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Rounded, ruffled leaves form a solid, weed-free, evergreen ground cover. In the spring, elongating shoots open to rounded heads of small four-petaled white flowers. Plants remain in bloom for nearly a month, opening new flowers from expanding terminal clusters as well as from numerous side shoots. Mature plants stand 12 to 18 inches high when in flower, and spread in time to form clumps 2 to 3 feet wide.
This stunning herbaceous woodland peony has upright red-mottled stems and dark green leaves that are elliptic or lance-shaped with rough margins. It bears usually solitary, single creamy white to pale pink blossoms that are cup-shaped and elegant. The blooms measure 3 to 4 inches across and have pale yellow stamens. Like all peonies, the flowers are with us for too short a time. They are followed by beautiful seedpods.
This plant is a beautiful addition to the garden from early spring until autumn. Red shoots with a crystalline dusting emerge in early April, followed by 5-inch-long, egg-shaped leaves that mature to a dark, reddish green. Each 18-inch stem bears a 2-inch-wide, chalice-like, single pure-white flower with yellow anthers and purple filaments. Mature seedpods open to reveal metallic-blue pea-sized fertile seeds and holly-berry red unfertilized seeds.
This rhizomatous perennial grass has a narrowly upright, clumping form. Mid-green stems bear stiff, erect, blue-gray leaves to 24 inches long. Foliage turns yellow in autumn. Weeping panicles of tiny purple-green spikes appear in early autumn.
The 4- to 6-inch-wide blooms of 'Flamenco Dancer' poppy stand out in late spring and early summer with their true red color and fanciful fringes. It is a sport of the popular 'Turkenlouis'. After the flowers fade, this perennial will go dormant, so plant it near neighbors that will fill the vacancy.
In summer, beautiful brilliant red flowers top the branching stems with downy leaves of this 3-foot-tall poppy.
This native of Australia has blue-green perfoliate leaves (similar to some eucalyptus) and blue-lilac flowers on somewhat floppy stems. Digger's speedwell likes a hot location and will ramble over walls or grow through shrubs beautifully.
Wild quinine bears lustrous foliage and long-lasting white flowers throughout the season, even in heat and drought. It is native to moist prairies, low meadows, and open woods from Massachusetts and Minnesota, south to Georgia and Arkansas.
'Crystal Palace Gem' was first introduced in 1869 and has been a star in the garden ever since. It was named for Joseph Paxton's elaborate glass house designed in 1851 for London's Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Like its namesake, the plant is showy, with its round chartreuse leaves with a midgreen center and its salmon-red flowers. 'Crystal Palace Gem' looks good from spring until frost. -Marty Wingate, Plants to know and grow, Fine Gardening issue #120
Rose-scented leaves and clusters of pale pink flowers adorn this trailing geranium. Grow in a location where the foliage can be touched and, thus, the scent released.
‘Lady Scarborough’ is blessed with strawberry-scented, crinkled-edge leaves and pale pink flowers with dark markings. It works well in a hanging basket if left unpruned.
This trailing plant has peppermint-scented, deeply cut leaves and mauve flowers.
Trailing ‘Roger’s Delight’ has lemon-scented leaves and large red upper petals and paler lower petals.
This plant is a lemon-scented, shrubby, upright pelargonium with pale pink flowers and crinkled leaves.
This lemon-scented, shrubby, upright pelargonium has cream-margined leaves.
This exemplary species has felted, gray, crinkled leaves. Over a long period, it exhibits sprays of butterfly-shaped, rich wine-red flowers, which contrast dramatically with the foliage. Its small stature makes it a perfect candidate for a container or a walkway edge. It has been used medicinally for the treatment of various infections, including bronchitis. It is a native of Africa.
The velvety leaves of this choice species are pale green with long, silky hairs. The angora-like feel of the foliage is matched by its heavenly aroma of fresh mint. It bears clusters of dainty white blossoms in spring, but remains an exceptional foliage plant throughout the year.
This annual grass produces deep pink flowers that resemble rabbits' tails. Flowers persist throughout the season. It forms a tidy, evergreen clump, 2 feet high and 3 feet wide.
This annual produces deep reddish-black flowers that resemble rabbits' tails. Flowers persist throughout the season. This plant forms an evergreen clump of green foliage with burgundy highlights, 2 feet high and 3 feet wide.
Pink, bottle-brush flowers rise well above arching clumps of graceful foliage in summer. This grass is beautiful in a mixed border, rock garden, or massed at waterside. It blooms in June with pink plumes.
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
PLANTING PLAN: A deer-resistant bed that shines in fall and winter
by Nancy Matthews
Q&A Economical edging for beds
by Kate Feely
Q&A Ground covers to avoid
by Nancy Ondra
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