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'Violet Intrigue' exhibits the typical handsome gray foliage of good lavenders, but its form and flowers are particularly noteworthy. Each stem is strongly upright, and requires no staking, and the blooms are a deep violet that remains vibrant even when temperatures rise. Other than occasional deadheading, no additional maintenance chores are required.
English lavender has silvery gray, aromatic foliage topped in summer with lavender-blue to dark purple flowers on long stems.
This early-blooming compact shrub bears intriguing pine-cone-shaped flowers that have dark-purple bracts, or “rabbit ears.” Bloom appears from late spring to summer. The foliage is gray-green.
This Shasta daisy cultivar has especially large white flowers with yellow centers held on 3- to 4-foot-tall, strong stems that don't need staking. It also blooms later than most of the other cultivars. It originated in a Southern garden, but it is very adaptable to other climates. The masses of crisp, bright blooms are a mainstay of the summer border.
One of the first plants to emerge, this 24-inch-tall bulb bears nodding white bells as early as mid-January. Blooms are faintly chocolate-scented; leaves are glossy, erect, and strap-shaped.
Silver leaf is a flowering evergreen shrub with arching branches and woolly, silvery gray leaves. In summer, it bears solitary, bell-shaped rose-purple flowers an inch across.
This slow-growing weeping evergreen shrub has a low and wide form and oval, leathery, toothed dark green leaves. It makes a good substitute for boxwoods. Clusters of urn-shaped white flowers resembling heather appear from spring to early summer. Coast leucothoe is native to the eastern U.S. It thrives on slopes near water but not in water, on a dry slope without irrigation.
Lewisia cotyledon is an evergreen perennial of incredible beauty and well-balanced proportions. Fleshy leaves emerge in flat rosettes of spoon-shaped dark green leaves. Funnel-shaped flowers to 1 inch across are borne in compact panicles. The true species has candy-striped pink flowers. Hybrids bloom in shades from white to magenta.
This evergreen perennial has broad, lance-shaped mid-green leaves to 4 inches long, tinted with purple and borne in basal rosettes up to 18 inches in diameter. Open, funnel-shaped, pink-to-cream flowers to 3 inches across appear once in early spring.
This tuberous perennial has dense clusters of linear, rough leaves borne in basal tufts to 16 inches long. Dense spikes, up to 18 inches long, of button-like lavender-purple flowerheads are borne in late summer and early autumn. Blooms open from the top of the inflorescences downward.
This hardy herbaceous perennial has grass-like, strappy leaves and 3- to 5-foot-tall spikes of purple-pink flowers in late summer and early fall. Native to the eastern and southern United States, this tough perennial prefers reliably moist soil but will tolerate drought. It provides a bold, vertical element to mixed borders and attracts bees and butterflies. It has been observed to be resistant to deer browsing and self-sows freely. The flowers are suitable for cutting.
This cultivar of a U.S. prairie plant offers the garden spikes of purple, fuzzy-looking flowers that open from the top down on plants up to 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide. The show starts in late summer and attracts butterflies and bees. Grow it in a moist meadow or border. The flowers are also beautiful in a vase.
In early spring, fleshy stems unfurl and are topped by rounded burgundy leaves. By June, this plant looks splendid, with upturned leaves and their rich purple undersides. 'Britt Marie Crawford' may wilt in the hot noonday sun, but soft shade soon revives it. At the start of summer, right golden daisy-like flowers bloom, contrasting boldly with the foliage. -Matt Griswold, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #127
This evergreen foliage plant has large, rounded, leathery leaves and daisy-like yellow flowers. It looks great in the border or in containers.
Privet is a bushy, deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub with oval to lance-shaped dark green leaves. White flowers borne in panicles to 2 inches long in early summer and midsummer mature to spherical black fruit.
Often used by florists and for weddings, 'Casa Blanca' lily has large, pure white, scented flowers.
The first true double-flowering Oriental lily, this plant has delicate pinkish white blooms that open in July and August. They are as stunning in the mixed border as they are in the vase. Each bloom has 18 beautiful petals, making it unique among Oriental lilies.
Often used by florists, 'Star Gazer' lily has bright crimson flowers with purple spots and dark edges. These lilies grow to about 3 feet tall, so they generally don't need staking.
One of the oldest garden flowers, the madonna lily has bright green hosta-like basal rosettes appearing in winter and shallow-rooted bulbs that give it a distinctive appearance. In late spring, it thrusts up leafy torches topped with pristine scented blossoms in a raceme of 5 to 10 trumpet-shaped flowers.
From late August through early October, this lily bears eight or more 10-inch-long, deliciously scented, pristine-white trumpets (sometimes blushed pink on the outside) upon each stem. After the flowers fade, the stalks turn upward, opening elegantly as the seeds ripen and the pods dry to form a weather-resistant candelabra to adorn the winter garden or to use in dried arrangements
10 Outstanding Succulents
Skip the finicky selections and go for these unique yet reliable beauties
by Maureen Gilmer
Potted plants keep flower beds looking their best
Potting Soil Recipes
Cook up your own container mix that is suited to your plants
by Daryl Beyers
Potting Soil Ingredients
Here's a breakdown on some common container soil ingredients
by Daryl Beyers
VIDEO Potting Soil Recipe for Cacti and Succulents
Perfect drainage makes this recipe succeed
by Jeff Moore
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