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Hens & chicks are always a welcome sight, and this exciting 'Black' variety is a newer take on the old favorite.
This spring bloomer produces bright chartreuse floral domes atop bract-like, rounded leaves that are pierced by the flower's stem. This plant's form and color contrast well with spring bulbs. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Let it regenerate itself by self-sowing. It is a biennial or short-lived perennial that makes an excellent cut flower and produces worthy combinations with neighboring shades of maroons and blues. Grow it in large, mixed borders, naturalistic plantings, and open woodlands.
This flowering evergreen tree has pinnate leaves 4 to 6 inches long. Notched, mid-green leaflets grow in pairs. Pea-like, fragrant blue-violet flowers in terminal racemes appear in spring, maturing to bright red seeds.
This shrubby, woolly perennial is native to the warmest, dry regions of the US and Mexico. Its large, rose-like salmon-colored flowers appear in loose clusters from spring to frost. It grows to 3 feet tall and almost as wide, and can bloom nearly year-round in warm regions.
This pest-free perennial blooms best during warm months. It is strange how these small blue flowers attract butterflies more than large-blooming, showy neighbors. Blue porter weed gradually reseeds nearby for a fresh batch of new plants. Mix with other species of Stachytarpheta for a variety of leaf shapes and colors ranging from purple to coral.
This evergreen species makes a handsome specimen with narrow, arching foliage that is streaked orange in summer and becomes orange-brown in winter. Its fine, pendent flower inflorescences open purplish-green in midsummer and have a misty quality.
No other grass exhibits quite the refinement of texture as this species. Its bright green foliage resembles delicate filaments that arise in elegant, vase-like clumps and spill outward like a soft fountain. All summer it bears a profusion of feathery panicles, which mature from foamy-green to blonde. It is native to the Americas.
This tuberous-rooted tender perennial is related to portulaca, but has fleshy green leaves and delicate, wiry flower stalks. Stalks have a fine, see-through texture. Minute hot pink flowers are followed by carmine-colored seed pods that are showier than the flowers. The variety 'Kingwood Gold' has chartreuse foliage. Plants can grow to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
Large—to 20 inches across—almost rounded, lobed leaves colored a downy gray-tinged green contrast beautifully with almost any companion plant. This thicket-forming, sparsely branched, evergreen shrub, which behaves like an herbaceous perennial in Zones 6 and 7, produces thick, leafy shoots topped by white flowers borne on branching stems to 20 inches long in fall.
This tender perennial climber is evergreen in Zones 10 and warmer. Cheerful, 1.5-inch flowers in shades of orange and yellow cover this fast-growing vine. The blossoms have a simple form: 5 petals surrounding a brownish purple center. Where grown as an annual, plants can reach 8 feet; when grown as a perennial, 20 feet.
This compact plant produces abundant blue, tubular, two-lipped flowers from planting time until frost. It is excellent in containers and as bedding.
Golden Moon™ brightens up gardens with unique, saturated gold-and-maroon blooms. This vigorous, low-growing introduction is loaded with flowers all season long. It is beautiful in a container.
This species bears dome-shaped flower heads several inches across that are crowded with tiny, tubular amethyst or white flowers that look somewhat like the blooms of an allium. It has lance-shaped, toothed leaves in hues of cordovan purple or deep green brushed with plum highlights. It blooms over a long season. Though it is a perennial, blue throatwort performs wonderfully as an annual and blooms summer to fall. Plants grow to about 3 feet tall and wide.
One of the hardiest palms, Chinese windmill palm has single stems with large, 4-foot-wide fans of sword-like leaves. It produces large plumes of yellow flowers in early summer; the flowers of female plants transform into bluish-black fruits. Chinese windmill palms may be shoot-hardy to Zone 6 if protected with 10 inches of mulch. With their rich fans and handsome habits, they make attractive specimens for formal outdoor spaces. These evergreen palms are native to the mountains and temperate regions of subtropical Asia. Plants can grow to 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
In early summer, slender stems are topped with flowers that produce a crop of jointed seeds. Clumps get large and die out in the center, so division is necessary. Autumn frosts turn the leaves attractive shades of red-bronze. -Scott Vogt, Native grasses, Fine Gardening issue #124
This annual or perennial climber grows vigorously, yet does not strangle its host. Its edible leaves are deeply divided like the fingers of a hand, and its bright yellow flowers are outrageously formed: The larger, upper petals are deeply fringed and look like tiny birds' wings; the smaller, lower petals are spurred. It blooms in summer and autumn and can climb up to 12 feet.
This tender perennial climber has edible, hand-shaped leaves and crimson red flowers in summer and fall which are uniquely textured. Their softly squared petals are held apart from each other at the flower's mouth and the rear tapers to long spurs. The blooms yield blue fruits. Flame nasturtium climbs up to 10 feet.
Pink agapanthus is a fast-growing, clumping perennial with narrow, garlic-scented leaves and large umbels of fragrant lilac flowers in summer and early fall. It grows to 2 feet tall. Leaves can be used in soups and salads.
Heirloom dahlias, gladioli, and cannas offer flower colors and forms unmatched by more recent introductions
by Scott Kunst
Annuals Pep Up Perennial Borders
Use the flowers and foliage of annuals to spark summer’s show
by Elisabeth Sheldon
Experts Pick Their Favorite Plants
We asked 42 gardening experts from around the country to select their favorite plants. Now you can see the complete results of the survey.
Alliums All Season Long
Deer resistant and dynamic, these bulbs provide color from the first showers of spring to the last leaves of fall
by Stephanie Cohen
Sweetly Scented Annuals
Pique your senses all season long with colorful, long-blooming beauties
by Danielle Ferguson
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