Great Garden Plants - Blog
Home Free Newsletter Top Categories About Us Shop

Posts Tagged ‘Butterfly Lovers’

Sedum Autumn Joy – Garden Design Ideas

Sedum Autumn Joy

Sedum Autumn Joy Combination Ideas

One of our favorite sun perennial is Sedum Autumn Joy that I wrote about yesterday.  Today I want to give you a few garden design ideas with Autumn Joy Sedum.  Autumn Joy  has a stiff upright habit, with pink umbels in late summer and grows to about 2′ tall  A stunning combination is  a medium size ornamental grasses such as Pennisetum which provides an airy, free flowing style to the rigid stems of Sedum.  (Featured lower right).  Another mid size grass I like using is Feather Reed Grass or Calamagrostis Karl Foerster.

Another combination is using Perovskia (or Russian Sage)  (Left).  The tall upright spikes of blue play well against the flat pink umbels in addition to adding more height in the garden. This is a very popular combination used by professional landscape designers.

Caryopteris (Blue Mist Shrub) (Upper right) is one of those overlooked shrubs that burst into color in late summer and fall with beautiful blue flowers.  Here again, the blue and pink pair very well in the landscape together.

All these plants mentioned are drought proof and sun loving and very easy to grow, especially for beginner gardeners.

These are just a few combination ideas to get you started with designed with Sedum Autumn Joy.

For more on Sedum Autumn Joy  CLICK HERE


Sedum Autumn Joy – Trouble free perennial with 4 Seasons of Appeal!

Sedum Autumn Joy

The flower color transitions like the season from a light pink to a coppery hue.

It’s hard for me to find anything tougher in my not-too-good soil than Sedum Autumn Joy.

This drought and deer proof sun perennial has become a mainstay in my yard.  It endures in areas where others struggle and needs little water to thrive and is hardy from Zone 3-9

We consider Autumn Joy to be one of the BEST in low maintenance plants. Just give them well drained soil, a sunny location and good drainage for best results .

The flower color transitions like the season from a light pink to a coppery hue in the fall. I like nothing more than cutting a few stems of Sedum and a few ornamental grasses for a simple indoor fall bouquet.  The flower heads provide beautiful winter interest poking thru snow while capturing leaves that provide added protection for the plant during the winter.

For more on Sedum CLICK HERE

Great combination partners:  Ornamental Grasses, Asters, and other Sedums.

Coneflower Butterfly Kisses – Fragrant Perennial for Small Space Gardening

Coneflower Butterfly Kisses

Coneflower Butterfly Kisses is a perfect fit almost anywhere!

Butterfly Kisses Coneflower is packed with beautiful double pink pompom blooms on short stems.  The fact that it has smaller flowers than other coneflowers doesn’t faze me a bit since there are so many handsome long flowering blooms on short upright stems that are just the right height for small children to enjoy the lingering butterflies.

Coneflowers or Echinacea are easy to grow in sun to part shade providing mid-late summer color in the perennial garden.  Like most double flowering forms, they open single.  This one has a nice lime green center to it early on before becoming fully double pink.  Butterfly Kisses is from Arie Blom – a long time Coneflower breeder who has introduced some of the most garden worthy & colorful Echinacea over the years.  (See Double Coneflowers – Meet the Breeder)

Here are a few garden design ideas with this enchanting new FRAGRANT coneflower.

Foundation Planting.  If you have a few large shrubs around your foundation and this area is getting about 4 hours of sun, Butterfly Kisses would be a colorful foreground planting in front of a couple of Hydrangea Endless Summer.

Echinacea Butterfly Kisses_collage

Pairing Tip: Pinks and Blues always look great!

Front of the border.  At only 12-15” tall it is ideal for the front of the border or use in very narrow border or where you might have limited space.

Containers.  There short, compact habit lends well to container planting.

Cheerful Neighbors:

There are lots of perennial combinations you could use.  Personally, I like pairing blues and pinks together.  Here are a few combination ideas:

Hardy from Zones 4-9, this Butterfly Kisses Echinacea deserves a place in any perennial garden.

Visit for other terrific coneflowers.

Easy Gardening with Drought Proof Nepeta Ground Cover

Nepeta & Roses combine beautifully on this slope

Nepeta or Catmint is one of the easiest drought proof ground covers you’ll ever grow.  This sun perennial is a member of the mint family and known for its fragrant foliage & flowers.  Catmint  will fill in fast, thrive on neglect and little water, yet still reward you with long lasting blooms.

Walker Low's gentle lax habit adds a soft look in this garden setting

I’ve grown a number of varieties of Nepeta over the years, and one that I’m particularly fond of is Walker’s Low .(Zone 3 hardy)  Just give this tough plant a sunny, well drained location and enjoy delightful blue  blooms from early summer-frost.

Here’s why Nepeta is such a great plant:

  • Terrific for banks and slopes.  Drought tolerant so it can take those tough sites
  • Edging – Gentle spilling habit softens any hardscape
  • Ground cover – makes an excellent ground cover for sunny areas
  • Sprawling habit  fills in fast
  • Blooms the first year
  • 8” lavender blue spikes (I cannot get enough of blues!)
  • Long bloom time
  • Thrives will little water
  • Garden Design –   Cool blue Nepeta blooms combine so well with warm yellows/golds such as Rudbeckia or Coreopsis,  For one of the longest blooming combinations, combine with Knock Out Roses.
  • Resistant to pests and diseases

Nepeta works well in sunny areas as an under planting to small trees

About the only thing I do is shear it back after its first flower flush.  This not only makes for a tidy plant but encourages a new flush of blooms.   I also remove old growth in early spring.

If you are looking for easy gardening – make sure you add Nepeta Walker’s Low to your list – you’ll be glad you gave it a try.

More on Nepeta:

Nepeta & Rose Collection

5 Reasons Why Coneflower Marmalade is a Great Garden Plant

Marmalade Coneflower grows up to 30" tall and combines well with Ornamental Grasses, Butterfly Bush and so much more!

Coneflowers are one of the best garden plants.  They tolerate heat, wind, humidity, drought, clay soil, and some shade and come in an array of colors, heights, flower forms. It is really difficult to choose because they are so beautiful.   (ok – I’ll  take three of each just because I can’t make up my mind).

Echinacea Marmalade really caught my attention this past year.  It’s no wonder since it’s from breeder Arie Bloom (Plants Nouveau). Arie has been bringing  us so many amazing, mostly double flowering coneflowers such as Hot Papaya, Pink Double Delight, Coconut Lime, and Marmalade to name a few.

There are a few things I noticed about Marmalade Coneflower this past year and why it is such a  jammin great plant.

1 – Double the Color=Double the Fragrance

Beautifully formed 4” flowers each containing 150 vibrant orange petals. Blooms will range from a oh-so-pretty deep

150 FRAGRANT petals that make great cut flower bouquets

orange to a peachy buff color.  Double flowering forms means double the fragrance in your garden!  Plus Coneflowers make for a great cut flower!

2 – Longest Coneflower to Bloom

Marmalade was in full bloom in Mid-June.  In Michigan, Coneflowers don’t even start blooming in July and still in full bloom in September with any cutting back or deadheading!

3 – Lax Attitude

Coneflowers can vary in habit from upright to varying degrees of lax, more open habit.  The later, like Marmalade makes for a fuller plant while providing cozy company when nestled in between two taller plants  (such as Butterfly Bush and Pennisetum Karley Rose).

4 – Lasting Color

Deep orange blooms ages to a long lasting buff color.  Other coneflowers turn black immediately after the flower fades,

Marmalade has transitioned to a soft, buff color and still going strong in late September in Michigan

but not Marmalade. This coneflower will give you long lasting garden performance late in the season before turning dark.

5 – Highest Coneflower Rating

Every year, Great Garden Plants donate new plants to Chicago Botanical Gardens for their Plant Trials.   We were very pleased to hear from Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation Manager that amidst hundreds of Coneflowers in their evaluation, this was his favorite Coneflower in 2011 for exceptional display and performance.

Add this charming Coneflower to your perennial garden this year, if you haven’t done so already.

Where to Buy Echinacea Marmalade

Tips on Growing Coneflowers

Buy In Bulk & Save - Shop Now!
Great Garden Plants - e-Newsletter
RSS Feed
Video Library
Pinterest Activity
  • Sedum Plum Dazzled i
  • One of our favorite
  • Sedum Little Missy p
  • Sedumsod Mini Mats.
  • Carex Blue Zinger -
  • SedumSod is a 10x20"