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'Bashful' is a reliable and prolific bloomer. The blooms (purplish petals surrounding a golden center) have a velvety feel that draws bees and butterflies. As dahlias go, 'Bashful' is not a tall plant, so it's best to place it near the front of a bed. -Alastair Gunn, Dahlias that deliver, Fine Gardening issue #121
Of the maybe 10,000 named dahlias introduced in the 1800s—when dahlias ranked right up there with roses in popularity—only three survive. One of them is 'Kaiser Wilhelm', introduced in 1892. Its 3-inch flowers have neatly curled petals of soft custard-yellow brushed with burgundy, and a green button eye just like that of an old rose. The plant can grow to 5 feet.
The pink-and-cream dinner-plate-sized 'Kidd's Climax' of 1947 has 10-inch flowers atop 4-foot-tall plants.
This new dahlia has gorgeous, bright yellow blooms that pop against its rich, dark purple (nearly black) foliage. 'Mystic Illusion' is well branched and makes a strong statement in beds, borders, and containers.
Southern bush honeysuckle has an attractive thicket-forming habit. Glossy green leaves with tapered tips emerge tinged with bronze and mature to mid-green on reddish stems. Sulfur-yellow flowers in terminal clusters to 3 inches across appear in summer.
Originating in mountainous woodland and stony habitats from Europe to western Asia, yellow foxglove is tolerant of dry shade but flourishes with moisture. Arising in midsummer from neat clumps of fine-toothed foliage, a mass of soft yellow open bells, speckled brown inside, blooms along one side of a 3-foot-tall stem. Usually described as a perennial, it is more accurate to call it a biennial or short-lived perennial. If the flowering stalk is cut down after blooms have faded, it may rebloom in the fall. When a few flower stalks are left, the plant self-seeds.
This is one of the exceptional Big Sky™ series (E. paradoxa crossed with E. purpurea), bearing fragrant, earthy-gold petals and golden orange central cones. These hybrids have all inherited the large green leaves, strong branching stems, wide flower petals, and profuse blooming tendencies of E. purpurea.
This is one of the exceptional Big Sky™ series (E. paradoxa crossed with E. purpurea), bearing fragrant, pale citron petals and green-maturing-to-copper central cones. These hybrids have all inherited the large green leaves, strong branching stems, wide flower petals, and profuse blooming tendencies of E. purpurea.
California poppies grow to about 12 inches tall, and their pretty foliage is ferny, like carrot tops. This cultivar has soft rose colored, double blooms with yellow centers.
Its blaze of yellow flowers is surely one of the first harbingers of spring. Forsythia are widely recognized for their utility in a shrub border, a bank, or for hedging, and their light to deep yellow, four-petaled flowers.
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Skip the finicky selections and go for these unique yet reliable beauties
by Maureen Gilmer
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Use plant combinations that focus on complementary colors, textures, and forms
A guide to growing, care, and propagation of rex begonias, plus some great cultivars
by Rita Randolph
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by Nancy Matthews
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by Kate Feely
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