Our second annual Heritage Plant Sale is coming up and we have more than 125 different types of plants for sale. From trees to annuals ready to plant in your garden, you should be able to find something that fits in your landscape. We selected plants that have proven their value in the garden through the test of time. Just about all of these can be found growing in our garden so we have studied them for many seasons and want to share them with you.
I cannot tell you how many times people have asked, “What are your favorites?” That is like asking a parent which child is their favorite. My answer, of course, is it depends on which ones are behaving right now. In reality, it is quite difficult to narrow the list because it all depends on what conditions you have. So think about how much sun and how much moisture your location gets before you select a plant. With that in mind, here are a few plants that should work well for most situations.
Rose Mallow (Hibiscus ‘Cranberry Crush’)
This hardy hybrid can be found in our Perennial Garden and in Kathie’s Spring Garden. This perennial grows about four feet tall with the same spread and features large scarlet- red flowers measuring seven to eight inches across. It definitely commands space in the garden during its peak blooming period from mid-summer until early fall. This bee-friendly plant will want lots of sun and needs consistent moisture through the growing season. It is a bold choice for the garden and well worth it.
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
This classic old-fashioned plant has been used as pot-herb, medicinal plant, insect repellent and even a textile dye. In the garden, it does well in the back of a flower bed since the flower stalks can shoot up to five or six feet tall when it blooms in the summer. It is a short lived perennial but produces prolific seeds and new volunteers will come up each year. It likes lots of sun, needs an average amount of water and tolerates all kinds of soil. We are offering two types this year: ‘Mars Magic’ is a traditional red flower and ‘Blacknight’ is a deep purple, almost black – long a coveted color by many gardeners.
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Growing in our Herbaceous Border and in other spaces, this is another old-fashioned plant that does particularly well in partial shade. Flower spikes that reach three feet or more feature numerous bell-shaped flowers with spotted throats. This European native was brought to the Americas in the 1700s and has been a garden favorite ever since. We like it especially since deer don’t seem too fond of it. This plant is the only source of digitalin, used today to treat heart ailments.
Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)
This ground cover does well under shrubs or on rock outcroppings as we have here in the garden. Brilliant blue flowers bloom late in the summer until first frost, when many other perennials are winding down their flowering season. The foliage turns a beautiful red in the fall for extra interest late in the season. As an added bonus, it is deer resistant.
Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium ‘Lucerne’)
The spiky foliage of this plant may look like a tuft of grass, but it is actually a member of the iris family. Requiring little care, it makes a nice accent along the edge of a path where it can easily be appreciated. We have numerous plantings in Kathie’s Spring Garden. It thrives in full sun, but tolerates some shade and is not picky about the soil. In late spring and early summer diminutive blue flowers grace the tufts of leaves and gives the plant its name.
Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)
This plant has wooly gray foliage and does best in poor soils and full sun. It is an excellent groundcover in rock gardens and does not need much watering. White flowers cover it in late spring into the early summer. We are offering the cultivar ‘Yo-yo’ which is a little more compact than the regular species. It will generally spread about 12-15 inches across. Try planting it in pockets of a stone wall or in between stepping stones of a walk where it will get plenty of air circulation around it during our humid summers.
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)
This cheery yellow-flowering native perennial does well in most settings. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some light shade. A great plant for bees, birds, and butterflies. It can be very effective in mass plantings. The flowers will bloom from mid-summer to early fall. As the flowers fade, leave the cones full of seeds for the birds.
American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’)
If you like the look and smell of the Asian varieties of wisteria but are concerned about their invasive qualities, think about this native. It is a little less aggressive and will grow to 30-40 feet high if allowed. The heavily scented purple flowers are a little more compact than the other varieties. This vine will do well on arbors and fences.
Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
This spring was a spectacular year for redbuds in flower. We have several of them here in the Garden, but I want to see more so we are planting three more. You should consider adding one to your landscape as well. This small native tree will fit into just about any landscape, growing up to 25 feet tall. It has beautiful heart shaped leaves but most people plant this is for the beautiful pink spring flowers. Did you know the flowers are edible? The early naturalist John Lawson wrote in 1709, that the flower “is the best Salad of any flower I ever saw.”
There are so many other fabulous garden plants available at our plant sale. We hope you come out and chat with our garden staff. We love to share our plants and gardening knowledge with you. Click here to see the latest plant list.