Sometimes the most beautiful flowers are also the most fleeting. Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans – http://bit.ly/1mwOjPe) is such a plant. Blooming in April and May, its wonderfully blue flowers don’t last very long but the impression they leave sure will. I find myself anxiously awaiting the return of this species year after year. Luckily the plant itself is quite attractive, even when not in bloom. Often overlooked by gardeners and sometimes hard to find in the wild, Jacob’s ladder is a wonderful pick for a native garden. Whereas it does quite well in sunny spots, it absolutely thrives in the shade. The plant has a sort of disorganized look but that is part of the reason it is so charming. It isn’t just humans that find this species attractive either. Pollinators of all shapes and sizes flock to the delicate blooms. Another added bonus to Jacob’s ladder is that it is relatively deer resistant. Jacob’s ladder is well behaved in the garden, not expanding too far from where it is planted, but given the right conditions (moist, rich soils) it will readily self-seed. Why not spice up your garden this month with some Jacob’s ladder?