2015 Perennial Plant of the Year: Biokovo Geranium

BIOKOVA GERANIUM flowers closeup.jpg beechwoodlandscapecom   The Perennial Plant Association (PPA), annually names an outstanding plant its “Perennial of the Year.”  The 2015 selection is an easy-to-grow hardy geranium groundcover (spreading) perennial, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’, which is a cultivar that is native to the Biokovo Mountains in Croatia.  It is said to be hardy in zones 4-8.  It begins blooming in late spring, lasting through summer, with tiny white-petaled flowers, tinged slightly ...

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2014 Perennial Plant of the Year: Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ (Switchgrass)

Panicum Northwind summer foliage

Each year, the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) names an outstanding plant its “Perennial of the Year.”  The selection for 2014 is Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’,  an ornamental grass that was a runner-up in 2012.  This is one of the first PPA winners in recent history that I have not personally grown and used in landscapes, so I cannot ...

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Outstanding Fall Foliage

Paperbark MapleThe rich, earthy hues of fall provide a nice transition from the light, lively rainbow of pastels that marks summertime and the imminent (ominous) cold — maybe wet and windy — gray winter.  As the outside temperatures begin to drop, the deep yellows, russets, reds and maroons of the changing leaves provide warmth and brightness to this fleeting season.  Before the leaves are all gone, take note of ...

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Pretty in Pink – Plants Flowering in Early June

DSC02742Every day in June brings out new blooms.  Here is a selection of flowering plants blooming in the color pink in early June in Maryland. The light pink mass of carnation-like blooms held above powder-blue grass-like foliage, which happens to be evergreen, is Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Mountain Mist’, otherwise known as Cheddar Pinks (‘pinks’ for the pinking sheared look of the carnation-like ...

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Snow in May? No, Just White Flowering Plants

DSC02668   May of 2013 brought some very strange weather — sometimes temperatures fluctuating by 30 or 40  degrees within 24 hour periods.  Heat in the morning; air conditioning in the afternoon.  New plants in bloom each day, and the sometimes frigid nighttime temperatures,  made one think of snow.  Pictured here are some trees and shrubs covered with white blooms this May that are reminiscent of snow gracing the branches.  ...

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Spring Flowers in Silver Spring, MD

DSC02617  This Carol Mackie Daphne (Daphne burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’) graces the front entry way and provides breathtaking fragrance to passersby.  It is in full bloom several weeks later this year than is customary, and as always it is a welcome treat.  This shrub began blooming several weeks ago, appearing covered with white cotton balls, which have begun turning pink; and now ...

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Winter Flowers: Montgomery County, MD Landscaping

DSC02316 As the winter cold seems to be relentless here in upper Montgomery County, Maryland, it is exciting to go out into the garden each morning to see some new flowers coming into bloom. This adds some nice color to the chilly gray days that we are experiencing. Colorful flowers can be found on each plane of the landscape – from small trees/shrubs, to perennials, to emerging bulbs. Here ...

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2013 Perennial Plant of the Year: Solomon’s Seal

Once again, I am delighted to learn of the latest – 2013 – selection of  “Perennial Plant of the Year” by the Perennial Plant Association:  Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (Variegated Solomon’s Seal).  This outstanding plant has been one of my all-time favorite perennials mainly because of its stunning foliage, habit, and vitality that add color and spark to the shady woodland garden.

Solomon’s Seal stands 2 ½ to 3 feet tall and ...

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Ornamental Grasses Add Pizzazz

Every landscape should include a nice selection of ornamental grasses. They are very easy care plants – generally only needing shearing back close to the ground in early spring. They like lean soil – no need to fertilize. They are reliably deer resistant and pest free. They provide a range of benefits in the landscape – e.g., they make useful screening ...

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Design Consideration – Year-Round Interest

This time of year when we are, quite frankly, tired of a somewhat barren landscape, it is the opportune time to consider adding some plants that perform admirably throughout the year.  The best are those that exhibit desirable features that differ with the changing seasons.  Clearly, evergreens provide year-round interest, and your landscape should include many of them, interspersed with your deciduous plantings that shed their leaves ...

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Featured Plant ♦ ♦ ♦ Peony Hybrid

Peony2The perennial Peony hybrid, Paeonia x, provides a very long season of interest in many conditions.  It grows well in full to part sun, and it is reliably deer resistant.  It is commanding, growing to 2 ½ feet tall by 2-3 feet wide, making a good specimen, or it can be used to fill in borders.

It produces very large fragrant blooms in mid to late spring, in shades of white, pink, ...

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