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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Astilbe - Breakthrough in Foliage Color

Astilbe foliage emerges as bright elecric green which literally lights up the spring landscape. As the leaves mature, the foliage mellows to a ric blend of burgundy and purple, holding these hues through summer till autumn transforms the palette again -- this time to a stunning combination of gold, orange and russet.

astilbe, foliage, green, filler plant, landscape
Astilbe offers foliage and delicate seasonal flowers to lend a brillant flash of color to borders or containers. Color Flash Astilbe by Tesselaar
If you like the latest and greatest, you'll enjoy this heady mix of high performance and vareity with the new Color Flash TM Astilbe that is being introduced in the US for 2005. Future introductions include Color Flash Lime, Color Flash Copper and Color Flash Red in the coming years.

Color Flash Astilbes are being introduced by Anthony Tesselaar International which specializes on cultivating easy-care plants known for long-bloom seasons and "big color." All are available during gardening seasons at better garden centers and national garden retailers.

Grown primarily for their foliage, Astilbes also boast pleasing small blush-pink flowers, blooming from late spring through early summer. Hardy in USDA zones 4 - 8, their compact growth habit and good looks make them an excellent choice for containers, beds, borders and other landscape applications.

Color Flash Astilbes, astilbe hybrid (arendsii X) grow 6" to 10" tall and about 20" wide. Flowers spike up to 20", about 10" avove the top of the foliage. They perform best in partial shade (morning sun and afternoon shade). The recommended spacing for plantings is 15 - 24" apart.
astilbe, foliage, green, filler plant, landscape
Astilbe leaves graduate from brillant green to purple to gold and russet...for almost year-round color. Color Flash Astilbeby Tesselaar

Compact and lush, the plants prefer well-worked slightly acid soil that drains well. Water requirements are moderate to high, so they are not recommended for dry conditions. A controlled-release fertilizer (20-20-20) should be applied in spring and late summer for peak performance. Color Flash Astilbes are generally pest free, though can be susceptible to spider mites and under severe stress, to powdery mildew.

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Variety is the spice of life. We thrive on contact with color, texture and aroma.


Learning to select plants for a good match to your specific growing conditions will save you lots of money and frustration. Sunny vs. shady. Acid vs. alcaline soil. Sandy vs. clay soil. Well drained vs. wet conditions.


Using a budget can be a wise choice when you plan your spring shopping spree at the garden center!


What WILL you do today to move toward your goal? Even one small action today makes a difference. And you can add a little tomorrow and the next day... Together we will restore our environment in our community and around the world.

For more articles about URBAN NATURE

Urban Agriculture for Outdoor Adventure
Earth's Most Successful Life Form
Kudzu Grows a Foot per Day
Meow How? Should I keep my cat indoors?
Habitat on Your Balcony and Garden Patio
Keeping ants in nature where they belong