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by High Country Gardens

All-Season Color Collection
The All-Season Color Collection blooms from late spring through late summer.

We’ve added a few new collections that are long-blooming and combine flower colors beautifully. You can't go wrong with any of these new offerings.

All-Season Color Collection

Keep your garden colorful and full of butterflies and hummingbirds with the All-Season Color Collection of waterwise perennials. Included are: Penstemon pinifolius, Penstemon pinifolius mersea Yellow, Coreopsis Moonbeam, Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm, Achillea New Vintage® Violet, Salvia sylvestris May Night. The flower colors are a well matched and the plants are all resilient, long bloomers that are well adapted to drier growing conditions once established. The plants are all resistant to browsing animals as well.

Plant highlights from this collection:

New Vintage® Violet Yarrow (Achillea millifolium hybrid) is a compact fern-leaf yarrow with stunning deep violet-pink flowers. The plant is notably more compact than traditional yarrow growing to form a tidy, vigorously blooming plant. Vintage Violet is short enough to use at the front of the garden and to line up along walkways and paths as edging plants. It thrives in all types of soils including clay.

Pineleaf Beardtongue and 'Mersea Yellow' Pineleaf beardtongue (Penstemon pinifolius). These two beardtongues represent the best of their genus Penstemon. They are long blooming with a stunning display of late spring/early summer flowers. Tidy evergreen foliage keeps them looking good year-round. Hummingbirds adore this western native species. I really like mixing the two in the same spot to combine the orange and yellow; it's like a wildflower fruit salad.

Agastache Best In Show Collection
Agastache Best In Show Collection

Agastache Best in Show Collection

As the name of this collection suggests, these Hummingbird Mint varieties are among the best of the genus. Included are Agastache rupestris, Agastache rupestris Glowing Embers, Agastache cana, Agastache aurantiaca 'Apricot Sprite', Agastache Blue Boa. With spires of profuse, tubular flowers, wonderfully aromatic herbs scents to the foliage and flowers, these late season bloomers keep your garden and containers in color for many months. The nectar rich flowers are irresistible to Hummingbirds and bumblebees. For gardeners east of the Mississippi, these are recommended for planting in containers where they will thrive and bloom their first year. Overwinter in a protected area or use as annuals in really cold Eastern climates.

Plant highlights from this collection:

Glowing Embers® Licorice Mint Hyssop (Agastache rupestris) is one of my early and favorite Agastache introductions from the late 1990's, this beauty has stood the test of time and earned its place in my waterwise garden. The glowing deep orange flowers are much darker and deeper orange than the regular species. And the foliage is very thread-like and grey-green giving this perennial a very exotic, other-worldly look. Plant it in poor (lean), fast-draining soil where it gets full sun and heat. Grow Glowing Embers® on the dry side once established after its first year in the garden.

'Blue Boa' Hummingbird Mint (Agastache hybrid) is a new future superstar on the blue side of the genus. With a mixture of genetics from Agastache foeniculum, Agastache rugosum and others, this Terra Nova introduction has huge, deep violet and blue flower spikes for many months. A sturdy, vigorous and large growing selection is a magnet for butterflies and bees of all types. Good moisture tolerance makes it a great choice for the moister climates of the eastern half of the US.

Everblooming Echinacea Collection
The Everblooming Echinacea Collection.

Everblooming Echinacea collection

I admit I'm not a fan of most of the fancy Echinacea hybrids on the market--but these three gorgeously colored selections represent the best of the group and ones I use in my garden designs. Included are Sombrero® Yellow Coneflower (Echinacea hybrid), Echinacea Tiki Torch Coneflower (Echinacea hybrid), Sombrero® Salsa Red (Echinacea hybrid). They are head-and-shoulders above the vast majority of these hybrids in terms of garden vigor, fade resistant colors and longevity. Coming from several of the best perennial breeding companies in the US, these three hybrid coneflowers will bring a lot of butterflies and bumblebees to your garden while providing several months of "killer" flowers during mid-summer. Plant them in a compost-enriched soil, keep the soil evenly moist and mulch amply to keep the soil cool while the plants establish. Leave them standing over the winter to improve cold hardiness.

Text by Founder and Chief Horticulturist David Salman.

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