Updated: Jul 15, 2022
Scientific Name: Phlomis russeliana
Common Name: Turkish sage
Family: Lamiaceae (mint family)
This unique-looking herbaceous perennial hails from the open woods and clearings in Turkey and Syria (Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d.), which means it does best in full sun and drier-average moisture soils as long as it's well-draining. It boasts upright verticillaster inflorescences, which means that the flowers look as though they're arranged in a whorl but are a pair of opposite axillary flowers. The cymose inflorescence makes it so that this perennial's stalks flower sequentially and not all at once. According to Missouri Botanical Garden, the flowers give way to ornamental seed heads in the fall, which I'm looking forward to seeing.
Scientific Name: Anemone rivularis
Common Name: Riverside wildflower
Family: Ranunculaceae (buttercup family)
I have a really big thing for plants that have either foliage or flowers that are one colour from above and another below. That's why one of my favourite woody shrubs of all time is Brachyglottis 'Sunshine', and probably why I like Magnolia grandiflora so much. I love how it looks different from multiple perspectives and looks dynamic as it rustles slightly in the wind. This perennial is no exception, its flowers stark white on top, blue anthers, and purple-blue underneath. Not to mention, these flowers start out as purple-blue buds, giving us some interest prior to bloom. Anemone rivularis prefers slightly cooler temperatures but likes the sun and some moisture too. Anemone's are generally tough, and look great planted in drifts.
Do you know what pairs well with Brachyglottis 'Sunshine'....?
Scientific Name: Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’
Common Name: Powis Castle Artemisia, Powis Castle Sage, wormwood
Family: Asteraceae (aster/daisy family)
This beautiful silvery shrub-like perennial was propagated in the late 1960s to line the walls and terraces surrounding the National Trusts' Powis Castle in Wales (North Carolina State University, n.d.). It has finely textured foliage that grows in upright, spreading mounds. It has tiny yellow flowers on the off-chance it actually blooms. With great drainage and some sun, this perennial is an easy choice for planting beds, rock gardens, xeriscapes, and slight slopes. At the UBC Botanical Garden, it was planted next to Brachyglottis 'Sunshine' and I thought it looked magnificent! But.. apparently, it doesn't look nearly as magnificent in the winter time so it would be a good idea to think about how to hide that with some shrubs.
Scientific Name: Carex elata ‘Aurea’
Common Name: Bowles' golden sedge
Family: Cyperaceae (sedge family)
I already loved sedges and think are great choices for the landscape, so I was excited to see Carex elata ‘Aurea’ on our visit to Granville Island. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the genus name Carex means cutter in Latin, referring to its sharp leaves and stem edges, and the specific epithet elata means tall. A lot of sedges are water lovers, and this species is no exception; it is a typical wetland margin plant. However, it is still tolerant of garden conditions as long as it gets some moisture and a good amount of sun. If it gets too hot, this variety will fade its colour to chartreuse green. This grass feels great to touch and looks amazing when it sways in the wind and has a nice solid green foliage backdrop behind it.
Scientific Name: Nepeta x faassenii
Common Name: Faassen's catmint
Family: Lamiaceae (mint family)
Proven Winners exclaims that there is NO catmint that is a more beautiful, uniform grower than this catmint. Both Proven Winners and Doug mentioned how tough this plant is, seeing as it doesn't flop over as easily as some of the other varieties. For many reasons, this perennial is very valuable in the landscape because of its toughness, its sterility, its attractiveness to pollinators, and its long-lasting flowers. This perennial will flower numerous times after being cut back. It has verticillaster inflorescences like Phlomis russeliana. As long as it has well-drained soil and a good amount of sun, this is a great option for many scenarios. It is especially good for median or border plantings because it won't get upset if someone brushes up against it.
Scientific Name: Adiantum venustum
Common Name: Himalayan Maidenhair
This is one of Doug's favourite evergreen ferns and I must concur because Adiantum venustum not only looks beautiful and delicate but is quite tough and hardy. This fern is rhizomatous, forming a nice groundcover mat no bigger than 20-25cm tall. It has ovate fronds composed of small fan-shaped leaflets on black stems. Adiantum venustum will survive in a container, having a dog run over it, and a small drought but the one thing it won't tolerate is that hot west-facing spot in the sun during the summer. The arching fronds will turn a lovely rusty-brown in the fall and winter.
“Artemisia 'Powis Castle'.” North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/artemisia-powis-castle/.
“Phlomis Russeliana.” Missouri Botanical Garden, www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=241499.
“Carexelata 'Aurea'” Missouri Botanical Garden,
“Cat's Meow' Catmint Nepeta Faassenii.” Proven Winners, www.provenwinners.com/plants/nepeta/cats-meow-catmint-nepeta-faassenii.