I grow "Martha's Astilbe" in my garden. I don't know it's botanical name, that's just the name I gave it. Shade space is a limited commodity in my yard, but there will always be a place for Martha's Astilbe.
Martha was born in Trienz, Germany (near Heidelberg to give you a reference point). My very good friend, Sandy, married her son who was also born there. Martha and her husband Martin moved to La Crosse when Lud was a little boy. They followed other family members who, years before, had moved to the La Crosse area. They settled here because the scenery reminded them of home. No one spoke English when they arrived.
Martha was a skilled gardener and had a wide variety of perennials in her La Crosse garden. She was also known to smuggle a seed or two in her luggage on her subsequent trips back to Germany to visit relatives. In addition to being an ace gardener, she was also a fantastic cook. My memories of visiting her with Sandy are not only of seeing her beautiful flowers, but also sampling whatever delicious food she had made on that particular day. "Sit down, eat...EAT!!!" she would say. No problem...
After Martha passed on and the estate sale was over, there sat her untended, beautiful garden full of flowers. Sandy was so kind to allow me to choose whatever plants I wanted to take home to my garden before the house was sold. This astilbe was one of those plants. Martha's garden is now gone, long since plowed under, but she lives on in my garden; and I'm sure that would make her very happy.