'Blue Star' Japanese Aster has pale blue Aster-like flowers held above deep green foliage, blooming from June to fall. Kalimeris incisa 'Blue Star' is a deservedly popular perennial in Europe. The habit is neat and compact, and it never flags in hot weather.
PRN Preferred: Blooms for a very long time, carefree compact plant.
The blackish green evergreen foliage of 'Black Dragon' Japanese Cedar has an interesting irregular texture on an upright plant. Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon' is much slower and smaller than C. 'Yoshino', so excellent for smaller spaces. It is also salt tolerant.
Dwarf Globe Japanese Cedar is a dense rounded evergreen which adds a lot of color to the year-round landscape. The tight needles are a vivid bright green in the summer. In the fall and winter, they turn bluish purple with shades of rust. Since it is both pest resistant and compact, 'Globosa Nana' works well as a foundation evergreen, especially where deer are a problem. Pruning will probably never be needed to keep its neat habit.
'Gold Stem' Japanese Scholar Tree has come into this country very recently, and is prized for its beautiful golden yellow twigs. The leaves are light green, providing a contrast to the branches' new growth. Formerly named 'Sophora' in the trade, Styphnolobium 'Gold Stem' is a very rare Pagoda Tree which will probably benefit from frequent pruning, as the brilliant twig color is only present on new growth. Bees love the ivory flowers in late summer, and birds eat the green seedpods. Styphnolobiums have proven to be excellent urban trees because of their pollution tolerance.
Autumn Flame Miscanthus has vivid fall foliage in shades of orange and red for several weeks before turning to an attractive pale tan. Miscanthus 'Purpurascens' is one of the earliest Japanese Silver grasses to bloom, with red-tinged inflorescences appearing in July. They fade to silver by late summer, and are a lovely addition to the winter landscape. The seeds are a source of winter food for birds, and Miscanthus 'Purpurascens' is actually a plant that thrives under Black Walnuts.
Fiona Sunrise™ (‘Frojas’) Common White Jasmine is a stunning tender vine which has shown reliable hardiness as far north as Zone 6. The delicate foliage is bright chartreuse all summer, even when planted in full sun. Further south it produces fragrant white summer flowers, so its use as a protected container plant would have this added advantage. It forms a lovely contrast if allowed to scramble up through purple-leafed plants like Loropetalum or Cotinus. It may die to the ground in tough winters, but will grow to 6-8’ in the following summer. Found in England and introduced by Fromefield Nursery.
Eupatorium 'Baby Joe' is the shortest of the Joe Pye Weeds we've seen so far and the beautiful, profuse clusters of mauve pink flowers show that it has not sacrificed flower-power for reduced height. It performs well in both wet and regular sites, and blooms from July through August. Introduced by Future Plants. Eupatorium dubium has now been renamed 'Eutrochium' by botanists.
The mauve pink flower clusters of 'Little Joe' Joe Pye Weed appear in July and August. Selected by Steve Lighty and introduced by Conard-Pyle Company of Pennsylvania. It is also wet site tolerant, and a great butterfly attractant. (New genus name is Entrochium)
'Phantom' Joe Pye Weed was hybridized by Herbert Oudshoorn of Holland to produce a compact but heavily flowering Eupatorium. The flower clumps emerge wine red in July, and mature to a strong pink. The shorter size produces stronger stems supporting the showy compound flowers, which are an attractive addition to a cut flower arrangement. This tough native is a great butterfly attractant in mid to late summer, and it also is deer resistant. (New genus name is Entrochium)
PRN Preferred: All the great attributes of a Joe Pye Weed but a more compact form.
Korean Feather Reed Grass has beautiful airy pinkish inflorescences in September, above strong green foliage. It is shade and moist site tolerant and blooms much later than other Feather Reed Grasses.
PRN Preferred: Unsurpassed inflorescenses in the shade, combines with other perennials in mass for a striking impact.
Korean Tetradium blooms for an extended time in mid summer, with quantities of small white flowers in flat corymbs. The flowers, which attract lots of bees and insects, mature to attractive red capsules opening up to display jet black seeds. The green disease-free pinnate leaves often are accentuated by showy red leaf stems (rachis). Tetradium daniellii is a little-seen small ornamental tree which should be added to more landscapes because of its excellent summer appeal. Beekeepers especially value Tetradium for its late season nectar source. This is another "changing name" plant, formerly named 'Evodia' and 'Euodia'.
Lady's Mantle blooms in May and early June, producing attractive but subtle chartreuse yellow flower clusters above its dense foliage. The fuzzy leaves are green with a hint of blue, and since the leaf hairs repel water, it beads if water form on the velvety leaf surfaces to add a soft silvery look. Alchemilla mollis performs particularly well in shady woodland settings, where it will often seed as well as divide, forming an attractive tough groundcover.
'Thriller' Lady's Mantle blooms in May and June, producing airy delicate chartreuse yellow flowers held above fuzzy bluish green leaves. 'Thriller' has somewhat larger pleated leaves than the species, and like all Alchemilla mollis, the hairy leaves repel rain water so that the foliage has attractive silver water drops on if after a gentle rain. 'Thriller' performs best in shady, moist conditions.
‘Phenomenal’ Lavender ('Niko') is a sport of L. ‘Grosso’, displaying greater disease resistance, vigor and winter hardiness. It was found and introduced by Peace Tree Farms of Pennsylvania, and has shown excellent flower production and survival in commercial Lavender farms. The flowers are tall and fragrant, set off by clear silver foliage. Blooms appear in mid summer and last a long time, making an excellent cut flower. Excellent drainage helps survival.
PRN Preferred: Proven to be the most hardy and reliable Lavender we have ever grown. Great success in containers and in the landscape.
'Bressingham Ruby' Leather Pigsqueak has dark pink flowers in April and May, burgundy fall foliage which it holds through the winter. A slow growing evergreen groundcover, and a great shade plant from Alan Bloom of England. And we love the common name 'Pigsqueak'.
‘Bushing Bridesmaid’ Lenten Rose is part of the Wedding Party™ Series, bred by Hans Hansen. The blooms resulting from this series are all double. ‘Blushing Bridesmaid’ produces double white flowers veined with fine raspberry stripes and edged with dark raspberry picotees. The blooms are large and displayed above clean evergreen foliage.
‘Confetti Cake’ Lenten Rose is another Wedding Party™ Series contribution from Hans Hansen and Walters Gardens. The 2 ½” blooms are white with an abundance of burgundy speckles surrounding the center of the double flowers. The evergreen foliage makes for an excellent green setting for the floral display.
‘New York Night’ Lenten Rose is a Hans Hansen introduction from Walters Gardens Honeymoon™ Series. The 3” single flowers are shades of deep purple, grayish black and blackish purple, surrounding soft yellow stamens. Helleborus ‘New York Night’ is a heavy bloomer with lustrous green evergreen foliage.
'Pink Fizz' Lenten Rose comes from the Winter Thriller™ series, developed by Chris Hansen. The white outward facing blooms are liberally splashed and veined with raspberry and fuchsia. They appear in late winter and early spring, adding a joyful note to the promise of spring. The clumps get bigger ever year, because Hellebores are very long lived perennials in shady, well drained locations. Clean off the old foliage in March, as the new flower stalks are emerging.
'Pink Parachutes' Lenten Rose is another beautiful additions to the Winter Thriller™ series from Chris Hansen. The large open faced pink single flowers have loads of dark rose and wine speckles, accentuated by the prominent chartreuse stamens. Since the bloom time of all the Winter Thrillers™ series is very long, 'Pink Parachutes' and its siblings would make excellent candidates for winter containers, especially in deer country. Also an excellent plant for woodland naturalizing.
‘Rome in Red’ Lenten Rose comes from Hans Hansen’s Honeymoon™ Series breeding program. The single burgundy red blossoms are very large (3”) and showy for a long period in late winter and early spring. They are displayed prominently over the green evergreen foliage. Like other Lenten Roses, Helleborus ‘Rome in Red’ is a very long lived perennial, making an increasing large clump each year.
The white, pink, rose and burgundy flowers of 'Royal Heritage Strain' Lenten Rose bloom in winter, from early March to April. An evergreen perennial from the great plantsman John Elsley, formally of Wayside Gardens. Does well in dry sites.
PRN Preferred: Very reliable bloomer with excellent foliage.
‘Spanish Flare’ Lenten Rose comes from the Honeymoon™ Series of Hellebores. The large yellow flowers appear in late winter and early spring, and are made even more striking by the vivid maroon centers around the nectaries. All Hellebore flowers persist for a very long time, changing to greenish hues as they age. Evergreen and dry site tolerant, Helleborus x ‘Spanish Flare’ is a lovely addition to the shade garden. Hybridized by Hans Hansen.
'Merlin' ('Coseh 810') Gold Collection® Ballard Hellebore adds a colorful element to the winter landscape, bearing soft pink flowers which face upward, displayed on wine-red stems. As the blooms age over several months they become a deep cranberry color, followed by pinkish-green at the end of the season. The deer resistant evergreen foliage is a dark glossy green. Prefers moist but well drained shady locations.
'Pink Frost' ('COSEH 710') Hybrid Lenton Rose is part of the HGC® (Hellebore Gold Collection®) series, with a multitude of pink flowers in March. They are displayed above green evergreen leaves which are accentuated by a silver netting, and as they age, their blooms age to a deep rose color. The flowers last for a very long period, and the sturdy clumps grow larger every year. An introduction from Heuger Nursery in Germany.
'Anna's Red' Lenten Rose produces dark red flower buds on red stems in March. The blooms open over time to dark pink petals (sepals) surrounding chartreuse nectaries and creamy anthers. As the blooms age, they take on shades of darker red and then bronzy green. The evergreen foliage is lustrous for most of the year, but is best removed in late winter in order to display the flowers better. Hybridized in England by R. Davey and L. Windsor.
Bloomerang® Dark Purple ('SMSJBP7') Lilac is a compact rebloomer, producing purple flower clumps in late spring and then again in late summer to early fall. The fragrant flowers are plentiful, attracting butterflies and pollinators. The leaves are small and neat, without the foliar problems of French Lilacs, and Syringa x Bloomerang® Dark Purple can be pruned to make a neat, showy hedge as well as being used as a specimen.
'Royal Purple' Lily-turf produces purple flower spikes in August and September, held above dark green strap-like foliage. Liriope 'Royal Purple' makes a tough, neat groundcover, slowly spreading to make wide, weed repelling patches. The flower spikes make attractive long lasting cut flowers, and the evergreen leaves are a consistent source of winter color. In the fall, Liriope 'Royal Purple' produces black shiny berries on the spent flower spikes.
Lavender-blue flowers in late summer appear over cream and green striped foliage. Variegated Lily-turf tolerates dry sites and is a showy evergreen clump. Can be used in a mass planting or as a single perennial specimen.
Variegated London Plane Tree has green and white foliage, but the most striking characteristic is its brilliant white bark. Like the well-known street tree Platanus x acerifolius, the bark color is revealed when the exfoliating bark drops off. Platanus 'Suttneri' would perform well as a street tree, but the beauty of its bark makes it a great looking candidate as a specimen, displayed against a green backdrop. The first one we've seen has been grown for a number of years at Rare Find Nursery in Jackson, NJ.
Lance-leafed Loosestrife is an attractive, adaptable native beauty, with narrow willow-like leaves topped by lots of small bright yellow flowers. The bloom period is extensive from July through August, and the flowers are very attractive to native pollinators. Lysimachia lanceolata grows happily in a variety of soil types, from moist to sandy and rocky sites. Since it functions well as a soil stabilizer, it can serve as a loose groundcover.