2017 brings you shade perennials with exceptional blooms, perennials and annuals that produce cut flowers all season, superior scented delights, tropical, exotic-looking plants that survive our zone, along with rare, hard-to-find Missouri native plants.
You’ll find new plants with superior genetics along with what’s old is new again–the scorching hot Missouri native plant movement. Discover these plants in our Reference Guide and Plant Guides, guides designed to help you take the guess work out of plant selection.
Born to Enchant Your Garden
From the outstanding Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery in Scotland comes the Swan Anemone Series. Like the magnificent creatures they are named after, these jewels stand out over all others. Their exquisite blossoms and prolific flowering bring exceptional grace and beauty to the garden. The Swans’ spectacular flower stems are adorned from June through October with nodding flowers of icy white with violet blue undersides, and large yellow centers. The Swans’ mounds of luscious foliage look neat and tidy all season. These long-lived perennials are surprisingly easy to grow in part shade.
How great is this!?! A selection of the cut flower you have been buying for years has proven to be a hardy perennial in our zone. From the Netherlands comes Fabiana Peruvian Lily, Alstroemeria, a stunner with orchid-like flowers and variegated foliage. An extremely long bloomer, you can expect armloads of creamy 2” flowers continually from late spring to frost. The gorgeous blossoms of soft white are intricately marked with splashes of yellow and dark burgundy streaks. Glossy dark green leaves have bright white contrasting margins. It forms a thick mound of lush foliage. Read more here.
Hold on to your heart, it’s about to burst with joy and wonder
When you first view Queen of Hearts Petunias don’t be surprised when your jaw drops and you feel your eyes getting as large as they can. You’re whole being will want to take in every bit of this gem’s splendor. Every remarkable flower is kissed with yellow, and marked with perfectly formed valentine red hearts. The plants exhibit unbelievable vigor, producing an abundance of large, colorful flowers. At times the gorgeous flowers will completely smother the entire plant. Read more here.
From the great prairies of Missouri and the Midwest comes the outstanding Meadow Blazing Star, Liatris ligulistylis.
With its brilliant purple spires that attract swarms of butterflies, its display may be the showiest and most flamboyant of all Liatris.
From mid summer into fall its tall flowers stalks are adorned with rich rosy-purple florets. A top choice for butterflies, many consider it the #1 favorite nectar plant for Monarch butterflies. Read more here.
PRINCE CHARMING Butterfly Bush is waiting for you. You’ll be swept away with this handsome devil’s massive 10” flower clusters that are saturated with rich raspberry. Considered a breakthrough for the genus, Prince Charming’s one-of-a-kind color is unlike any other. Two others fit for royalty: GLASS SLIPPER Butterfly Bush, shimmers in the sunlight with its periwinkle blue blossoms and silvery green foliage; and with dreamy dark looks, BLACK KNIGHT Butterfly Bush bewitches us with its rich purple, almost black 4-10″ long flower. See them below.
Gorgeous and Edible
Who says edibles can’t be pretty? Get ready for the plants that will excite your senses. These beauties look so great that can be placed right on your patio, mixed in with your other favorites. Kosmic Kale gives us great foliage with a great taste. For continuous sweet strawberries you’ll want the award winning Delizz. Raspberry Shortcake, the revolutionary new mini thornless raspberry, makes deliciously beautiful containers and also works well in the landscape. Read on to see the colorful plants that turn plain old pots and boring gardens into delectable masterpieces.
Few plants reward us more than Lavender. With its dynamic scent and luscious, purple-blue wands, it’s fantastic in the garden and in fresh and dried arrangements. Over the years superior Lavenders have been introduced that bloom continually from spring well into fall. They have outstanding or unique foliage and form, super-sized flowers, and tough constitutions. Read on to see three of finest available.
A vibrant selection, Mel’s Blue Cornflower Aster, Stokesia, adorns the garden with enormous, periwinkle-blue 4″ blooms. The blossoms are held high and flat on strong stems making them perfect for cutting. Mel’s Blue Cornflower Aster begins its prolific blooming in June. Its flowers continually appear through August. The jewel-tone blue blossoms are enhanced by its deep grass green foliage. Long-lived perennial. Read more here.
A Sugar Creek Gardener reported: “You guys won’t believe it – I just deadheaded one (ONE) of my 2-year Mel’s Blues and I counted 350 flowers!!!!! (Picture for proof.) PLUS it’s loaded with new buds for a second set of flowering. STAGGERING.” Read more here.
On our quest to find the finest plants for your gardens, we visit trial gardens, university gardens, and botanical gardens. During the summer of 2016 we encountered perennials with exquisite beauty, exceptional vigor, and superior flowering.
At world renowned Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania we found an overwhelming display of color with Full Moon Tickseed, Coreopsis. A result from the world famous Coreopsis breeding program of Darrell Probst, Full Moon is a fabulous selection with huge 3″ canary yellow flowers. Full Moon was born after eight years of intensive breeding work with eight species of Coreopsis. At Gibbs Gardens nestled in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains in Georgia we saw Daisy Mae Kalimeris. Thousands of white daisies completely cover the plants from summer until frost. From a top American grower’s test garden in Michigan we discovered Starship Deep Rose Lobelia. Considered the best in its class, Starship Deep Rose dazzles all with its majestic spires of rosy pink flowers on dark, nearly black stems. After seeing Peacock White Phlox in the same test garden, we were not surprised to learn that it is now considered the best white Phlox available, topping even the beloved David. Compared to David, it’s brighter, whiter, more fragrant, more disease resistant with a higher percentage of re-blooming when spent flowers are cut back. Read more here.
Mighty Mato super tomatoes are created by connecting (grafting) the roots of vigorous, disease resistant varieties with the scion (top part of plant) of varieties with phenomenal flavors and excellent fruit quality. Outstanding qualities of superheroes Mighty ‘Mato grafted tomatoes:
Karen’s Garden Calendar
We believe the nicest compliment a gardener can receive from a friend or neighbor is, “You have flowers blooming all season – how do you do it?” Karen’s Garden Calendar, A Midwest Garden Guide and Planner will assist you with this in mind. You’ll find suggestions for top perennials, shrubs, and annuals—including their time of flowering. Karen also shares her best proven tips and techniques, along with when to accomplish them.
A superb cultivar, Sparkling Burgundy Pineapple Lily, Eucomis, boasts dramatic dark burgundy leaves that slowly change to olive green, and then revert back to dark burgundy as its large, fragrant flowers fade. On 20-30″ stalks magnificent bottle-brush-like flower clusters of tight, smokey pink florets appear over a long 6-8 week bloom period. Its flowers open bottom to top. Named for its stunning inflorescences that resemble pineapples, especially right before the flowers begin opening. Eucomis make spectacular specimens in gardens and in pots. Perennial. Proven to be reliably hardy in zones 6-9. Read more here.
Described by many as the most spectacular Hosta they have ever seen, Brother Stefan Hosta has been named the 2017 Hosta of the Year. Its massive leaves with dark bluish-green streaked edges and brilliant gold centers become heavily puckered and corrugated. Brother Stefen’s impressive form and gleaming color add considerable interest to shady gardens and containers. Its outstanding upright, vast-shaped clump is topped with near white flowers in late spring to early summer. Grows 2′ tall and 3′ wide. Read more here.
Visit Sugar Creek Gardens, tell the secret code words to a sales associate at checkout, and you will receive a FREE GARDEN GIFT. Offer good with any $10 or more purchase. Limit one time only, one per family. Offer expires December 22, 2017.
Golden Zebra Iris brings exotic beauty to the garden with its mesmerizing flowers with golden-yellow standards with zebra-striped falls of white and black.
The flowers remind many of an exquisite orchid, yet this creature is carefree and easy to grow. A Dwarf Iris only growing 10″ tall, its perfectly formed flowers are half the size of Tall Bearded Iris. Plants bloom in late spring to early summer. Their sweetly scented blossoms make fantastic cut flowers. They are drought tolerant once established, and usually are not bothered by deer or rabbits. Read more here.