Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian Bugloss) is the most beautiful and versatile plant in my garden. It is blooming its little blue heart out right now, when very little else has started to flower.
This plant has so many positive attributes. The beautiful sky blue flowers resemble forget-me-nots, and are held in airy sprays above the plant. The blooms of ‘Jack Frost’ are fairly long lasting for a perennial. It blooms early in the spring, and is the first plant, other than bulbs, to flower in my garden. I appreciate the early bloomers, after a long winter, more than any other plants in the garden.
The leaves are exquisite, each one a stained glass painting in silver and green. As they grow through the season, the leaves become more silvery, more heart shaped, and the dark green veining patterns more distinct. Its foliage really stands out in the shade. It is one of the last plants to be visible at dusk as I glance out my window for that final look at the garden before dark.
It’s incredible that such a beautiful plant could be so hardy and versatile. Every one of my B. macrophylla survived over the winter in our zone 3 cold climate. It also adapts very well to shade. I have this plant in 3 different aspects, from semi-shade to medium deep shade and it has no problems. One area gets only an hour of light in the very early morning, yet they are blooming right now. I’ve been surprised at how well they handle the competition from willow roots too. I squeezed a few plants into tight pockets between roots, and they are doing just fine.
I heartily recommend Brunner macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ for its beauty and versatility in the garden. You can get away with buying the smaller less expensive sizes, since they grow quickly over the summer.
While in the garden centre recently, I saw the newly introduced B. macrophylla ‘Mr Morse’. The leaves are very similar to ‘Jack Frost’, but the flowers are white instead of the sky blue flowers of ‘Jack Frost’. If you if you would like the foliage effects of this plant, but with white flowers, then you might want to check out ‘Mr. Morse’. Here is a post I wrote on 3 silver toned Brunnera macrophylla plants, including ‘Jack Frost’. You can see pictures of ‘Mr. Morse’, along with ‘Looking Glass’, an even more silvery Brunnera that I’ve planted. You can see how great Brunnera still looks after the first frosts here. There are many Brunnera between some spruce in my front garden , too.