Great for a damp, shady location is buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). Its fragrant, white flower heads appear in June and are a magnet for several species of bees and butterflies. Round, reddish-brown fruits follow after the flowers and will persist into winter. Growing 6’ tall and beyond, buttonbush is hardy in zones 5-9.
An herb adored by bees is lemon balm! A member of the mint family, lemon balm is easy to grow. Its yellow-green leaves contrast beautifully with surrounding herbs in the garden. Unlike other varieties of mint, lemon balm stays in place and can be cut back when it gets too tall.
As soon as the weather permits, and the soil is not too damp, rake winter debris from lawns and flower beds. A bamboo, or other springy type, rake is less likely to tear sod.
MCH specialist Rachel at Parterre Garden Services loves Hellebores because they bloom in the middle of the winter when almost every other plant is dormant! They thrive in the shade, can tolerate dry conditions and require very little maintenance. The variety pictured here (called Snow Love) is budded and ready to bloom and this picture was taken in January, its blooms are green to white.