by David Salman

New Perennial Plant Collections: Monarch Magic Collection
Monarch Magic Collection

High Country Gardens is adding two new perennial plant collections to our offerings for fall planting.

New Perennial Plant Collections: The Monarch Magic Collection (Five Plants/One of Each Variety)

Few insects inspire so much excitement and affection as our beloved Monarch butterflies. But because of the extensive use of herbicides across much of their North American habitat and deforestation of the pine forests in central Mexico where the migrate to spend the winter, their populations are plummeting.

Give monarch butterflies a boost by providing these migratory wonders with nectar for the adult butterflies and food for the caterpillars with the High Country Gardens' Monarch Magic collection. The collection includes one plant each of:

The collection includes three fall-blooming perennials (Liatris and two Asters) that provide the migrating adult butterflies with nectar on their trip south to Mexico.

The collection also includes two of the most widespread Milkweed species that monarch butterflies will utilize as food plants for their caterpillars. Milkweeds (Asclepias) are the only plants that monarch caterpillars will eat. To avoid being eaten by birds, Monarchs have evolved to metabolize the bitter compounds in Milkweed as they feed on the foliage. With the unique color pattern of their wings, birds recognize and avoid eating monarchs so not to ingest the noxious milkweed chemical compounds contained in the butterfly's tissues.

So pitch in and plant for the Monarchs. Together we gardeners can make a difference and help to turn things around for these unique North American butterflies.

  1. Sedum Autumn Fire Fall Color, Red and Pink Sedum Autumn Fire, Autumn Fire Stonecrop

    Autumn Fire is an improved form of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' that is larger growing, has larger flower heads and is longer blooming. The flat heads of rose-pink flowers appear in late summe...

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    Sedum Autumn Fire Autumn Fire Stonecrop Sedum Autumn Fire
    $10.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Autumn Fire is an improved form of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' that is larger growing, has larger flower heads and is longer blooming. The flat heads of rose-pink flowers appear in late summer. Leave the faded flowers on the plant for added winter interest.
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  2. Blue Salvia reptans, Salvia reptans, West Texas Grass Sage

    West Texas Grass Sage is an amazing plant originally collected from the mountains of West TX. Blooming in early fall with hundreds of cobalt blue flowers, this xeric species is very...

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    Salvia reptans West Texas Grass Sage Salvia reptans
    $9.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    West Texas Grass Sage is an amazing plant originally collected from the mountains of West TX. Blooming in early fall with hundreds of cobalt blue flowers, this xeric species is very cold hardy and a hummingbird favorite. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  3. Origanum Rotkugel close up with bee Photo courtesy of Emmis Oure

    Rotkugel is one of the very best ornamental oreganos that blooms in mid-to late summer with a profusion of flower heads filled with small bright pink flowers. A fantastic perennial...

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    Origanum Rotkugel Rotkugel Ornamental Oregano Origanum Rotkugel
    $10.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Rotkugel is one of the very best ornamental oreganos that blooms in mid-to late summer with a profusion of flower heads filled with small bright pink flowers. A fantastic perennial for feeding bees and butterflies .
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  4. Pink Monarda fistulosa, Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamot (Bee Balm), Wichita Mountains Form

    Exclusive. The Wichita Mountains form of Monarda fistulosa is a wildflower gem blooming in mid-summer with a fabulous display of lavender-pink flowers that attract hummingbirds. Mode...

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    Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot Bee Balm Monarda fistulosa Wichita Mountains Form
    $9.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Exclusive. The Wichita Mountains form of Monarda fistulosa is a wildflower gem blooming in mid-summer with a fabulous display of lavender-pink flowers that attract hummingbirds. Moderately xeric once established. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
    Learn More

New Perennial Plant Collections: The Oriental Poppy (Palaver) Collection

(Nine Plants/Three of Each Variety)

The genus Papaver (the family name for poppies) is one of horticulture's most popular group of annuals and perennials. The High Country Garden's Oriental Poppy Collection" includes three plants each of our best selling Oriental poppy varieties:

Oriental Poppy Collection

Oriental Poppies thrive in most any soil (including clay) and like lots of sun. Their huge flowers are stunning with petals that literally shimmer in the sunshine. Oriental Poppies do best in colder climates and are highly recommended, even for the coldest areas of the northern US. On the flip side, they dislike warm winters and should not be planted in USDA zones 8-10 regions.

Oriental poppies go dormant in the heat of summer and re-grow their foliage in the fall. So don't be alarmed when their foliage begins to lose color and go brown later in June. But knowing this, gardeners can use tall growing companion perennials to complement the poppy flowers and camouflage their foliage as they move into dormancy.

My favorite Oriental poppy companions include:

Fall is the best time to plant Oriental Poppies as they are impervious to winter cold and generally produce at least a few flowers their first spring in the garden. (When spring planted, poppies most likely won't bloom until the following spring.)

Text and Photos by Founder and Chief Horticulturist David Salman.

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