Award-Winning Perennials Part II

Perennials of the year 2000-2005

2000 Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’

This long blooming “pincushion” flower will make a great addition to the front border of your garden. The small but profuse flowers will start appearing in early to mid summer assn continue in to late mid fall. Dead-head (remove faded flowers) to promote more blooms. The mounded shape with its soft textured leaves makes for a nice mixed container plant or it can be planted close together for a larger, massed effect. Also makes a nice rock garden plant. Grows to 12″ x 12″, likes full sun.


Grass, Calamagrostis Karl Foerster

2001 Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’
This upright grass plant seems to becoming used more and more every year.The long bloom period (mid summer through fall) make it a great accent plant or background plant. The Light brown spikes stay on all winter, making it great for winter interest. I like to cut the spikes and use them in fall arrangements. Best in full sun, but will take some morning shade, and is drought tolerant. Makes a nice container plant, too



2002 Phlox “David’Phlox, David
This white flowered phlox makes a great mid-size addition to any flower garden. The white flowers give your garden more color longer in the day, because the white flowers reflect more light in the evening. Plant it next to your garden path or entry, so you can smell the fragrant flowers. It is powdery milder resistant, which is important for a phlox. Make sure you enjoy it inside, too, as it makes a great cut flower. Easy to grow, gets to about 30″, likes full sun. Easy to divide and give to your friends!


leucbecky 03.jpg

2003 LeucanthemumBecky’ Shasta Daisy
One of the easiest perennials to grow, the shasta daisy has been around forever.Grows in about any soil and tolerates the summer heat. Has a long bloom period, from midsummer to early fall. Likes full sun, but will tolerant some shade. May require staking if grown in partial shade. Grows to 36″ hi x 18″ wide. A can’t-miss perennial.




2004 Athyrium ‘Pictum’ Japanese Painted FernFern, Japanese Painted

An easy fern to grow as long as it has a well drained soil to grow in. Grows in partial to full shade, but doesn’t like competition from tree roots. Has a more compact growth habit than other ferns. . The fronds are two toned with grey green and silver/pewter. A great accent due to its unusual coloring and compact growth habit. Also looks nice as a rock garden plant. Grows to 18″ X18″.



Helleborus, Royal Heritage

2005 Helleboros (Lenton Rose)
Helleboros contains many varieties, accompanied by just as many colors. This is a great plant for full to partial shade. This is one of the earliest bloomers, blooming in early spring, as early as April and early May. It is tolerant of normal soil but likes it to be well drained. Normal size is usually about 18″ x 18″. Makes a good specimen or can be used as a woodland plant.














Award -Winning Perennials, part I

Each year, the Perennial Plant Association picks a perennial plant that it feels has the outstanding qualities to be voted Perennial Plant of the Year.  With the global warming, Northfield is on the border between zones 4 and 5, depending on who’s zone map you are looking at. (I like the one put out by the National Arbor Day Foundation, because it uses the most recent data). If  listed as zone 5, I would recommend you start out with a trial plant to see how it performs over a couple of winters. The descriptions below are from the Perennial Plant Association. Next week I will post some of the previous winners, back to 2000.


2011 Amsonia Hubrichtii Plants thrive in full sun to partial shade  This plant performs best in average, moist well-drained soil but tolerates less moisture. Once established, it can tolerate drier conditions.  This perennial for the seasons is an asset in borders, native gardens, cottage gardens, or open woodland areas. It is best when massed. Arkansas blue star is attractive when mixed with ornamental grasses and plants that have attractive seed heads. Light blue flowers in spring are followed by marvelous foliage in summer. Golden-yellow fall color is second to none among herbaceous perennials. Zones 4 to 9



2010   Baptisia Australis. Plants thrive in full sun. Plants grown in partial shade may require staking.SoilThis North American native is easily grown in well-drained soil and is drought tolerant after establishment.   This spring flowering shrub-like perennial may be used to fill the back of the border or in the wild garden. The combination of flower and leaf color is dramatic in the early blooming season. Flowers are followed by inflated seed pods that are useful for dried flower arrangements. HardinessUSDA zones 3-9

2009   Hakonecloa macra Aurea Long-season ornamental grass may be used as a ground cover, a border-front specimen,a mass planting, or in a patio container. The plant offers vivid highlights in shaded areas or in evening gardens.  This grass is also noted for its movement in breezes, offering a cascading or an undulating behavior. Hardiness USDA zones 5-9.  Partial shade is the optimum location in hot climates while more sun is suitable in cooler areas. This ornamental grass prefers moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil.


img[1].jpg2008   “Rozanne” geranium. It has 2 ½ inch, iridescent violet-blue, saucer-shaped flowers with purple-violet veins and radiant white centers. Bloom time is from late spring to mid fall.  20 to 24 inches tall and  28 inches wide.   Best in full sun to partial shade, afternoon shade is advisable in hot climates.  Prefers moist, well-drained soil.   May be used as a dynamic ground cover or as an attractive specimen plant. It is a good companion plant to Shasta daisy, perennial salvia, speedwell, hostas, and short ornamental grasses. Rozanne’senergetic habit makes it a worthy tenant of patio containers, window boxes,and hanging baskets.   The large violet-blue flowers with purple-violet veins and small white centers offer non-stop flowering through the growing season. It has one of the longest flowering periods of any of the hardy geraniums.


2007 Nepata, Walker’s LowNepeta, Walker's Low One of the tougher perennials you will find. Your cats will love this one, as Nepata is also a variety of catmint. Likes full sun tolerates a wide range of soils, and is drought tolerant. Will bloom most of the summer, especially if it gets cut back after it’s first flush of flowers. Grows to about 30″ (not really low unless you compare it to other catmints), attracts butterflies, very fragrant leaves and stems when crushed.


dianthus 06.jpg2006 Dianthus, Firewitch. A great rock garden or edging plant it that is easy to grow. It likes a well drained site in full sun. Tolerant of dry situations once established. An early to mid summer bloomer. Grows to 8″ x 15″ Gray-green foliage makes a nice contrast to the bright pink flowers. Makes quite a show when planted as a mass.