Let’s take a look back over the past 10 years of the winners of the perennial plant of the year. These plants all still hold a valuable place in our landscape and garden centers.
2004- Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted Fern)-This excellent addition to the shade garden provides lovely color and texture.
2005- Helleborus- One of the first perennials to bloom in the garden, that alone makes it a winner. It has the added bonus of great evergreen foliage.
2006- Dianthus ‘Fire Witch’- Hot pink flowers in the spring add so much color to the garden. When the flowers are gone the silvery-blue foliage make a nice groundcover.
2007- Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’- Long, long bloom time, starts in the late spring and goes into fall. Deer resistant to boot!
2008- Geranium ‘Rozanne’- This geranium cannot be beat, nonstop color from late spring into the late fall. Very versatile, it can be used in mass plantings, specimen plant, containers the list is endless.
2009- Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’- The stunning bright yellow leaves with thin green lines brighten up shady areas so well these are a must! Looks great with blue hostas.
2010- Baptisia australis- An excellent native with very showy flowers in the late spring and long black seed pods that add fall and winter interest.
2011-Amsonia hubrichtii- A southern native that has awesome fall color. The narrow needle-like foliage makes a beautiful display all summer.
2012-Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’- The large silver-frosted leaves with green veins and blue forget-me-not like flowers in the spring are breathtaking. A favorite for the shade.
2013- Polygonatum ‘Variegatum’- A classic shade perennial that has been described to have an architectural feel in the shade garden with its striking, upright, arching foliage. Just beautiful.
2014- Panicum ‘Northwind’- This year’s pick has so many excellent qualities. It is the most upright of all the panicums, with striking blue-green foliage. Northwind is also very drought tolerant once established! Lovely plumes arrive in the fall. Panicums are native plants. This is one of the best grasses out there!
Herbs are a great addition to any household. Requiring just sunshine and well-drained soil, herbs are easy to grow in the garden, a pot on the patio or on your windowsill in the kitchen. Herbs can be annuals, perennials and even biennials, and they are grown for many uses: culinary, medicinal, or ornamental. With such diversity everyone can find a place for one or many.
Culinary herbs may be the most popular. Every dish tastes better with fresh herbs. They can be added to salads, salsa, sauces, soups, meats, vegetables, fruits and even cocktails. Simple foods can take on whole new flavors when fresh herbs are added. Some of the more popular culinary herbs are basil, rosemary, thyme, mints, oregano, sage, parsley, lavender, dill, cilantro, chives and catnip. Some herbs, like Chamomile, play a role in traditional medicine and it is used in teas to help with indigestion, anxiety and host of other things.
Depending on the variety, potted herbs can start to be planted outside as early as March. Many people may want to buy herbs in early spring and keep them on their windowsill to harvest even before they are able to plant them in the garden.
Ornamental herbs are excellent in all types of gardens. Many of them are not edible, while others have been developed to be the “showy” version of the herb. Santolina is an annual ornamental herb that is a great border in an herb garden, while ornamental thymes are perfect perennials to go in between stones on a path.
Herbs are so diverse and easy to care for they are an excellent fit for any gardener. From the novice kitchen gardener who is just learning, to the long time experienced gardener who wants to try all the different varieties out there!
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us. And, recommendations for new plant varieties are always welcome.
After the holidays are over and the long cold days of winter have settled in, we are all in need of a little pick me up. One of the best cures for the winter blues is to start planning for spring. Think about the birds chirping, being able to open your windows and the bounty of beautiful flowers just a few months away.
Our spring availability offers lots of color. For late winter, don’t miss out on our long list of hellebores. Our expanded quart list has more options than ever and covers a wide range of perennials. For 2014, we have an impressive list of clematis in every color under the rainbow, tons of awesome coreopsis and plenty of hot new echinacea varieties. And there is a great listing of salvia in different heights and colors, nonstop flowering nepetas and crowd pleasing phlox.
For foliage plants, there are ferns, grasses, heucheras and hosta just to get started. For shade, we have epimedium, lamium, poylgonatum and galium. For sun, we carry fallopia, thyme, hypericum and lavender. And we have a large inventory of vinca which does well in both sun and shade.
We also have many unusual perennials that are hard to find, tried and true varieties, and our beautiful and well known herbs. It all comes to you with our excellent customer service. So just remember when the snow keeps piling up, spring is right around the corner!
Stop by and see us at CENTS in January and check out our 2014 catalog.
Recently there has a lot of buzz about sustainability; which is great news for the green industry as we have been utilizing sustainable practices for quite some time. Planting into the landscape can help control soil erosion and provide other benefits for the landscape. Planting the right plant in the right spot and for the right reasons is one way that we can effectively practice sustainability.
By understanding the site to be planted and the desired effects of the installment we can reduce loss and minimize long term maintenance. Ohio is a diverse state, with numerous micro climates ranging from prairie grasslands, to rich woodlands and wetlands. Our native plants have adapted in ways that allow them to thrive in their natural habitats. Tiarellas are an outstanding plant for a moist, well drained woodland garden. Heucheras are great for well drained shade, but can rot if the soil is too moist. While not native, Helleborus is a wonderful plant for the shade, which is deer resistant, evergreen, and features delightful early blooms that say “spring is coming!”
Echinacea purpurea, or purple coneflower, is a familiar plant that is native to prairies. It can take strong sun and is drought tolerant once established. Plant breeders have worked extensively with Echinaceas to produce showy, hardy and disease resistant varieties. Hardy cultivars bred for reduced plant loss are economically sustainable for the landscape owner and benefit the environment by requiring less spraying. We offer a wide variety of these cultivars, but an especially showy one, “Hot Papaya” features multi colored flowers: opening as a single orange and maturing to a fragrant double red.
Caltha palustris is another example of the many wonderful and site specific natives available at Art Form. Caltha will thrive in a continuously moist shady site. It has glossy green foliage throughout the season and bright yellow flowers in early spring.
There is a plant for every site, and sustainability can be achieved by planting for the site, not by changing the site for the plant. This is not only ecologically sustainable but economically sustainable and sound by lowering costs and long term maintenance. We offer a wide variety of perennials at Art Form, and we are available to assist you with plant selection and any questions you may have.