Unbeatable Plant Picks for Your Garden

Unbeatable Plant Picks for Your Garden

Fargesia Robusta,  Image © Noah Bell – www.bamboogarden.com, courtesy Great Plant PicksBy Mary Margaret Cromarty
Guest Columnist

Spring is an inspiring time: rhododendrons and cherry trees covered in blossoms; perennials coming up; bulbs; birds; longer days; warmer weather. Nurseries full of plants to fall in love with.

You know: the ones you water every week all summer until your vacation in August when they die. The ones that want “moist soil” (in August?).

But there’s good news! Great Plant Picks is full of “unbeatable plant picks” you can fall in love with and, when you get back from your vacation, they’ll still be around. The GPP plants have been researched and tested and (with only a little care) they’ll perform beautifully in Pacific Northwest gardens.

Amaryllis Belladonna Image © Judy Newton, courtesy Great Plant Picks And the 2008 additions include some wonderful plants (to see full-size images, click on the photo; click again to return to thumbnail).

Do you love bamboo but hate the runners? Try Fountain Bamboo (Fargesia robusta), a clumping bamboo.

What about a bulb that will bloom in midsummer, is extremely drought-tolerant and thrives on neglect? Naked Ladies (Amaryllis belladonna).

Or a big, dramatic, tropical-looking plant for the front yard, one that will make people take a second look? And that the slug and deer won’t eat overnight? Cynara Cardunculus, Image © Gary Lewis (www.phoenixperennials.com), courtesy Great Plant PicksTry Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus). I saw a sweet one in the Falling Waters Gardens booth in the North Marketplace.

Camellia Vernalis Yuletide,  Image © Richie Steffen, courtesy Great Plant PicksOr do you want something to brighten the long, dark days of winter? The red blooms of Christmas Camellia (Camellia x vernalis “Yuletide”) will be perfect. There are several in the Display Garden, Up on the Rooftop.

Dry shade? There are Great Plant Picks for that.
Steep slopes? Boggy areas? Too many slugs? GPP has you covered.

Pick up the 2008 booklet with all the plants at the GPP booth in the North Marketplace, just to the right when you cross the Skybridge. And be sure to check http://www.greatplantpicks.org/ for more information on and pictures of the plants.

Now that you’re armed with a list of plants that will thrive in your garden, go fall in love with one. You may even discover your August vacations are worry free!

About the columnist: Mary Margaret Cromarty has been going to the Show for 15 or 20 years, usually on Wednesday or Thursday (she takes the day off work). She says that the Show is a great place to connect with people who know more than she does—this year she learned from experts at the NW Orchid Society and Hardy Fern Foundation.

  • Deborah Burns
    Posted at 11:39h, 24 February Reply

    Great Plant Picks is such a great resource for interesting plants that as you so aply describe; will survive an August vacation! While they are tried and true, they are also interesting and can add drama, like the cardoon

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