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This 2005 All-America Selections® winner is a cultivar of our native blanket flower. It covers itself in large reddish flowers with yellow edges up to a month earlier than other gaillardia. Growing to just about a foot tall and wide, it is beautiful at the front of a border.
A native of South Africa, summer hyacinth sends up spikes of lovely white flowers in late summer amidst dark green, strap-like foliage, when many other perennials are done blooming. The tall spikes are fragrant and especially dramatic planted with darker foliage or flowers.
This gardenia cultivar features a very tight, upright form that is perfect for smaller gardens. It also boasts increased cold tolerance while maintaining the lustrous dark green foliage and abundant fragrant blooms you’ve come to expect from this genus.
This North American wildflower is a bushy, clump-forming, vase-shaped perennial with lance-shaped or spoon-shaped, toothed leaves on slender, wand-like stems. Leaves may be occasionally spotted with maroon. Loose panicles of 4-petaled white flowers open only a few at a time and fade slowly to pink, blooming from late spring to early autumn.
'Wargrave Pink' is a vigorous perennial suitable for groundcover. The notched, funnel-shaped, salmon-pink flowers bloom all season.
This plant bears rich medium blue to violet-blue flowers from 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide in early summer, and blooms sporadically throughout the summer.
This upright plant bears cupped flowers 1.5 inches across in variable hues of pale to bright pink from late spring to midsummer.
'Dark Reiter', a fairly new cultivar, has a short mounded habit and dissected dark leaves. Bright lilac-blue blossoms appear in spring, and trimming the plant back after flowering encourages more blooms in fall and helps maintain its neat habit. 'Dark Reiter' is slow growing, making it perfect for a rock garden. Like many other geraniums, it does not appeal to deer. Pair silver-toned foliage plants with 'Dark Reiter' for a stunning effect. -Teresa Smith, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #120
Upright, magenta flowers form shallow cups with jet-black centers and veins bloom in summer. The leaves have deep-pink tints and color nicely in the fall.
A profusion of delicate pink, upward-facing blossoms cover this plant over a long period. The leaves are deeply divided and add texture to the plant's rounded form.
A glad for people who would normally never grow them, 'Atom' is about half the size of regular varieties, growing to at most 3 feet tall. This 1946 classic blends easily into perennial borders, and it won't get lost because its flowers are blazing red cooled by a thin, silvery edge.
This 3-foot-tall, small-flowered perennial glad was originally collected from an abandoned home site in North Carolina. Pure yellow with a wildflowery grace, it seems to be a form of a wild South African glad introduced about 1900 as Gladiolus primulinus.
Introduced in 1940, 'Dauntless' grows to 4 feet tall and has pale pink flowers with deep pink/red throats.
This 3- to 4-foot-tall glad has luminous deep purplish-rose flowers. It dates from 1959 and is called 'Fidelio' after Beethoven's joyous opera.
This native terrestrial orchid produces basal rosettes of striking silvery-veined evergreen foliage. Small white flowers are borne on single slender stems about 6 to 10 inches tall in late summer.
This stunning shrub blooms all year in some climates. A fast grower, its large, moonlight-colored flowers and finely divided, gray foliage are a must for any southern-temperate garden. Frost and drought tolerant once established, it attracts bees and hummingbirds and makes an excellent screening shrub.
Pale pink flowers pop up suddenly after a summer rainstorm and resemble small amaryllis flowers on this native of Brazil. In the proper conditions, they can multiply rapidly and carpet the garden.
Through the fall and into winter, pincushion hakea provides beautiful cut flowers for the holidays; the foliage and seedpods are also great for arrangements. You can prune it into a bushy shape or a slender, small tree. As a member of the Protea family, pincushion hakea does not like phosphorus fertilizer, and like most Australian plants, it prefers to be well mulched so that its specialized roots can extract nutrients from the mulch layer.
Brightly variegated golden foliage with green stripes near the leaf margins give this Japanese forest grass its distinctive look. Too much shade can cause the golden portion to fade to lime green. This slow-growing may not reach a mature size for three years, but it is definitely worth the wait. -Matt Griswold, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #127
This vase-shaped, deciduous shrub, up to 12 feet tall and wide, has ascending branches and bright green leaves that turn yellow in autumn. It produces large yellow flowers in mid- and late winter on the bare branches. A cross between H. japonica and H. mollis.
10 Outstanding Succulents
Skip the finicky selections and go for these unique yet reliable beauties
by Maureen Gilmer
Building Better Borders
Use plant combinations that focus on complementary colors, textures, and forms
A guide to growing, care, and propagation of rex begonias, plus some great cultivars
by Rita Randolph
PLANTING PLAN: A deer-resistant bed that shines in fall and winter
by Nancy Matthews
Q&A Economical edging for beds
by Kate Feely
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