But there is a mound form of spirea (Spirea japonica) that has won me over. There are several plants in this group, many of which stay below 3' tall, all with striking foliage. Cultivars such as 'Goldflame,' 'Goldmound,' and 'Limemound,' certainly live up to their names in the garden. I've been admiring some of these on my regular trips to the local PCC store, where they are planted in the dry stream bed garden out front.
So it happened that yesterday I was working in a corner of my yard that I haven't been happy with for a while. Most of the plants work well together, but there's a spot where nothing has quite fit or been able to thrive. I took out the plants that weren't working and weeded the bed. While I worked, I thought about what might fill in that area and pull it all together. Then I headed up to West Seattle Nursery for more inspiration. Here's what I came home with:
This is Spirea japonica 'Magic Carpet,' a Pacific Northwest Great Plant Pick. It will hold this yellow/chartreuse color all season and will have pink flowers in summer. This vivid foliage, edged with bits of bronze, red and coral, appears to be lit from within. Mature size will be about 2' x 2'.
I've planted it next to 'Red Fred' heather. We'll see how they get along.