Sedum Brilliant -- Bluestone Perennials
Were talking seriously, big (dinner plate-sized) brilliant pink flower heads that mature to rust-red. Dense flower clusters of this Sedum top succulent upright jade-plant-like foliage of lighter green. A huge favorite of butterflies. Flower heads open in midsummer and stay through fall. To provide nice winter interest, let dried flower heads remain.
24" tall x 18" wide 'Caradonna' is unique with its tall, dark purple flower stems and rich purple-blue flowers, 'Caradonna' blooms for many weeks beginning in late spring. This particular variety thrives in a wide range of soils (including clay) and provides a strong vertical element with its uniformly upright flower spikes. Try it with lavender, ornamental grasses, or yarrow. It thrives with minimal care. Cut back to just above the ground in early spring. Remove the flowering spikes after…
Red Valerian (Centranthus)
24-36" tall x 30" wide. This is such a versatile plant, being equally at home in both the xeric garden and traditional perennial border. Not fussy about its growing conditions, it has showy rose-red flowers that are continuous from late spring through summer. Prefers a well-drained garden soil. Cut back in the spring. (seed propagated)
A climbing Bourbon that may be the most consistently blooming, large flowered climbing rose, with the added benefit that it is thorn-less. The 4" blooms (petals 16) are deep rose-pink, fragrant, and produced in great quantities on a continual blooming bush.
Blue Glow Echinops
48" tall x 18" wide (seed propagated). Blue Glow is a garden workhorse thriving in many different climates and in just about any soil. This perennial has deep green, thistle-like foliage and flowers reliably in mid-summer with numerous intensely blue, globe-shaped flowers. Combine it with various beardtongue and yarrows to provide and interesting contrast of flower color and shape.
Purple Dome New England Aster
12-24" tall x 12-18" wide (cutting propagated). This outstanding compact cultivar of the New England Aster is notable for its symmetrical mounding habit and luscious deep lavender-purple flowers. Easy to grow in any decent soil and not bothered by mildew, I like to plant it with Solidago 'Golden Fleece' and Agastache cana for a beautiful flowering grouping in early fall. Divide in spring every 3rd year to keep it vigorous.
Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris)
36" tall x 15" wide. Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylus) is a long grass prairie native, and a larger and showier species than Liatris punctata (native to more arid western grasslands). A robust grower at its best in fertile loam with infrequent but deep soakings once established. Meadow Blazing Star is an excellent butterfly beacon that brightens the late summer/early fall garden with its lavender-purple flower spikes. (Seed propagated.)
Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium)
36-48" tall x 24-36" wide ‘Baby Joe’ is a compact selection of the large growing Joe Pye weed. It typically grows as a 3-4’ tall clump making it much more usable in smaller gardens. In late summer the plant blooms with flat topped heads of small, mauve-purple flowers. Flowers are extremely attractive to butterflies and bees of all types. It is also a good choice for rain gardens being tolerant of both wet and dry soil conditions. (cutting propagated)
Lilium tigrinum (Tiger Lilies)
Tiger Lilies (Lilium lancifolium or Lilium tigrinum) command our attention with their bright and showy, orange-colored flowers covered with black or deep crimson spots, which give the appearance of the skin of the tiger, hence their common name.