Spotted deadnettle, Lamium maculatum

Look no further than spotted deadnettle for a tough but showy groundcover. With variegated leaves that shine in shade and a long bloom time, Lamium maculatum is an eye-catching plant throughout the year. Choose from cultivars with green and white striped or silver leaves and white, purple or pink flowers. Learn more about this adaptable, low-growing perennial in this article…

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Spider flower, Cleome hassleriana

Spider flower is fast growing, self-seeding annual with delicate and airy flowers in showy, exotic looking heads of pink, white or purple. These eye-catching plants provide a splash of color from summer through frost when planted in mass or as a backdrop for shorter companions in the annual or mixed garden. Learn more about this cottage garden favorite in this article…

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Cardinal Climber, Ipomoea sloteri

Looking for a vigorous annual vine to quickly cover a trellis, fence or arbor? Cardinal climber offers attractive, ferny foliage and bright red flowers later in the season which are very attractive to hummingbirds. Learn more about this heirloom ornamental with few pests and little maintenance requirements in this article…

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Common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea

With tall, showy spikes of tubular pink or purple flowers with speckled throats, common foxglove is a common addition to informal gardens for vertical interest. This biennial from Western Europe forms a rosette of leaves the first year and blooms in the second year. Learn more about Digitalis purpurea – the original source of the heart medicine digitoxin – but also considered an invasive weed in many places

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Breadseed or opium poppy, Papaver somniferum

Breadseed poppy is a cool season annual whose small grey or black seeds are often used in baked goods, but technically is illegal to grow in the US since the plant contains narcotic alkaloids which are the active compounds of opium. This typically is not enforced for poppies grown as ornamentals, and there are a great variety of poppies in pink, red and purple, as well as white and bicolors. Learn more about Papaver somniferum in this article…

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Amazing Flowers

Everyone has a vision of what a “flower” looks like, but plant flowers are extremely variable and come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations. Take a virtual tour of a dozen weird and wonderful flowers, each from a different plant family, and learn about some of their interesting characteristics, pollinators, or uses. No daisies here…

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Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum

With attractive flowers and foliage, Virginia waterleaf is an herbaceous perennial of moist deciduous forests that blooms a little later than most spring-blooming wildflowers in woodlands. The common name comes from the variable markings on the leaves which resemble water spots. Learn more about this native plant in this article…

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Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa

The Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial of the Year 2017 is butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa.  This native milkweed offers brilliant orange flowers attractive to a wide range of butterflies and other insects and is a host for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Learn more about this tough, long-lived herbaceous perennial that makes a great addition to many types of gardens in this article…

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Mealycup sage, Salvia farinacea

Add some blue to any garden with the herbaceous perennial mealycup sage grown as an annual.  The shrubby upright clumps produce tall, sturdy flower stems above the foliage, with dense whorls of dark blue, light blue, purple, or white flowers. Learn more about these tough, heat-tolerant plants that bloom from early summer to frost…

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Garden Pyrotechnics

In the spirit of celebration of Independence Day, instead of going with fireworks filled with gunpowder, go with Mother Nature’s fireworks – plants with flowers or form that look like exploding fireworks. This fun post offers a selection of plants with cultivar names related to the season and some that just look like they’re exploding in air.

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