plant trials

  • best reed grasses

    A Guide to Growing Reed Grasses: Best-Performing Varieties and Care

    As native grasses such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium and cvs., Zones 3–9) and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis and cvs., Zones 3–9) increasingly gain traction in gardens, exotics such as…

  • bush clovers

    Best of the Bush Clovers: Trial Plant Results

    By the time August rolls around, I’m looking for something new in the garden to pique my interest. I’m not quite ready for fall plants to take their turn, so…

  • summer alliums

    The Best Summer Alliums to Grow: Plant Trial Results

    Some years ago, during a midsummer trip to Wisconsin, I found myself transfixed by a vast planting of ‘Summer Beauty’ allium dotted throughout with taller bright pink coneflowers (Echinacea spp.…

  • new summer alliums

    Noteworthy New Summer Alliums

    Although too new to our trial to be fully evaluated, these notable alliums are worthy of praise. Keep an eye out for them when you're at your local garden center…

  • plant trials

    Missing Plant Trials and Chile Rellenos | Letter from the Editor

    Before we stopped traveling for the better part of two years, my favorite annual trip for Fine Gardening was to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Every year I’d visit Richard Hawke,…

  • new burnets

    These New Burnets Deserve Your Attention

    These burnets are new on the scene, but they're already showing promise. ‘Blackthorn’ burnet Robust ‘Blackthorn’ burnet (S. ‘Blackthorn’) was one of the largest of all the burnets after just…

  • Oriental burnet

    Burnets Are Tough and Beautiful Plants

    I have no recollection of burnets—native or cultivated—before my back-to-back encounters with great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) in the South Korean countryside and on the grassy steppes of Siberia. The sight…

  • Chicago Botanic Garden Trial Gardens

    Chicago Botanic Garden Trial Gardens

    For more than a decade, Richard Hawke has been writing for Fine Gardening, giving readers insight into his plant trial results. He is the plant evaluation manager at the Chicago…

  • Collection

    Plant Trial Results: The Best of the Best Plants for Every Garden

    One of the best parts of being a gardener is plant shopping. But the variety of options for any given plant can be overwhelming. Every year new cultivars come out,…

  • best persicarias

    Persicarias Deserve Your Love—Trial Results

    For many years, persicarias—also known as knotweeds—inhabited the periphery for me. I saw them but mostly looked past them, thinking of them as filler more than thriller. My first genuine…