Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Hennie Graafland’ has very brightly coloured flowers. Not only do they have these showy pink plumes, the plants also have extra shiny leaves, that show up well in the shade. This astilbe blooms a little later in my garden than the other cultivars.
The Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Hennie Graafland’ flowers have an overall bright pink colour, because each section of the plume has a deep rose pink centre, with a soft pink around it. The flowers keep their intense colour for about 3 weeks, and then slowly fade to a neutral tan colour. When fall comes, these brown flower plumes fit in with the natural fall colours. In winter, the naturally dried flowers provide interest in the garden, rising above the snow.
The leaves of this astilbe are highly reflective. This glossy foliage is great in the shade, as it adds a bit of sparkle to the darker areas. The leaves makes a great contrast to more matte finished perennial leaves. They do like some water, if you’re walking by with the hose. The moisture keeps their foliage nice and fresh green. These astilbes are in a medium shade area of the garden, which helps them conserve moisture, without too many top ups.
These short astilbes look good at the front of the shade border. The Hennie Graafland plants are 30 cm (12 in) tall, and the flashy flower plumes grow up to 45 cm (18 in) tall. I have a group of three of these perennials that make a good showing together.
Hennie Graafland astilbe bloom a couple of weeks after my Diamant and Europa astilbe. They extend the astilbe flowering time in my garden, as the other ones are fading.
Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Hennie Graafland’ is a nice little perennial for the shade garden. When in bloom, it’s a little more flamboyant than most shade plants. The polished leaves are attractive all season, and the vivid pink flower plumes really brighten up my August garden.