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This plant has lobed, densely hairy, chartreuse foliage that is crimped at the edges. Soft, frothy, yellow-green foliage hovers above the plant from early summer through autumn.
'Casablanca' Peruvian lily is the closest to white that this genus has gotten as of yet. Inside its amaryllis-shaped white flowers, reddish dashes on a yellow wash and a pale pink throat add interest. 'Casablanca' is also taller than most other Alstroemerias. They make great cut flowers and are frequently used by florists; they also add a tropical feel to beds and borders. Roots are very brittle and care should be taken when planting.
This dark-leaved, tropical foliage plant loves heat, and is useful spreading through a bed, border, or in a container where its deep purple leaves can contrast with brightly colored flowers or foliage. Alternanthera are native to tropical and sub-tropical areas of Central and South America. Their flowers are generally an afterthought. This plant works well for edging, as an annual groundcover, or in a formal knot garden.
Arkansas blue star's delicate, willow-like foliage is topped with pale blue star-shaped flowers in spring. The light green foliage looks good all summer, turns a beautiful golden-yellow in fall, and can stand through most of the winter, adding interest especially when mixed with grasses and other attractive seedheads. It grows to almost 3 feet tall and wide.
This beautiful, vigorous, pale pink, semi-double-flowering anemone starts blooming in early July into September on 28- to 36-inch stems.
This large, single-flowered, pinkish-purple anemone blooms from August to October on stems 24 to 34 inches tall.
Anemones thrive in light to partial shade but will tolerate full sun, as long as there is sufficient moisture. Site plants in moist, humus-rich soil, but avoid overly wet conditions. Apply mulch annually in northern regions.
This beautiful, white, semi-double-flowered anemone reaches 25 to 30 inches tall. An early flowerer, ‘Whirlwind blooms from August to October.
This plant has dark pink, two-toned flowers that occur in abundance and rise above the foliage on branched stems from August to Octover. It is beautiful in the woodland garden or border and planted in masses, although they can overwhelm other plants and become a nuisance in a bed.
This anemone grows 24 to 32 inches tall with single, light violet-pink flowers. It's an extremely robust and vigorous plant that is best suited to naturalizing. It will overwhelm other plants and may become a nuisance in a bed.
Rocky Mountain columbine is a beautiful, hearty, native perennial with blue and white flowers. It self-sows readily.
A. chrysantha is a vigorous grower that will add a real burst of color to any southern garden. This southwestern U.S. native has 3-inch yellow flowers in spring and reaches almost 3 feet tall.
This species of Aquilegia is short lived, but its bright yellow, fragrant flowers with elongated spurs will be a vibrant addition to your garden.
This plant's large, undulating leaves are textured like puckered crepe paper. Moreover, they resemble designer textiles with splendid splashes of cream and dark green. This has to be the queen of variegated plants.
Although it’s valued for its autumn blossoms, ‘Lady in Black’ creates a stir from the moment its dusky purple leaves unfurl in spring. By summer’s end, thousands of tiny dark buds dot the densely branched 3-foot-tall plant, promising an explosion of color.
This tuberous begonia bears green heart-shaped foliage with red veining and claret-stained undersides that steal the show when backlit. Pendent clusters of slightly fragrant, satiny pink or white blossoms open from midsummer until frost. It makes a good perennial companion for ferns and hostas.
This is a sweet Swiss chard with beautiful candy-apple-red stalks and dark green, crinkly leaves with touches of red. Both the leaves and the stalks are very ornamental and 'Ruby Red' is great in a vegetable or cottage garden, or in an ornamental bed or border. It is especially attractive when grown with plants whose colors call attention to the red coloring. Although related to beets, the root is inedible, but the leafy greens are valued for their mild flavor and high nutritional value.
The first time you see a Chinese hardy orchid flowering you kind of rub your eyes: Did a garden fairy drop her corsage after the prom? It really is a perennial here, which flowers in late spring to early summer, with three to seven flowers atop each wiry stem. The foliage is beautifully pleated, and happy plantings slowly grow into sizable clumps. -Irvin Etienne, Fine Gardening #147 (October 2012), page 72
The white- and pink-mottled leaves of 'Roseo-picta' make it appear as if the plant has been snowed upon, even though it is a tropical plant. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3 feet or more with pink and red stems in zigzagged formation. Native to Pacific islands, it is grown as an indoor plant or perennial, or as an annual in cooler climates. The tiny flowers go generally unnoticed. Do not allow the soil to dry out, as leaf drop will occur.
This plant produces distinct, 2-inch blossoms primarily in rich blue (but also in shades of purple and white), with dark eyes smudged white. It is suitable for sun and partial shade.
Building Better Borders
Use plant combinations that focus on complementary colors, textures, and forms
PLANTING PLAN: A deer-resistant bed that shines in fall and winter
by Nancy Matthews
Q&A Economical edging for beds
by Kate Feely
Are Pressure Treated Woods Safe in Garden Beds?
by Phil Wood
4 Ways to Remove Sod
When starting a bed, choose the method that suits you best
by Steve Carroll
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