Plant Dreaming: Virginia BlueBells - Yes?

Despite it being September, my brain is already thinking ahead to Spring.  That (for me), normally means bulbs.  And I'm working on that - as I type.  But, it also has me thinking about something else - that is new to me:  Spring ephemerals.   One of them that I'm most interested in - after seeing them LIVE in person at Northwind Perennial Farm - is Mertensia virginica - or Virginia Bluebells.

That post, above, is from Erin the Impatient Gardener.  I've told you how much I like her garden - as she's in my zone.  I don't have many "Spring Ephemerals" that aren't Fall-planted bulbs and this one feels like a good add to my garden.  Here's a document from the Wisconsin Horticulture Department Extension office that talks all about them.

A few things jump out to me - see for snippets below:

Virginia bluebells can be used in borders or other beds but the dying foliage and blank spaces when dormant need to be addressed. If interplanted with other shade-loving perennials, such as hosta, astilbe, bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa), hosta, Solomon’s seal, twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla) or ferns, these other plants will fill in the gaps later in the season.

...Virginia bluebells often forms dense colonies and will readily self seed under ideal conditions.
Couple of good notes there, right?  They'll naturalize and self-seed.  They can be companions with hostas, astilbes and ferns.  They don't mention Toad Lillies, but I'm thinking they should be on the list, too.  And you have to consider the blank spots when planting.  All worth thinking about.  I imagine that - to start - I can plant these in/around hostas in the backyard and back by the Toad Lillies.  

Buying these is tough, I imagine?  Like, no garden center will have them out NOW - when there's no foliage - because nobody would buy them, right?  I'm hoping for one more trip to Northwind Perennial Farm this Fall to buy a couple of things.  But, we'll see if time allows for it.


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