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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Sustainable Landscapes ►►► the “buzz” ►►

In recent years “sustainability” has become the buzzword for environmentally responsible landscaping.  School curricula are devoted to the training of it and national associations dedicated to developing standards for it.  But cut to the chase and you’ve probably subscribed to sustainable practices, which are based on principles of recycling and tend to mimic nature’s landscapes where native plants grow, said to be the only ...

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