Plant Selection Guides
Find a collection of plant selection guides to choose the right perennials, shrubs, trees, grasses, flowering bulbs for your beds and borders, backyard, front yard or patio. Discover the best roses, award-winning shrubs and trees, acclaimed perennials to beautify your landscape. Let us help you achieve the garden of your dreams and enjoy life to the full!
A lilac in full bloom, with its heavenly fragrance, is a breathtaking sight. A mainstay of the spring landscape in northern and colder climates, lilacs are one of the most effective flowering shrubs. Easy to grow, tough as nails, deer resistant and relatively free from major pests, these hardy shrubs have been tailored to meet the needs of all gardens, including small gardens. There are now lilacs that rarely grow more than 3-4 ft. (90-120 cm) tall, which makes them suitable plants for small gardens and containers.
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.
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.
Prized for their long season of interest and easy care, Caryopteris (Bluebeard, Blue Mist, or Blue Spirea) are terrific deciduous shrubs with fragrant true blue flowers in late summer and fall. Attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects, they add a welcomed splash of color in the late season garden when few other shrubs are in bloom. As valuable as the flowers, their dense foliage of aromatic leaves is also one of their great attributes, adding interest from the time they appear in spring until frost. Superb additions to most sunny garden settings, Bluebeards can also fit small spaces and containers. One of the best small shrubs for late color, they are worth repeating several times over in a border to give a strong fall effect.
Narcissus (Daffodils) are among the easiest bulbs to grow and regarded as some of the most valuable spring bulbs for the South. Long lived, they naturalize and multiply year after year. Versatile, they offer a fascinating array of flower forms, sizes, and colors. They also make gardening easy. Once planted, there is nothing left to do: these bulbs can stay right where they are and produce flowers year after year.
If you look for more than a beautiful drift of creamy or golden flowers, and wish to add another terrific dimension to your spring garden, plant fragrant Narcissus cultivars. While many daffodil bulbs are fragrant, most do not have a perfume powerful enough to enjoy unless you stick your nose directly into the bulb. The following daffodils are regarded as the most fragrant. Grow them close to where you sit in the garden, or along paths to savor their sweet fragrance as you pass by.
The following daffodils are recipients of both the Award of Garden Merit and the Wister Award, two highly coveted and prestigious awards. These super-daffodils have proven to be vigorous, sturdy and reliably perennial. They include many different flower shapes and bloom seasons. If you plant a few of each variety, you will get weeks and weeks of spring color every year! Some are delightfully fragrant. Grow them close to where you sit in the garden, or along paths to savor their sweet fragrance as you pass by.
Many tulips are not strongly perennial and their floral display tends to decline from season to season. They bloom well the first year, but then peter out after a couple of years. But if you select the right tulip varieties, plant them in the right spot and provide the proper care, you can be rewarded with a magnificent spring display year after year.
Rock gardens offer the perfect home for an extensive array of plants including evergreens, deciduous shrubs, perennials, annuals, and flowering bulbs. A surprisingly large number of perennial bulbs do well in rock gardens, such as snowdrops (Galanthus), crocuses (Crocus), wild tulips (Tulipa), miniature daffodils (Narcissus) and plenty others charming bulbs. The following list of perennial bulbs thrive in rock garden conditions and you will be delighted to see them every spring or fall.
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.
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.
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.