Of course, I have a ton of favorite plants, but I really love the columnar habit and color of the evergreen  Podocarpus elongatus 'Monmal'.  Super low maintenance and drought tolerant makes it a winner.  Must be staked when young to encourage growth, but otherwise able to stand up on its own.  I love how in more humid climates it is short and stocky; whereas, in more dry climates it is narrow and Grecian column like. Great as an accent or row, hedge type of planting. Haven't seen any pest or disease issues Super contemporary look.  The new growth is a ghostly white. USDA ZONE 9. 




Right now in my yard are the best parrot tulips that I have ever bought in my life, and usuallly, I plant 250 + annually.  If anyone is interested, I will let you know the brand.  It isn't the most sustainable planting, but I love it as a therapeutic treatment that that says to me and the neighborhood in Southern California,  winter is now over!


Please share your favorite to help us all broaden our plant knowledge as well as offer more planting design ideas. 

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a few.....

Midwest - Spartina pectinata / Prairie Cordgrass; Sporobolus airoides / Prairie Dropseed; Tilia americana / American Linden; Viburnum lantana / Wayfaringtree Viburnum; Lilium tigrinum spendens / Turks Cap-Tiger Lily

Mountain / shortgrass prairie - Populus trem./ Aspen; Schizachyrium scoparium / Little Bluestem; Prunus amer./ Wild Plum; Amelanchier sp.

West Coast - (you'll have to excuse me for going a little crazy here - CA is nearly plant heaven) Echium fastuosum / Pride of Madeira; Miscanthus sinensius and various cultivars, Umbellularia californica  / Cal. Bay; Pittosporum tenuifolium (the ONLY Pittosporum I like); Agapanthus sp.,

Kousa Dogwood...

White Oak

Tulip Poplar, my favorite place to see them...visit Joyce Kilmer Memorial forest in North Carolina, one of the last large stands of old growth forest east of the Mississippi.  HUGE Tulip Poplars and other trees....just awesome to think that is what the south east looked like 400 years ago!!!

I am really on an Allium kick. I love the ornamental Alliums there is so many options like some that look like a ball nestled in some leaves on the ground, some look like a fireworks display, some are 5 feet tall and look like something out of Dr. Seuss. The best is that the rabbits stay away so they all do fairly well. 

I also like heirloom garlic in my vegie garden. The plants are really attractive as they grow and then you get a vegetable that lasts through the winter in your kitchen. It really helps me combat my Minnesota cabin fever.


Another plant that I have started to gain an appreciation for is Geum triflorum - Prairie Smoke. These are just really cool plants. There is nothing like the way that this plant looks. 


I have been experimenting with different hardy cactus. They are fun plants and do really well in some spots where nothing else is happy. Rabbits funny enough chew on these when there are no better options.

the wisteria or glycinia for its vines and the color of its flowers
I love my Lord Baltimore Mallow, can't wait till it comes back. The blooms are usually 8-9" in diameter.

Fringetree - recently saw a huge one in Central Park in full bloom

Yellowwood - 'Perkins Pink' is a nice touch

Coneflower - though the over abundance in colors is overwhelming

Viburnum - esp cranberrybush bonus that the deer around here leave them alone, getting some die back on mine though

Shadbush - love Amelanchier but all the apple-cedar rust is really turning me away from them, hoping to find hardy cultivars

Birch - the old ones in the NE

Live oak - southern giant ones have some awesome forms

Kentucky coffe trees - esp in winter

every one of your choices are top notch.

My dendrology professor in college told me that we are witnessing the end of the paper birch tree in the NE.  Not because of an environmental stressor like beetles or a fungus, but because the forest is maturing (it was heavily logged in the previous century) and they are shading the birches--a pioneer species, out.

Here is a cultivar I've never seen before - had to buy some today! Juniperus sabina 'Blue Forest' - it reminds me so much of creeping rosemary in color and form (for those of us in northern climates who miss warm climate plants), a little finer texture - absolutely gorgeous juniper! The sabinas are my favorite junipers for their feathery look and this one takes the cake!

Persian Perotia is amazing. If you don't know this tree, you must check it out. No it's not native. Get over it.....

Bottlebrush Buckeye is also a very cool plant in my garden....every season is a new look.

Sourwood, Yellowwood, Serviceberry, Fringe Tree, Lilac Chastetree, Natchez Crapemyrtle, Virginia Sweetspire, Oakleaf Hydrangea,,,,,,these are a few of my favorite things....

i know they are bad, but i love dandelions, esp when the "die"  they are so delicate, and sort of wonderful in a weedy sort of way.

dandelions are quite possibly the most under appreciated plants.  they are super good for you (look up the many health benefits of dandelions, you'll be blown away), they are tasty in salads (the greens) and you can make a delicious alcoholic beverage called dandelion wine, which is easy, delicious and effective.

they aren't weeds to me, they are crops.  i want to punch the CEO of Roundup in the throat for suggesting otherwise.

they are also a critical early food souce for bees.....




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