Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 113: Big and Bold Plants

Video by Danielle Sherry and Carol Collins. Edited by Kara Demos.

The original title of this episode was Big and Bold Plants for the Back of the Border. But between the length and the tongue-twister alliteration, we shortened it a bit for promotional purposes. However, on today’s program you’ll hear all about plants that really stand out in the last row of the garden choir. These perennials and shrubs are tall, yes. But they have so much more going for them than simply their towering presence. The featured plants offer a grounding and bold backdrop for garden beds, but they don’t flop all over the place. Some have excellent texture, others have bodacious blooms, and a few even provide that beefiness during all four seasons. If you’re looking for something to enhance—not just fill in—the back of the border, give this episode a listen.

Special guest: Courtney Olander, landscape designer from Seattle


Carol’s Plants

‘Royal Purple’ smokebush
‘Royal Purple’ smokebush

‘Royal Purple’ smokebush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple, Zones 4–8)


New York ironweed
New York ironweed

New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis, Zones 5–9)


Snowflake oakleaf hydrangea
Snowflake oakleaf hydrangea

Snowflake oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Brido’, Zones 5–9)


Canna lily
Canna lily

Canna lily (Canna × generalis, Zones 8–11)


Danielle’s Plants

'Horstmann's Recurved’ larch
‘Horstmann’s Recurved’ larch

‘Horstmann’s Recurved’ larch (Larix decidua ‘Horstmann’s Recurved’, Zones 2–7)


Dappled willow
Dappled willow

Dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’, Zones 5–7)


Panther ® ninebark (credit: Richard Hawke)
Panther® ninebark. Photo: Richard Hawke

Panther® ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘N5’, Zones 3–8)


‘Midnight’ baptisia
‘Midnight’ baptisia

‘Midnight’ baptisia (Baptisia ‘Midnight’, Zones 4–9)


Expert’s Plants

‘Sundowner’ New Zealand flax (credit: Courtney Olander)
‘Sundowner’ New Zealand flax. Photo: Courtney Olander

‘Sundowner’ New Zealand flax (Phormium ‘Sundowner’, Zones 8–11)


Sundance ® Mexican orange blossom (credit: Doreen Wynja)
Sundance® Mexican orange blossom. Photo: Doreen Wynja

Sundance® Mexican orange blossom (Choisya ternata ‘Lich’, Zones 7–10)


Quick Fire ® panicle hydrangea (credit: Courtney Olander)
Quick Fire® panicle hydrangea. Photo: Courtney Olander

Quick Fire® panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bulk’, Zones 5–9)

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