Plant Selection Guides
Noted for their charming flowers and long flowering displays, Campanulas (Bellflowers) are a classic choice for beds and borders in cottage gardens or rock gardens where they bring great effect. Campanula is a massive genus including more than 300 species of mostly perennials, but also some annuals and biennials. They are one of the treasures of the gardening world because of their diverse habit and bold flowers.
Among the most spectacular summer flowers, Fuchsias are outstanding garden plants with their continuous display of ravishing, dancing blossoms, dangling in clusters like prize jewels. Often blooming from late spring until the first frosts, they are available in a wide range of colors, from luscious pinks and purples to whites and even peach.
Easy to grow, low maintenance and tough, Sedges can help you create a terrific display with their bold variegated foliage, cascading with elegance or the dramatic contrast their tufted, erect copper-bronze foliage offers when mixed with silvers or hot flower colors. If you want to create a magnificent display during the cold months of the year, opt for evergreen Sedges that will reliably brighten the dull days of winter.
The tall Alliums in particular are very impressive when towering up above lower-growing plants or ground covers. They are definitely displayed at their loveliest when placed among perennial plants in the border. Their leaves, which are usually not very attractive and which also wither back quickly after flowering, will then be hidden beneath the leaves of the perennial plants.
Floating above the border, they produce masses of 2- to 3-inch flowers that are held on slender, graceful stems and sway delicately in the breeze. Flower colors range from snow white to dark pink and purple. They may be single (with 4-6 broad tepals), semi-double or double with 30 or more tepals. Elegant at every stage, from tight buds to neat spherical seedheads, they send up flowers in succession, week after week, and are worthy of prominent placement in the garden.
There are 17 Hellebore species. Most are native to the mountainous regions of Europe, especially the Balkan region of the former Yugoslavia, south along the eastern Adriatic to Greece and Turkey. Many of the species have been interbred, producing countless hybrid Hellebores in a rich array of colors and forms.
When the crocuses pop up, winter is on the way out! Very few early-flowering bulbous, tuberous and cormous plants are as extensively planted as the Crocus. Indispensable for each and every garden, they join snowdrops, winter aconites and glory-of-the-snow as the very first heralds of spring.
Alliums are plants of exquisite beauty that deserve a place in perennial gardens. Easy to grow and undemanding, these very ornamental bulbs distinguish themselves by their great diversity in color, inflorescence, flowering height and bloom times. Many species bloom in early summer - just after the spring-flowering period and just before the exuberant full bloom of summer.
Fuchsias are not so fragile beauties. Some are quite hardy and can withstand temperatures down to -10ºF (-23ºC) and grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 6. They are useful in permanent plantings, adding vibrant pockets of summer color and showing up particularly well against dark evergreen shrubs. They are perfect to light up a dull, shady border.
There are thousands of cultivars and about 110 species found in the wild in Central and South America. Among them, the smaller hardy or half-hardy Fuchsias are great candidates for the rock garden. The best Fuchsias for such planting are the low-growing Fuchsias with outward facing flowers.
Standard Fuchsias are incredibly eye-catching and a fabulous way to display the striking beauty of their flowers. They add instant height, color and charm in the garden and are particularly effective next to doorways or entrance gates, on terraces, patios or balconies where they bring a spectacular show of summer color.
There are thousands of cultivars and about 110 species found in the wild in Central and South America. Among them, the trailing or cascading Fuchsia varieties, with weak stems that flop and branch freely, are great selections for hanging baskets. Bringing bold color and visual interest to your home, they will brighten any dull corners and provide a lot of pleasure throughout the entire summer until the first frosts. Here is a list of superb cascading or trailing Fuchsias. They are unmatched for their elegance and offer a great bonus, too: Hummingbirds love them.
Ceanothus, commonly known as California Lilac, offer almost everything a gardener could wish for in a shrub: free-flowering, lovely foliage, ease of cultivation, drought and salt tolerance. Fast growing, these desirable shrubs draw attention with their stunning blue, white or pink flowers. When a California Lilac bursts into bloom, it is a breathtaking sight to behold.
Extremely showy, Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's Root) introduces elegant vertical lines to the borders with its long spikes of densely-clustered, tiny flowers from summer to fall. With a candelabra look, these attractive inflorescences, in shades of white, blue, pink and purple, are nicely complemented by lanceolate, dark-green leaves that are arranged in whorls around the stem.
Their flowers are impressively large, 5-8 in. across (13-20 cm). Star-shaped, they may be single, semi-double or double and are available in a wide range of colors. They usually bloom in two waves. They bloom between early and mid summer on new wood. They often repeat flowering in late summer and early fall.
Native to the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and northern South America, Agaves are evergreen succulents with handsome rosettes of usually thick, rigid, fleshy leaves with marginal teeth and often a sharp terminal spine. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes.
AHS conducts a popularity poll each year among its members to determine the favorite daylilies from each region. The goal of this poll is to provide a true view of which daylilies perform well in a given area and which are favored by gardeners. Here is a compilation of the top favorite daylilies in North America