Baptisia - False Indigo

3/27/2024 9:21 am



 Baptisia 'Ivory Towers' - Photo courtesy of Plant Delights Nursery


My dear friend John asked me to write about the top ten perennials. I agreed, as long as he didn't ask me to write about daylilies (also known as "deer nummies" in my neck of the woods). Instead, I chose to write about another highly hybridized perennial, which I actually get to see in bloom for more than a millisecond: Baptisia, commonly known as False Indigo.


This will be an unusually picture heavy article because -- as with hosta -- the distinctions between cultivars is better seen than described. We may get to learn even more about Baptisia when Richard Hawke comes to talk to us during our February 2025 Symposium!


Eucomis - Pineapple Lily

3/10/2024 2:14 pm





Eucomis, known commonly as "Pineapple Lily" comes to us from South Africa. This is a reliably hardy plant in Southern gardens.


Eucomis features dramatic upright and wide strappy foliage. This foliage can illuminate other plants when used as a background plant or it can stand alone as a dramatic accent. Depending on the cultivar, the foliage can range from 6 - 30" tall. You can find foliage that is pure green, a mix of green and burgundy or nearly pure burgundy. Eucomis also features unique looking pineapple-shaped flowers that are long-lasting.

Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' - Variegated Adam's Needle

1/23/2024 4:15 pm



 Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'



Looking for a bulletproof evergreen (and yellow) plant that glows all year including the dead of winter? Snow -- who cares? Ice cold -- it will just give the leaves pink stripes in the center and make it more interesting. Is it prickly? Well, a little -- but nowhere like its cousin the plain green Adam's Needle or those vicious Agaves.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit - Arisaema

1/7/2024 4:34 pm





☑︎ Shade grower

☑︎ Dramatic flowers

☑︎ Dramatic foliage

☑︎ Dramatic seedpods


If these characteristics appeal to you, then you should be growing jack-in-the-pulpits.


Ajuga Grows Up

11/15/2023 2:10 pm

Ajuga 'Canary Cordial'


Ajuga  is a well known evergreen ground cover good at choking out weeds. As an added bonus, it is deer and rabbit resistant due to the bitterness of its leaves. It is virtually a carefree plant. In recent years, I've not only allowed what I have to run, but I've moved it around and added new forms in lieu of mulching empty spots.


Perennial Profile Blog - Isodon Effusus

10/3/2023 8:26 am

Isodon effusus aka 

Plectranthus effusus (longituba) aka Rabdosia effusus

(Long-Tubed Trumpet Spurflower) 

Quite a few of the delighted guests at Michell Thurmond's Garden Party on September 30, 2023 were intrigued by a bright green leaved perennial growing in part shade that had tight flower buds showing a tip of purple. This plant -- which botanists have been changing the name of too frequently -- is one of the few dependable fall blooming charmers which is not in the aster family.

Isodon effusus grows in part sun to light shade. Until it begins to flower, the plant maintains a tidy, small shrub like shape. The flowers are borne along long panicles.  As these flowers develop and open, the stems begin to arch from the weight of the multitude of lavender flowers. 

Verbena bonariensis

9/17/2023 4:13 pm

Architectural, easy to grow and attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees of all kinds, Verbena bonariensis is surprisingly under-utilized perennial.  

Dicliptera suberecta - Uruguayan Firecracker plant

8/3/2023 1:51 pm

If you've got some full sun in a well draining location and wish to have late summer hummingbirds visit, you should consider Dicliptera suberecta (Uruguayan Firecracker plant). Masses of thin bright reddish orange tubular flowers bring hummers in for close up viewing.

Cupheas - The Hardy Kind

6/27/2023 1:13 pm

Looking for a perennial plant that provides pops of color in your garden and is irresistible to hummingbirds and bees? Try the perennial forms of Cuphea. If you can give them at least a half day of sun, these are top notch at attracting pollinators and delighting humans.

Spigelia marilandica 'Little Redhead'

4/4/2023 9:31 am

A plant that ticks off the wish list of many, Spigelia marilandica 'Little Redhead' is a compact form of "Indian pink."  It's a native, its flowers are stunning, hummingbirds love it and it is low maintenance!