Reliable Performers for Your Region

Fine Gardening - Issue 197
Left to right: ‘Globemaster’ allium; ‘Kaleidoscope’ mayapple; blue sage. Photos: Joshua McCullough; Joshua McCullough;

As garden curator Irvin Etienne discusses in his article on reliable performers, we all want the newest, jazziest plants available, but a garden is not complete without a backbone of infallible plants that provide interest whether your new investments flourish or fail:

“If you tell me all the glorious details of a recent introduction, I will buy it by the dozen. Oh, it’s fussy and demanding? That’s OK. I want it, and I want it now. But sometimes what you want isn’t what you need. Often what you really need is a plant that you can build a garden bed around. It should be tough, undemanding, able to handle some stress, and visually appealing for multiple seasons.”

Find some tough, multiseason stars for your region below. And discover even more reliable performers in Plants to Build a Bed Around.