Thalictrum 'Evening Star'
Both the thalictrum above and the lychnis below are new plants for me this year. I stubbornly planted this part/shade trough in a rainstorm one Saturday in May. I didn't set out to buy the perfect plants for the trough but instead bought what caught my eye at the various spring plant sales and then planted a couple new troughs grouped according to the plants' common exposure. This one gets morning sun/afternoon shade and is anchored by a Cole's Prostrate hemlock at one end and a tiny cotoneaster at the other. The thalictrum (behind the hemlock in the photo) has been gorgeous: delicate and free-blooming all summer. It's a little taller and looks great in the back corner of the trough.
That lychnis, on the other hand, is too vigorous and coarse for the trough, no matter how pretty the flower. It's quadrupled in width and is too large-leaved to be in front of the cotoneaster. It throws the whole grouping out of scale. It will be cast out of the trough in the spring and planted in the ground. The lychnis and I will both be happier.
Lychnis flos-cuculi 'Nana'