18 East Chase Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202 (410) 727-1112

The Spring Garden at Chase Court, Part Two

This is year three for the Variegated Euonymus that greets guests as they come through the gate and into the entrance garden. Euonymus is a perennial, which means it comes back every year (vs. annuals, which only last for one). Gardeners say this about perennials: “the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap!” This shrub is leaping this year and coming into its space absolutely beautifully. I like how it lights up the front of the garden.


Euonymus is an evergreen, so it looks like this all year round. Using lots of evergreens was a key part of the Great Perennial Change-Over that we did a few years ago. I think it’s important to give winter and early spring weddings as good a look as possible, inside and out. Our evergreens go a long way toward making that happen.


We have a whole grove of this incredible plant! Another evergreen: Wood Spurge, Robb’s Euphorbia (Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae). These are just the coolest-lookings flowers! The foliage, which are the dark green ovoid-shaped leaves near the bottom, is lovely though the winter, but come spring, these other-worldly flowers jump up. They look great en masse, which is how we have them.

One of the goals of the Great Perennial Change-Over was to build a look throughout the garden that would be different that what you see everywhere else. Euphorbia is uncommon, interesting, and helps the entrance garden do it’s magical work as guests walk through its hundred feet to our doors.


This is one of several varieties of Heuchera (common name: ‘coral bells’) that we have in the garden, all of which have great names like ‘Tiramisu’ and ‘Caramel’ and ‘Citronelle’ (the latter of which we have one of in the ceremony garden. It looks just like its name). I love Heuchera. It’s evergreen – which you now know is a big deal around here – and the leaves are sumptuous and beautifully colored. Heuchera and Hosta are the two sections at the nursery that I have to force myself to walk past, repeating the mantra, “no more space, no more space…”.


Helleborus are the champions of the shade garden. They grow in our deepest, darkest shade, where nothing else has the slightest chance of succeeding. We have a lot of them, all doing fabulous work to make the garden look great. Not only are they evergreen, but they bloom in the middle of the winter! Really, what more can you ask of a plant?

By the way, that’s a small piece of one of our two huge holly trees in the background. The berries are bright red and beautiful in the winter garden. The trees are coming into flower right now, with delicate little white blooms.


Bleeding heart! Dicentra spectabilis is absolutely beautiful, and is going completely nuts in our garden this spring. Ours will last into the summer or even the fall, depending on how hot it gets. We have them in both the entrance garden, where they’re HUGE, and the ceremony garden. Bright color, beautiful details—a lovely plant.

There’s another seventy-degree day coming tomorrow! More on the garden soon! —David

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