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Gracefully arching 2 to 3-foot tall burgundy stems support narrow leaves streaked in pure white. From late spring to early summer, this species bears white flowers that mature into spherical black fruit in autumn, when the foliage turns a golden yellow. Variegated Solomon's seal is a fine choice for a shady bed. -Matt Griswold, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #27
This clumping, bushy perennial bears clusters of single, extremely vibrant red flowers all summer. The saucer-shaped flowers often attract butterflies. 'Gibson's Scarlet' is very hardy and tolerant of most soils.
This eye-catching perennial has silver-plated leaves with speckled margins. Its blooms are among the largest of all lungworts, beginning as pink buds and opening in early spring to display platinum blue flowers.
This plant will eventually form a decent-sized mound that resembles a mountain of liquid silver. It's perfect in a woodland border and makes a great ground cover and container plant. In mild winters, its leaves may stay evergreen.
‘Bertram Anderson’ is an older cultivar of lungwort with excellent foliage. In early spring, pink buds open to bright blue flowers, then silver-spotted leaves unfurl for a season-long show. Lungworts can have mildew problems, but ‘Bertram Anderson’ is highly resistant. When you cut off the old foliage in late winter, wear gloves; the tiny hairs all over the leaves (which keep the deer away) can irritate your skin. -Irvin Etienne, Fine Gardening #147 (October 2012), page 72
This cheerful, reliable plant brings a nice touch of color to the garden in spring. The leaves are pointed and hairy and splattered with silvery blotches. As the plant grows, the leaves overlap, creating a swirly pattern. In spring, clusters of silky pink flowers appear. They fade to a soft blue that harmonizes well with the leaf color. -Sue Whetten, Regional Picks: Rocky Mountains, Fine Gardening issue #127
Pasque flower blooms for 4 to 6 weeks in spring with fuzzy flower buds that open to 1.5-inch-wide purple flowers that dance in the breeze. Fuzzy, feathery seedheads take up the dance when the blooms end. By then, the felted leaves have pushed up to produce a lacy gray-green backdrop.
This perennial coneflower, sometimes grown as an annual, has a long season of flowers on thin, branching stems. The flowers resemble small hats, with yellow reflexed ray florets and large greenish-brown columnar centers.
This species has palmate, wrinkled leaves that extend to 2 feet wide. The veins and leaf stalks are reddish-brown and densely woolly. In midsummer, the 2-foot-long, upright flower spikes are made up of white or pink florets.
This species creates tropical drama with its large, toothed leaves and ivory-green, footlong flowers. It exhibits reddish-bronze color in autumn.
Francis Meilland® is a tall Hybrid Tea rose with a very large bloom, good exhibition form and strong fragrance. It is a multiple award winner in Europe for disease resistance as well as esthetics. It is one of the first Hybrid Tea roses to win the prestigious ADR contest in Germany. 2013 AARS winner. -Star Roses
Large flowers consisting of brassy orange-yellow rays surrounding brown cones are what make this plant so popular. It blooms for 7 or 8 weeks beginning in midsummer. The flowers top 18- to 30-inch-tall plants that will readily self sow in cultivated soils.
This biennial or short-lived perennial has given rise to numerous cultivars which are often grown as annuals. From summer into early autumn, it bears daisy-like blossoms (to 3 inches across) with light or deep yellow rays and brownish-purple centers. The flowers are a staple in late summer bouquets.
'Indian Summer' is a standout among a sea of Black-eyed Susans because of its extra-large, golden yellow flowerheads. It will bloom from early summer until first frost. Use it in borders, cottage gardens, meadows, or for naturalizing. Butterflies are drawn to it. The species is native to the central U.S.
This choice species makes a strong vertical statement with its large, smooth, sea-green leaves and towering stems to 6 feet tall. It bears short, yellow ray florets with giant, upright cones at the center. It prefers average soil with good drainage, and is excellent in native or wild plantings.
This dignified U.S. native species has downy leaves and bears clusters of luminous clear-yellow flowers with reddish-brown center cones. It blooms for over a month starting in mid- to late-summer.
The unique, finely quilled, 2-inch-wide flowers are what make 'Henry Eilers' stand out from the rest of the coneflowers. The petals sit separate from one another, forming a brilliant, golden yellow starburst around a dark brownish purple cone. The blooms grow on strong, upright, 4- to 5-foot-tall stems in late summer, and are produced in such abundance that you can cut some for bouquets and you'll never even notice they are missing from the garden. The stems are covered with a soft, hairy down, while the leaves have a pleasing vanilla-and-anise scent.
This three-foot-tall evergreen shrub bears many tubular, blue or purple, petunia-like flowers on dark stems over a long period. Each flower lasts for just one day. It is a fast grower that may self-seed aggressively. Use in a border, container, or at waterside. Can be grown as an annual in cooler areas.
This species has open-faced coral-red blossoms from late spring until fall.
Red-veined dock is a taprooted perennial with a rosette of leaves distinctively marked with deep red or purple veins. It is grown mostly as a foliage plant or ornamental vegetable, but it also produces erect stems of tiny, star-shaped green flowers that turn reddish brown. These are followed by dark brown fruit. Native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwest Asia.
Rue is an evergreen shrub with an upright, rounded form and cool, ferny blue-green foliage. Clusters of cup-shaped, four-petaled yellow flowers appear in summer.
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
Find out what all the buzz is about by planting these colorful perennials
by Sally Roth
10 Shrubs for Summer Color
These vibrant bloomers give even the showiest annuals and perennials a run for their money
by Paul Cappiello
Enchanting Japanese Maples
Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape
by Francie Schroeder
Q&A Moving houseplants outdoors for the summer
by Tim Pollak
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