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Regional Picks: The Experts’ Top Ten Plants – Northeast

Fine Gardening - Issue 143

Northeast

 

No. 1

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide

Conditions: Full sun; fertile, well-drained soil

The monarch butterflies and I can’t live without this North America native. I love how it adds zing to otherwise blasé borders with its luminous orange flower clusters.

 

 

2. ‘Grosso’ lavender (Lavandula intermedia ‘Grosso’)

Zones: 5 to 8

Size: 2 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. ‘Jelena’ witch hazel (Hamamelis intermedia ‘Jelena’)

Zones: 5 to 9

Size: Up to 12 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, fertile, well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil

4. Profusion series zinnias (Zinnia Profusion series)

Zones: Annual

Size: 12 to 18 inches tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; fertile, well-drained soil

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Lesser calamint (Calamintha nepeta)

Zones: 5 to 9

Size: 18 inches tall and up to 3 feet wide

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. ‘Virgin’ coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Virgin’)

Zones: 3 to 9

Size: 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

 

 

7. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)

Zones: 7 to 10

Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun; fertile, well-drained soil

8. ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris ‘Bright Lights’)

Zones: Annual

Size: 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide

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

9. Blue anise sage (Salvia guaranitica)

Zones: 7 to 10

Size: 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

10. Peppermint-scented geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum)

Zones: 8 to 10

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; fertile, well-drained soil

 

Kristin Green is an interpretive horticulturist at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Photos, except where noted: Michelle Gervais; Bill Johnson; Jennifer Benner; www.millettephotomedia.com; author, courtesy of Gail Read

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