Regional Picks: Plant This With That—Mountain West

Fine Gardening - Issue 162

1. Bloomerang® Purple reblooming lilac

Name: Syringa ‘Penda’

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–7

Size: 4 to 5 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; fertile, well-drained soil

The scent of lilacs only in the spring is a thing of the past. We can enjoy this fragrance with a lilac that blooms and grows all summer long. Bloomerang® Purple reblooming lilac is a must-have in any garden. The blooms start in May and then return three or four times throughout summer. Its large laven­der blossoms make up for its non­descript green foliage. This is a perfect foundation plant. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and is also deer resistant. This lilac is easy to care for and will last for many years.


2. ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint

Name: Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’

Zones: 4–8

Size: Up to 18 inches tall and wide

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

I first saw this plant in a chateau garden in the south of France and was blown away by its presence. I love this perennial for its consistent, drought-tolerant nature. ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint loves dry soil, and if you cut it back in July, you will get more blue blossoms to enjoy throughout summer. Leave the foliage intact through winter to help protect the roots. It can then be safely cut back in spring. It should be thinned out every three years to maintain its shape and vigor. This plant is resistant to deer and rabbits, making it a great plant to use in the mountains.


3. ‘Abraham Darby’ English shrub rose

Name: Rosa ‘Abraham Darby’

Zones: 5–9

Size: 5 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; fertile, moist, well-drained soil

My late mother planted ‘Abraham Darby’ English shrub roses in her Salt Lake Country Club garden 25 years ago, and they are still blooming today. This old-fashioned, beautifully cupped rose has fragrant, 5-inch-wide blooms in a peachy pink apricot color with a hint of gold. It blooms continually from late spring through October. It has large, polished, glossy green leaves and, with pruning, maintains a compact look. This is a prized rose. Order it early as it is likely to be out of stock by the end of June.


4. ‘Pink Star’ peony-flowering tulip

Name: Tulipa ‘Pink Star’

Zones: 4–8

Size: 14 to 16 inches tall and 6 inches wide

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

If you love peonies, you will adore ‘Pink Star’ peony-flowering tulip. This award-winning tulip’s full, double blooms are a perfect combination of apricot, pink, and yellow with fringed petals. When planted in fall, this bulb is a spring delight, and your neighbors won’t believe you when you tell them it’s a tulip. ‘Pink Star’ will last a long time in the garden and in a vase.

Emily Brooks Wayment is a garden designer in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photos: #1, courtesy of Proven Winners; #2, Michelle Gervais; #3, Jerry Harpur/; #4, Jonathan Need/ Illustration: Elara Tanguy.

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