Posts Tagged ‘perennial beds’

On a quick trip out to the nursery last week I came across a gorgeous plant with spiky pink flowers that made me stop in my tracks. October is not the time of year I would expect to see Celosia in full glory, but this cultivar, called ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ looks fantastic even now. Nestled into a mixed annual bed, it fits right in with Verbena bonariensis in the backdrop.

Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ with Verbena bonariensis in the Background

Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ was discovered in Peru and features magenta blooms. It is recommended to pinch the plants back when they are smaller to produce more stems, but if you leave it undisturbed, it can grow up to 9′ tall! The flowers are excellent for cutting and can also be dried. The reddish tinge to the leaves and veins are also ornamental in my book. Try it out in a garden bed with other annuals like Verbena or Salvia or try it next to fail-proof perennials like Rudbeckia or Perovskia for an Erb-approved planting scheme!

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Pycanthemum muticum AKA Mountain Mint (photo from http://www.sproutdc.com)

Pycanthemum muticum, also referred to as Mountain Mint, is a favorite native perennial that has many useful purposes. Commonly found at the woodland edge, it attracts butterflies, bees, and other wildlife.  Mountain Mint can tolerate light shade to full sun and grows to be about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.  It will clump from the base so be sure to give it extra room as it grows.  Evenly moist, sandy soil is best but it can adapt to a wide range of soils.  Mountain Mint is hardy in zones 4-8.

Use Mountain Mint as a replacement for mint in any recipe including tea.  The leaves produce a refreshing minty odor when crushed. While it doesn’t have a splashy color found in many native perennials such as the yellow of Rudbeckia or the purple of Echinacea, the flowers create a billowy cloud of silver color in planting beds. Mountain Mint is a subtle and elegant filler plant that would look gorgeous among Artemesia, Astilbe, Liatris spicata or even Salvia.

If you want to see Pycanthemum muticum in person. Check out the High Line section 2 where you can find it growing between the old railroad tracks and perennial borders.

Article written by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design.

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