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Regional Picks: Focal-Point Plants – Northeast

Fine Gardening - Issue 134

1. Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

Name: Prunus × cistena

USDA hardiness zones: 3 to 8

Size: Up to 5 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average, well-drained soil

In spring, all eyes are on this hardy little shrub. It pops with a charming display of fragrant pink blooms, which are still present as the leaves fill in. The delicate pink on dark purple is a stunning show. Even when the petals are gone, this shrub looks attractive for the rest of the season and offers a standout contrast to surrounding green foliage. Keep this focal point primped by pruning and shaping it lightly throughout the growing season.

 

2. Porcupine Grass

Name: Miscanthus sinensis* ‘Strictus’

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 4 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

Graceful yet robust, this grass makes a striking focal point. Its form resem­bles an elegant fountain, with its stiff, upright,…

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