Articles in Category: Perennial

Salvia x 'Ultra Violet'

on Wednesday, 09 September 2015. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Ultra Violet Sage

Salvia 'Ultra Violet'

It's always nice to find plants that come on strong when everything else has tired out. This Sage starts up the last half of summer and continues into fall with it's vibrant purple flowers. Frost is the only thing that stops it and then it only goes to sleep and comes back again next spring. Most Salvias that look similar, like the Autumns Sages or Salvia greggii aren't all that cold hardy but this one is reputed to be hardy to Zone 5! It is still best to leave all the stems up until spring to make sure it survives the winter wet, and then prune back when new leaves begin to emerge. 'Ultra Violet' performs best in well draining soil in full, hot sun. It looks great in a pot, combined with Mediterranean herbs or the front of a border. The spicy scented, dark green, foliage keeps deer and rabbits away, adding to our choices for deer resistant perennials. This Salvia gets about 20" tall and 24-28" wide. The long bloom time keeps the hummingbirds happy as fall begins to limit their choices. Thanks to one of our favorite garden writers- Lauren Springer Odgen, for this selection.

Salvia x 'Heatwave'

on Thursday, 04 June 2015. Posted in Plant of the Week, Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

'Heatwave' Series of Autumn Sage Hybrids

HeatwaveSo many compliments to give this autumn sage hybrid! We planted the 'Blaze' variety because I like all flowers that get close to true red. No pinks. Bonni may beg to differ on if this is true red, but most days it is.

 One of the benefits of the 'Heatwave' series, which was developed in Australia, is that they hold their color through the summer and don't fade. We have certainly found this to be true. The vibrant red blooms first appear in May and will continue until frost. It is extremely heat and drought tolerant, but takes regular water as well if given good drainage. Hummingbirds visit it every morning and evening!

The foliage, like most varieties of Autumn Sage, is spicy and fragrant, so deer tend to leave it alone. Plants are mostly evergreen in mild winters, but will drop most of their foliage in a cold year. We only cut it back to clean it up in mid-March. The first summer it was planted it quickly filled out to 2' tall by 2-1/2' wide. This perennial should be in every garden!  

Amsonia hubrichtii

on Monday, 25 August 2014. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Native, Fall Color, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Flowering Plants

Threadleaf Blue Star

amsonia closeupWe are excited to start growing and offering this harder to find and low maintenance perennial.  Threadleaf Blue Star has a long season of interest, beginning with starry sky blue flowers, fading to white in late spring followed by wispy light green foliage that turns a gorgeous golden yellow in fall. This SE American native is one of the longest lasting perennials for fall color.  It does go winter dormant but the dried foliage can persist through winter adding interest that combines well with the seedheads and blades of ornamental grasses.   Amsonia gets about 3' tall and 3-4' wide and requires regular watering to look its best but can tolerate some drought.  Full to part sun is ideal and give it at least two years to really show off.    We are anxious to try it out in deer country, because most sources say it is deer resistant and rabbit resistant.  So come on Rogue Valley, let's try it out!   Use it on masse, as a cut flower, or butterfly and bee attractor.


Fantastic fall color of Amsonia with Miscanthus and Buddleia 'Blue Chip'- Photo from University of Missouri



Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'

on Monday, 09 June 2014. Posted in Winter Interest, Evergreen, Fall Color, Shade Plants, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

'Biokovo' Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)

BiokovoThis versatile and easy-to-grow hardy geranium is a great choice for an evergreen perennial that is deer resistant, drought tolerant in part shade, and even gets fall color.

When looking for deer resistant plants it's always imortant to seek out scented plants, especially leaves with a strong smell. 'Biokovo' Geranium is one of the rare perennials to have a strong, spicy scent that is not Meditteranean or needing lots of sun. It performs best in a cool location with morning sun or at least protection from the hottest part of the day. The broad, lobed leaves provide striking contrast to finer leafed perennials and grasses.

'Biokovo' spreads by rhizomes to make a nice spreading mound about 6-10" tall and 2-3' wide and can be a bit aggressive so make sure it's neighbors can hold its own. Dainty, pale pink to white flowers with pink stamens emerge in late spring through summer, but this perennial remains interesting all year. The variety 'Cambridge Blue' is similar except with a lavender-blue flower.  We usually have several varieties of hardy Geranium in stock; they're great, tough, long-blooming perennials!

geranium biokovo fall coloCool fall weather brings out vibrant red and gold tones in some of the leaves but the leaves don't go completely dormant so you won't have an empty spot there in the winter. This tough geranium can be drought tolerant once established but will look freshest with regular water and a shearing after winter. A great groundcover for use with bulbs as it will mask fading bulb leaves and add flower interest after the bulb flowers are done. This is our go-to plant for a deer infested shade garden!

Baptisia australis

on Wednesday, 07 May 2014. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Blue False Indigo


Baptisia or Blue False Indigo may not be all that familiar but it should be for it's striking purple flower stalks and refreshing blue-green foliage.  It has what we always look for- drought tolerant (has deep roots), deer resistant (poisonous), good cut flowers (blooms in late spring), long lived (so can require some age to bloom and is slower growing), North American prairie native (can tolerate clay or sandy soils), and butterfly attractor.  The easy to care for Baptisia can get 3-4' tall and 18"-3' wide and is rather vase shaped, so low growing perennials at it's base might be nice. Looks great with chartreuse Euphorbias, round headed Alliums, or silver Artemesia nearby. The sweet pea-like flowers make a great contrast with grasses as well. We have an exciting new variety called 'Solar Flare' -  a sulphur yellow that just grabs your attention.