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This new cultivar of a treasured favorite is as cute as a button. With leaves about the size of a dime, 'Silky Fleece' has the same great soft, silky texture and silver color as other lambs' ears, just in a smaller package, growing to about 10 inches tall and wide. Lilac-plum flower spikes rise above the foliage from mid- to late summer. Grow it as edging, in containers, or in rock gardens.
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 plant grows exuberantly and fills out within a season, yet reaches only 18 to 20 inches tall. It bears terminal, cornflower-like, 2- to 3-inch-wide blue flowers held on strong stems. Plants do not splay open in the middle or fall over like the species does.
Celandine poppy is an eastern U.S. native wildflower with attractive leaves and flowers. It prefers moist, shady areas and will naturalize in a site it likes. Leaves are bluish green, deeply cut, and lobed. Summer brings bright yellow, poppy flowers in small clusters. Use in a woodland, border, or rock garden. It may become weedy.
This prolific cultivar has dark green foliage and bears nodding blue flowers from mauve buds. It grows to a compact height of 18 inches tall. It may become invasive and difficult to eradicate once established.
This notably beautiful plant produces huge, elongated banana-shaped leaves, which are arfully edged in luminescent yellow. The rosette sits at 18 inches tall, and in early summer the plant bears clusters of mauve-pink bells atop stems that are 4 to 5 feet tall.
Feverfew is a short-lived, bushy perennial that has become naturalized in much of North America. It has fragrant, ferny foliage and composite white flowers with yellow centers. It is often grown as an annual. The cultivar 'Aureum' has a dwarf habit, smaller flowers, and golden aromatic foliage. Other cultivars have double flowers, yellow flowerheads, or pompom-like flowerheads.
The lacy leaves of this meadow rue look like a columbine's, hence the common and scientific names. But the leaves are actually gray-green and more delicate than its namesake. It bears clusters of long-lasting cottony flowers in shades of lilac, purple, or white in early summer. It is suitable for naturalizing in a meadow or woodland. These perennials grow to about 3 feet tall and half as wide.
From mid-summer to early autumn, this Thalictrum species has clusters of large, fluffy-looking flowers with lilac to white petals and pale yellow stamens atop wiry, purple-tinted stems and delicately textured foliage. Plants grow to 4 feet tall and half as wide.
This cultivar has some of the showiest flowers of the meadow rues. From mid-summer to early autumn, it bears tight, pompom-like clusters of lilac-mauve sepals atop wiry, purple tinted stems and delicately textured foliage. Plant toward the back of a border; it may require staking.
This classy specimen has beautifully textured, blue-gray foliage. Its summertime pale yellow flowers are petalless and fringed, occurring in clusters atop chalky bluish gray stems. Plant at the back of a border; it may require staking.
This species has exquisite tiny foliage that looks somewhat like parsley but with a steely blue cast. The leaves clothe stems that reach up to 18 inches in height. In early summer, it bears tiny greenish yellow flowers in starlike clusters. Plants grow to about 18 inches wide.
This garden gem forms a 6-inch-high mat of dainty, ferny foliage, and is perfect for a trough or a lightly shaded nook in a rock garden. In early summer, it produces a profusion of lavender blossoms which appear just above the leaves.
This perennial species is one of the most delicate of Thalictrums, with tiny foliage reminiscent of maidenhair ferns. It bears small, nodding, long-lasting flowers of a unique yellowish plum-brown. It grows to about 3 feet tall and wide.
This beautiful specimen has tall, delicate stems punctuated by clusters of columbine-like, bluish gray leaves. In summer, it bears sprays of nodding lavender-pink or white flowers with pale yellow stamens that reach as high as 3 feet. Plants grow to 12 inches wide. Plant at the back of a border; it may require staking.
This hauntingly beautiful specimen has blue-green foliage along matte, purple-green, willowy stems. At 5 or more feet in height, it has a dramatic yet delicate garden presence. Its sprays of nodding lilac flowers have pale yellow stamens. Plant at the back of a border; it may require staking.
This clump-forming variety has very dramatic, deeply cut foliage with wide black veins that looks like a black snowflake when new. The dark color is more pronounced in cool weather. Plants produce a profusion of starry white flowers on numerous spires up to 12 inches high and grow to about a foot wide. Tiarellas are at home in moist woodland environments. In the garden they make wonderful carpets of intricate leaves. For a long period from spring into summer, the profusion of foamy flowers can be appreciated up close or from a distance. Grow 'Black Snowflake' as a groundcover or edger in a shady border or woodland garden. It is a great foil to early spring bulbs.
This running cultivar has notably large light-pink flowers that appear in spring and then rebloom. It has a compact habit with maple-like leaves marked with burgundy centers. Foliage turns bronze in the fall. Plants grow to about 14 inches tall and slightly wider.
The leaves of this clump-forming variety look as if they have been dusted by a fine mist of pink, cream, and green. It is a rebloomer, and in spring it produces a profusion of fragrant light pink flowers on spires that can reach 15 inches, rising above the foliage which grows to about 6 inches tall and wide.
This clump-forming variety has unusually long, maple-shaped leaves with a chocolate-colored overlay. It is topped in spring by 16-inch spires of pink buds which yield to wispy, starlike ivory flowers. Plants rebloom lightly, so they can flower from spring to mid-summer. 'Mint Chocolate' grows to about 16 inches tall and a foot wide.
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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