Top 13 Perennials For 2013

– Posted in: Garden Design, Perennials

I’ve experimented with several dozen perennials over the years. But there are certain ones that I return to ~ time and again. They are star performers, easy to grow, hardy, can handle a wide range of soils, and moisture. Each of them adds a unique element to any garden. They are classics.

The genii listed below have other species, varieties, and cultivars that are just as outstanding as these ~ several of which I’ve used in gardens (panicum has about 450 species).

Here are my Top 13 Perennials for 2013.

Achillea millefolium

 

Amsonia hubrichtii

Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’

 

Astilbe chinensis ‘Visions In Pink’

 

Echinacea pallida

 

Eupatorium purpureum

 

Lavandula (?)

 

Macleya cordata – Plume Poppy

 

Macleya cordata -front right hand side with large plumes

 

Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’

 

Perovskia atriplicifolia

 

Salvia pratensis

 

Sedum ‘Red Cauli’

If I’ve mislabeled any plant, please correct. And if anyone knows what lavender it is in photo, do tell!

Now it’s your turn. What are your Perennial Picks for 2013?

Fran Sorin

Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic, was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality, and transformation.

In addition to being a recognized garden expert and deep ecologist, Fran is a broadcaster, journalist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, and Soul Tender.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Elle January 5, 2013, 11:10 am

Just beautiful Fran. Wish they’d grow here in southern Florida. Got any ideas?

Love Elle
xoxo

Deirdre in Seattle January 5, 2013, 5:00 pm

I’m not big on perennials in general, and I live in a very different climate, but….

There are some fabulous Euphorbias in everything from deep red to silver green. One just have to be careful to get clumpers, not runners like E. griffithii ‘Fireglow’ which wants to take over the world. Various Arums have nondescript flowers, but great, winter leaves and showy, fall berries. I like them very much. In my opinion, no shade garden would be complete without trout lilies. I’m very fond of the yellow foxglove, Digitalis grandiflora, and species primroses of all kinds even if I do have to protect them from slugs. Acanthus mollis is pretty spectacular plus it tolerates sun or shade and is drought tolerant. I should put more of it under that damned maple. Japanese Forest grass (Hakonechloa) in stripes, green, or gold is always a hit with visitors to my garden, and it’s really easy to grow.

Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening January 5, 2013, 8:18 pm

A nice selection of hardy perennials. Some of these are definitely on my list-Salvia, Astilbe, Echinacea, Sedum and Perovskia are all very hardy and give a good display of color. I enjoyed your post…glad to have found you!

Fran Sorin January 7, 2013, 7:23 am

Hi Lee,
As you already know, they are easy to grow and give tremendous results :) Fran

Fran Sorin January 7, 2013, 7:27 am

Deidre-
I love all euphorbias. I don’t remember Euphorbia grithii ‘Fireglow’ as being terribly aggressive. You’re also lucky that you live in a climate where you can grow some euphorbias that are not hardy on the East Coast. Acanthus mollis? I can’t tell you how many times I tried growing it with no success.

Thanks for sharing your offerings with us :)

Fran Sorin January 7, 2013, 10:53 am

Elle-

Since moving to a Mediterranean climate, my plant palette has changed dramatically. If you want to discuss in more detail about what plants you can use, FB me and then we can start a dialogue. :) Fran

Hunter Ten Broeck January 7, 2013, 11:09 am

I have been happier with ‘Seafoam’ Artemsia over ‘Powis Castle’ here in Albuquerque as it stays more evergreen and compact. I really love Zauchneria or Hummingbird Trumpet Flower for it’s long blooming period and how it really attracts the Hummers !

nicole January 7, 2013, 4:14 pm

Great selection! Will be using a couple you mentioned in the spring!

Fran Sorin January 8, 2013, 2:56 am

Great Nicole – You won’t be disappointed. They are winners. :)

Fran Sorin January 8, 2013, 3:02 am

Hunter – I understand why. It is drought resistant – perfect xeric gardeners – and holds its shape beautifully – as you mentioned.
Thanks for sharing. :) Fran

HB January 8, 2013, 4:31 pm

They come and they go, but Geranium ‘Rozanne’ remains perfection.

Fran Sorin January 9, 2013, 1:51 am

Oh yes indeed…it’s a beauty. :) Fran

Joy January 10, 2013, 5:12 pm

Lavender looks similar to Hidcote.

Fran Sorin January 11, 2013, 3:34 am

Joy-

There’s a good chance that you’re right! Will check it out. Thanks so much. Fran

Fran Sorin January 21, 2013, 9:53 am

Garden Prince –

Garden Prince…. it’s a great list. Thanks for sharing.

I’ve written up responses to most of them.

Could not find the botanical name for Aster amellus Veilchenkonigin.

Echinacea purpurea Fatal Attraction is beautiful – I like its dark stems with its orange bronze center and bright pink flowers—very showy – I see that Piet Oudolf is the breeder. Low maintenance, long lasting, etc.

Euphorbia polychroma Major
– Thanks for this reminder. It is magnificent – I think – particularly with spring flowering bulbs. Although I have used several other euphorbias, I’ve never tried this one.

Geranium psilostemon Major
- Oh yes indeed – what an outstanding color combination. The first time I saw the magenta paired with orange was at Great Dixer. Psilostemon was the premiere geranium sp. I had in my garden. The amazing thing is that the magenta color goes well with every color. Who would have thought it possible?

Gillenia trifoliata
- I have never used it. Thanks for letting us know that it’s a winner.

Miscanthus sinensis Ferner Osten – Ah….it looks like you are a follower of the Dutch wave of perennial plantings. I have never tried Ferner Osten but it is described as looking like a prairie plant and is only 5 feet all…which is a positive for me now that I am gardening on a roof top.

Persicaria amplexicaulis – Red Form – I have used this perennial for years in my garden. One of my faves BUT it does need a lot of space….I would say that it borders on being aggressive – But not..

Rudbeckia Fulgida goldstrum
- Yes – it is one of the great perennials – native of North America which it always a plus. For any gardener, it is a must. I love it in mass plantings, near ornamental grasses, great looking during the winter and a good cut flower….you can’t go wrong with it.

Salvia nemerosa Caradonna
and Sedum Abbey Dore – I have never met a salvia or sedum that I haven’t liked.

Fran Sorin January 21, 2013, 9:56 am

Garden Prince…. it’s a great list. Thanks for sharing.

I’ve written up responses to most of them.

Could not find the botanical name for Aster amellus Veilchenkonigin.

Echinacea purpurea Fatal Attraction is beautiful – I like its dark stems with its orange bronze center and bright pink flowers—very showy – I see that Piet Oudolf is the breeder. Low maintenance, long lasting, etc.

Euphorbia polychroma Major – Thanks for this reminder. It is magnificent – I think – particularly with spring flowering bulbs. Although I have used several other euphorbias, I’ve never tried this one.

Geranium psilostemon Major – Oh yes indeed – what an outstanding color combination. The first time I saw the magenta paired with orange was at Great Dixer. Psilostemon was the premiere geranium sp. I had in my garden. The amazing thing is that the magenta color goes well with every color. Who would have thought it possible?

Gillenia trifoliata – I have never used it. Thanks for letting us know that it’s a winner.

Miscanthus sinensis Ferner Osten – Ah….it looks like you are a follower of the Dutch wave of perennial plantings. I have never tried Ferner Osten but it is described as looking like a prairie plant and is only 5 feet all…which is a positive for me now that I am gardening on a roof top.

Persicaria amplexicaulis – Red Form – I have used this perennial for years in my garden. One of my faves BUT it does need a lot of space….I would say that it borders on being aggressive – But not..

Rudbeckia Fulgida goldstrum – Yes – it is one of the great perennials – native of North America which it always a plus. For any gardener, it is a must. I love it in mass plantings, near ornamental grasses, great looking during the winter and a good cut flower….you can’t go wrong with it.

Salvia nemerosa Caradonna and Sedum Abbey Dore – I have never met a salvia or sedum that I haven’t liked.