Here are some interetsing items I found in a recent edition of Gardenwire from National Gardening magazine..

If you're looking for candidates for a spot of dappled
shade, something to accompany your impatiens or hosta,
consider this week's featured plants: Solomon's seal
(Polygonatum) and tuberous begonias (Begonia tuberhybrida).
The gracefully arching stems of Solomon's seal, laden with
smooth, hosta-like leaves, are a great frame for other
shade lovers. And the blooms of tuberous begonias, available
in a spectrum of colors, glow and shine like gems unearthed
to light. And a big bonus is their ease of cultivation!

Q: I've seen lists of plants supposedly appropriate for
butterfly gardens, but many lists contain exotic plants.
I thought they had to be natives to suit our indigenous
butterfly species.

It's true that native American plant species play an
important role as host plants for hungry butterfly
caterpillars, but most adult butterflies have cosmopolitan
tastes, and will feed upon the nectar-filled flowers of
exotic plants as well as native ones.

PLANT LILY OF THE VALLEY - Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
If you're looking for a vigorous ground cover for a moist,
shady spot, lily of the valley (Convallaria) is a wonderful
choice. These perennials produce wide, shiny, oval leaves a
and fragrant white or pink flowers in spring. They spread
quickly via underground stems, and will quickly fill an
area if the conditions are right. Plant pips (tiny bulblike
structure) in moist soil in partial shade, and keep them
weeded until they're established.

TRANSPLANT RASPBERRIES - Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
If your raspberry patch is overgrown with weeds, or you want
to move it to a new location, do so now before growth begins.
Prepare the new site first by tilling the soil deeply, adding
lots of compost, and removing as many weedy roots as you can.
Then, dig around the base of the raspberry canes, getting as
much of the root system as you can. Replant the canes and
water them deeply to settle them. Spread a mulch of sawdust
or bark, and prune the canes back. Pruning will sacrifice some
berries but helps the plants establish a strong root system.

FERTILIZE TREES - Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
As long as they are growing well, most trees require little
fertilization. However, for fruit trees that show signs of
poor growth (little new growth, pale leaves), a dose of spring
fertilizer is a good idea. Use a slow-release fertilizer in
pellet or stake form applied according to the label. To
choose the right nutrients for your trees, read product
information or ask a nursery professional for a recommendation

Other notes form Funke's...

We also carry a large selection of shade perennials and annuals besides the two mentioned above. We are constantly seeking alternatives and comapnions to Hostas and impatiens! Snakeroot, Goat's beard (tall and dwarf), hardy ferns, Astilbes (early, mid and late) are all excellent perennial choices that can be planted now. Astilbes can yield blooms over several months if you intermix early, mid and late varieties into the garden. They also come in height ranges from 6" to 40", so they can be used in the forground, background or middle of the bed!

For your sun beds Daylilies can be used in similar fashion since they, like Astilbe come in such a wide range of height and bloom times :)

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