Richie Steffen

Great Plant Pick: Prostanthera cuneata, alpine mint bush

What: Prostanthera cuneata, commonly called alpine mint bush, becomes a compact spreading…


Great Plant Pick: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Cristata,’ crested Japanese cedar

What: Cryptomeria japonica “Cristata,” commonly called crested Japanese cedar, is one of…


Great Plant Pick: Eranthis hyemalis, winter aconite

What: Eranthis hyemalis, commonly known as winter aconite, is an enchanting member…


Great Plant Pick: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’, witch hazel

What: Witch hazels are renowned for producing flowers just when we need them most: winter. Hamamelis x intermedia “Jelena” produces large, coppery-orange flowers in early… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: ‘Glorie de Marengo,’ variegated Algerian ivy

What: Like a watercolor painting the glossy, evergreen foliage of Hedera algeriensis “Glorie de Marengo,” with the common name Algerian ivy, is splashed with shades… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Pinus contorta var. contorta, shore pine

What: Who is not impressed by the beauty and toughness of this versatile Pacific Northwest native pine? Pinus contorta var. contorta, commonly known as shore… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Erica x darleyensis ‘Silberschmelze,’ darley heath

Great Plant Pick: Erica x darleyensis ‘Silberschmelze,’ darley heath

Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire” is very popular because of its narrow, columnar form with dense green foliage… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Aucuba japonica ‘Mr. Goldstrike,’ Japanese aucuba

What: If your garden has a dry and shady area, Aucuba japonica “Mr. Goldstrike” is the shrub to fill the spot. The lustrous dark, evergreen… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo,’ purple-leaf ninebark

Grow it with shrub roses and perennials, and it combines with with ornamental grasses.

Great Plant Pick: Acer palmatum ‘Katsura,’ Katsura Japanese maple

This small tree develops some of the most colorful spring and fall foliage of the species.

Great Plant Pick: Panicum virgatum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’

This red-foliaged switch grass makes a good specimen but also creates a bold statement in a drift.

Great Plant Pick: Araucaria araucana, monkey puzzle tree

What: Araucaria araucana is a distinctive South American conifer commonly known as a monkey puzzle tree. It has widely spaced branches that extend horizontally from… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense,’ stonecrop

What: Sedum cauticola “Lidakense,” with the common name stonecrop, is an excellent groundcover plant, particularly for hot, dry sites with poor soil. This variety forms… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus ‘Cabaret’

What: Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus “Cabaret,” a type of variegated maiden grass, is noted for its wide green leaves with a creamy, irregular midrib that… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Liriodendron tulipifera, variegated tulip tree

What: Liriodendron tulipifera, or tulip tree, is the queen of the eastern North American woodland and the tallest-growing deciduous tree in North America. Its leaves… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Hosta ‘Francee,’ francee hosta

What: Hosta “Francee,” or simply francee hosta, is a popular and vigorous hosta that quickly forms substantial clumps of bright green and white variegated foliage.… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Center Glow,’ ninebark

What: Physocarpus opulifolius “Center Glow” is commonly called ninebark. It gets this common name for the attractive, exfoliating bark. Unique foliage color and a rugged… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Clematis ‘Helsingborg,’ purple alpine clematis

What: Clematis “Helsingborg,” commonly known as purple alpine clematis, is an easy-to-grow vine that produces a spectacular show in mid-spring of nodding blooms. The flowers… Continue reading