Firewitch DianthusThe 2015 perennial of the year is Firewitch Dianthus. This is a plant that can have more than one seasonal emphasis.

In winter, Firewitch lends a silver – snow/blue color to the landscape or container. In spring, they bud in early April and are prolific bloomers for months. Then they sporadically bud until the winter freeze sets in.

This plant is perfect for edging since it doesn’t get taller then 6 inches. It increases in size horizontally each year, and can be used as ground cover in hot and dry areas. Firewitch has a deep fuchsia bloom that does not fade.

Etain (Viola) BloomsIf you have not discovered violas, which by the way are edible, you are missing one of the true joys of spring. The variety of perennial violas is increasing each year with the following standouts that we will be carrying this season.

Etain blooms heavily in spring, is fragrant, and is yellow with, lavender-purple margins.

Painted Porcelain, in the Cornuta Group, is violet, with large creamy white flowers on its upper petals infused with lavender-purple. Deeper purple central markings make this viola truly as beautiful as ‘painted porcelain.’

Irish Molly is a unique blend sure to catch your eye with its upper petals of maroon-brown with a hint of violet, middle petals of olive green, and lower petal of brownish-yellow. She has a chocolate, brown-eyed center.

Purple Showers is electric purple with slightly fragrant 2-inch flowers, while Rebecca boasts vanilla-scented, white flowers, lemon yellow in the center, and flecks with deep violet around evergreen foliage.

The echinacea craze is still exploding. A lot of the new varieties will be even better the second year. One of our favorites is Kim’s Knee High. This 12- to 15-inch beauty has the same purple blooms as its taller brothers, but it blooms in bouquets, kicking it up till frost.

Echinacea (cone flower)

Fragrant Angel, a new white coneflower with its 30-inch, large fragrant blossoms horizontally held, overlapping petals, and a huge yellow cone. As experienced gardeners know, a touch of white in the garden is particularly eye-catching. This dependable bloomer works for you summer and fall. 

Exactly true to its name, the Doubledecker coneflower is a two-tiered, rose pink charmer with a set of short petals emerging from the top of the cone.

A novelty for the garden, the Sunset cornflower is a vibrant orange which has fragrant daisy blooms with brown cones. The flowers have a rose fragrance and the petals are a florescent hot pink/orange. Any selection you choose is sure to be one of your garden favorites.

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