5 Plants to Know

Eriophyllum ‘June Joy’ is a wonder in early summer with plentiful bright yellow blooms on a 3′ mound.

At a nursery known for offering thousands of varieties and keeping up with the latest, how can I pick the 5 plants to know from that inventory?  

Admittedly, the pick is going to be a bit random.   But these are tough plants, one and all.   Colorful and tough.  Let’s start with a rose, ‘William Baffin’.  This grows to about 8′ by 8′.   It  is bulletproof against the winter.  Yes, it is large.  But most homes have a back of the border spot, a sunny spot behind the home, or a fence for it to dress up.  

Here we see a closer shot of some flowers as well as the overall size of the bush against our 8′ fence.

Second, I’ll choose one of the brightest flowers of June.  Eriophyllum ‘June Joy’ is little known, but it is a marvelous color spot with its bright yellow flowers.  It will sometimes throw a few seedlings to add to the impact, but they are easy to control and not excessive.  This one is happy in full sun, though 6 hours or more will suffice.

Third, one of the queens in the perennial world, Geranium ‘Rozanne’.  This one blooms all summer long, and simply covers itself with blooms.  A hardy variety with blue/purple flowers and a lighter eye.  The one in my photo is supported on another plant giving it more height, but the photo shows just how much this plant loves to bloom.   Deserves to be in the 5 plants to know list.

‘Rozanne’ has won the Perennial Plant of the Year award and is simply one of the best blooming perennials.

Fourth, I’ll choose a hummingbird attractor.  In fact, the best attractor in our garden.  Nepeta siberica ‘Souvenir d’Andre Chaudron’ is a 4′ tall plant with a clump size that will be spreading.  An old plant left undivided will be 8′ or even larger.  Covered in blue flowers over a very long season, it will eventually look weary in later summer.  Just cut it back, and it will grow and bloom again.   It is a powerful performer and deserving of the ranking.

And finally, the fifth plant will be one that is similar in that it forms large spreading clumps like the Nepeta.   Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fire Charm’ is a lovely plant about 2′ tall with orange flowers in early summer.   The fall color is likewise spectacular, with red and orange shades appearing.  Deer resistant and tough, this plant is worth waiting for a clump to establish (3 years or so).   A spectacle in two seasons, and grown in far too few gardens.  That rounds out our 5 plants to know.

Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fire Charm’ is one of our 5 plants to know thanks to early summer color as well as a spectacular red fall display.


Nepeta siberica ‘Souvenir d’Andre Chaudron’ is a large catmint that is a persistent bloomer and hummingbird plant.