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Regional Picks: Plant This With That—Northwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 152

Plant this . . .


Sunset Celebration™ rose

Name: Rosa ‘Sunset Celebration’

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6–9

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun; moist, well-drained soil

As the easiest, showiest, hybrid tea rose I know, Sunset Celebration wins my enthusiasm every summer. With its sturdy, upright stems and clusters of apricot petals, this rose is equally adept at playing a background role (helping prop up adjacent plants) and being a centerpiece. As a bonus, when cooler weather arrives, each flush of flowers gets slightly deeper in color, evolving to shades of salmon by mid-fall. After a hard prune in early spring and a feeding in mid and late spring, all that’s left is to enjoy the citrusy scent and nonstop flower show—and to leave a surplus bouquet at the neighbor’s back door.


. . . with that:


‘Six Hills Giant’ catmint

Name: Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’

Zones: 3–8

Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide

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

This tall catmint is the consummate diplomat, uniting neighbors as diverse as roses and annuals. ‘Six Hills Giant’ has crinkly, scalloped gray foliage and wandlike stems, but the real showstopper is the multitude of flowers that create a purple swath throughout summer. Cut the stems back to 3 to 4 inches tall in mid­summer (then water well) to encourage new flowers that will last well into fall.


‘George Davison’ crocosmia

Name: Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’

Zones: 6–9

Size: 1 to 3 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; moist, well-drained soil

With its ramrod-straight stems and funnel-shaped apricot flowers, ‘George Davison’ crocosmia is an ideal vertical focal point. If its corms get too plentiful and need to be contained, plant them 4 inches deep in a 3-gallon plastic pot with amended soil and bury the container to soil level. Replenish the soil and thin out the bulbs every two years.


‘Arabella’ clematis

Name: Clematis ‘Arabella’

Zones: 4–9

Size: Vining to 4 to 6 feet

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

This petite herbaceous clematis resembles an exquisitely placed ribbon on a gift, splaying its flexible stems and 3-inch-wide blue blossoms around adjacent plants. The color and size of ‘Arabella’ clematis enable it to accent a huge range of shrubs and perennials. An application of well-rotted manure in early winter, rose food in mid- and late spring, and a buzz cut of the stems in early spring is the only care needed.


Julie Lane-Gay is an avid gardener and former nursery owner from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Photos: Doreen Wynja; courtesy of Julie Lane-Gay; Jennifer Benner; and courtesy of Richard Hawke. Illustration: Elara Tanguy, colorized by Bill Godfrey

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