Amsonia x 'Blue Ice'This is one that always attracts attention when in bloom. It has multiple uses like the Geranium above in that it can also be used as a perennial hedge. In our landscape it is planted with Geranium 'Jolly Bee' and that crawls over the top of Amsonia when it is not in bloom. This extends the time of beauty and usefulness of this plant.
Penstemon digitalisThis is a great native with so many uses as well. The seed heads are so attractive that I've placed those here instead of the flowers. I am very smitten with the flowers as well. Late June these will be blooming their hearts out in front of our nursery. They line IL Route 25 and create clouds of white in early summer.
Allium 'Summer Beauty'I've talked about this a few times in the three years of the blog. Here it is pictured with Festival® Burgundy in a container last year. The combination of these two plants was quite nice. The tropical Festival® Burgundy highlighted the bright green foliage of the Allium. Look at past posts if you would like more information on Allium 'Summer Beauty'.
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'This is a non-aggressive Solidago. Flowers that explode in late summer last for quite some time. They make a remarkable combination with Panicum 'Dewey Blue' or Rosa Flower Carpet® Scarlet. In early spring, the foliage is also attractive with reddish tints dominating the look.
Echinacea 'Pica Bella'The Echinacea trend continues to pour out new varieties left and right. This one is one that has a lot of staying power. My mother does not particularly care for coneflowers. She finds the drooping petals depressing. 'Pica Bella' solves that by having very straight rays of petals. The color is fantastic and it also has nice dark stems. Goldfinches enjoy the seeds throughout the winter as well!
Calamintha nepeta ssp nepetaCalamintha is one of my favorite plants for many reasons. First and foremost is the bloom time. From late June all the way to frost, the tiny white flowers can be seen in abundance. When temperatures are low at night, the flowers transform to a light lavender. Another reason I love this plant is that it attracts all sorts of bees. The honeybee population is quite outstanding and can be heard from afar on a quiet night once we've closed.
These are some of my favorite plants. Of course like I said, there will be an article in the Landscape Contractor that covers my favorite shade perennials. And neither of these lists has my favorite shrubs or trees. I have a lot of favorites. What are some of yours? Please let me know and I'll post them here. Thanks again for reading, and until next time, have a great day!