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No Sympathy for Symphyotrichum - Aster novae-angliae ‘Grape Crush’ & ‘Purple Dome’

No Sympathy for Symphyotrichum - Aster novae-angliae ‘Grape Crush’ & ‘Purple Dome’

Posted by John Friel on Nov 10th 2022

The “aster disaster” rocked the perennial world over 20 years ago when that venerable genus was torn asunder.Those darned taxonomists shipped all “New World” asters off to tongue-twisting new genera like Eurybia, Doellingeria and, in the case of our two favorites, Symphiotrichum.Many professionals snubbed the neologisms and kept right on calling them “asters.” That’s where you’ll find them in our catalog, with Symphiotrichum second. Because that’s where our customers look for them. By any name,
“And the Eagle Flies with the Dove…” Steven Stills, Love The One You’re With

“And the Eagle Flies with the Dove…” Steven Stills, Love The One You’re With

Posted by John Friel on Jul 27th 2022

Flights of Fancy in the Backyard Zoo!Don’t look now, but critters have taken root in your garden. Relax, they’re friendly – and they’re animals in name only. Let’s meet one... heck, make it two – in one plant! Aquilegia: Bird of prey, or bird of peace? The genus name comes from the Latin for eagle (aquila), because the long petal spurs reminded Linnaeus of an eagle’s talons. But the common name, columbine, is from the Latin for dove (columba), because someone else thought the flower resembled d
Sometimes it’s Good to Have the Blues  (Salvia nemorosa Blue Hill)

Sometimes it’s Good to Have the Blues (Salvia nemorosa Blue Hill)

Posted by John Friel on May 20th 2022

In perennials, true blue and true red can be hard to find. Some of the best examples of each are found in the same genus: Salvia. Salvia nemorosa Blue Hill (‘Blauhugel’) boasts one of the truest blue flowers you can grow. At maturity, it lives up to its name, forming neat, uniform mounds of sturdy blue spikes. Blue Hill’s size makes it a natural for the middle of the border. At retail, it makes good-looking gallons with minimal fuss. It’s not as well known as some other hardy Salvia varieti
What’s so low about Nepeta ×faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’? Nothing!

What’s so low about Nepeta ×faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’? Nothing!

Posted by John Friel on Apr 7th 2022

The word “Low” does not describe the height of this lovely, fragrant perennial. It stands 2½ – 3’, which makes it a good fit mid-border, or even back-of-the-border in smaller settings. It brings a cheerful, informal look to plantings of any size. Rather, the name honors the owner of the Irish garden where ‘Walker’s Low’ originated – where its soft mounds of gray-green foliage and loose spikes of lavender-blue flowers, from late spring well into summer, were first appreciated. ‘Walker’s
Some Like it Cool (Aquilegia)

Some Like it Cool (Aquilegia)

Posted by John Friel on Jan 14th 2022

“And the eagle flies with the dove.” – Stephen StillsYou know “cool crops” as a description of certain annuals that don’t need (or like) lots of heat to finish for spring sales. Well, it’s not just for annuals anymore. Pick the right early-flowering perennials, and you can realize significant energy savings.If you like your benches full and your heating bills low, we’ve got the perfect perennials for you. And if you like your symbols scrambled, we’ve got you covered there, too. Aquilegia is

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