Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 Plant Wish List

One thing that helps me get through winter is keeping a wish list of all of the plants I want to purchase in the spring. I visit my plant supplier often throughout the season to pick up plants for clients, and always add in a few for myself. Here are some of the plants I'm dreaming of now...

Amelanchier alnifolia 'Obelisk'. Photo credit

Amelanchier alnifolia 'Obelisk' (Amelanchier First Editions Standing Ovation Serviceberry)
I fell like all I've been doing lately is talk about this plant, so I'll keep it short and sweet. Serviceberry. Four season interest. Covered in white spring blooms. Incedible fall color. Native. Birds love it. Edible fruit. And this variety is narrow, reaching only 4-5 feet wide at maturity, so it fits in small spaces. Love.

Aesculus parviflora. Photo credit

Aesculus parviflora
(Bottlebrush Buckeye)

In hort school, I learned that this was a real "gardener's plant." It's not so common, and more expensive than most shrubs. This shrub is a beauty, with long panicled flowers in summer, large glossy leaves, and attractive capsules that persist through winter. Also very tolerant to different sun, moisture, and pH conditions, and it's a native! Adore.
Kerria japonica. Photo credit

Kerria japonica 'Golden Guinea' (Japanese Rose)
Another 'gardener's plant,' Kerria is another rare-ish plant, though I don't understand why. It can handle dry shade, which makes it a stand-out in my book. It's an early (April-May) bloomer, with bright yellow flowers on yellow-green stems that offer nice winter interest. Want.
Heuchera 'Caramel'. Photo credit

Heuchera 'Caramel' (Caramel Coral Bells)I've included this in plans for a few clients, and even picked up a few. Why I haven't gotten any for myself, I can't explain. I absolutely love this plant. Nice rounded form with great leaf color. The flowers are inconsequential - it's that leaf color that sells it. Nothing else is that color througout the season, so it really stands out in the sea of green that makes up the shade garden. Need.
Hepatica acutiloba. Photo credit

Hepatica acutiloba (Sharp-Lobed Hepatica, Spring Beauty)
This is a new plant for me - I've seen it on spring wildflower walks, but have never grown it. It grows only to about 8-12 inches, but stands out because it flowers for about 8 weeks. And I love the shiny, shapely foliage. After all, the foliage is what you get most of in any plant, so if you like it, that's a nice bonus. Like.

Veronicastrum virginicum. Photo credit

Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's Root)
Here's another native that I've wanted for so long but have not bought for whatever reason. Maybe because I don't have just the right spot for it, since it grows to 4-6 feet tall. I just love the shape of those blooms - spectacular when planted en masse. And it has one of the best botanical names ever. Crave.

If you see any plants here that you love, and need help incorporating them into your garden (and you live in the DuPage County, IL area), contact me for a landscape design consultation!


  1. These are all great plants. I especially like veronicastrum for its architectural interest. Kerria, though, has been hit with a canker disease in the Chicago area. See the Morton Arboretum July 2012 plant health care report.

  2. Yes! I want some too! Except I can do without the Heuchera and the Kerria. I have a blue culver's root 'Fascination' that blooms in early summer.

    1. That sounds beautiful! Hope to see some pics of it on your blog!

  3. Rosemarie again -- had a Kerria which succumbed to disease and my hepatica remain tiny little flowers I have to crouch down on the ground to find. Love the obelisk service berry!