project for this winter. I'm on the hunt for a jar, and I'll take photos as the project progresses. Any tips?
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.