Richie Steffen

Wintergreen barberry's bright red leaves in the fall will deepen in tone to burgundy as winter approaches. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Berberis julianae aka wintergreen barberry

The round shrub’s bright red leaves in the fall will deepen in tone to burgundy as winter approaches.

 

This red laceleaf Japanese maple is a striking specimen, holding its burgundy-red foliage color though the summer. (Great Plant Pick)

Great Plant Pick: Acer palmatum ‘Tamuke yama,’ red laceleaf Japanese maple

This weeping tree is a striking specimen, holding its burgundy-red foliage color though the summer.

 

The "Nana" dwarf Hinoki cypress has dark green branchlets that twist tightly and flatten into small overlapping fans. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana,’ dwarf Hinoki cypress

This cultivar has dark green branchlets that twist tightly and flatten into small overlapping fans.

 

The smoke tree is known for its spectacular color — smoldering yellow-oranges, flaming reds and smoky red-purples. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Cotinus obovatus, American smoke tree

This smokebush is known for its spectacular color — smoldering yellow-oranges, flaming reds and smoky red-purples.

The smoke tree is known for its spectacular color — smoldering yellow-oranges, flaming reds and smoky red-purples. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Malus ‘Adirondack’, flowering crabapple

This Donald Egolf selection is one of the most profusely flowered of all crabapple cultivars.

The double-flowered autumn crocus has large lavender-pink blooms that resemble waterlilies. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Colchicum ‘Waterlily,’ double-flowered autumn crocus

This bulb features large double lavender-pink blooms that resemble waterlilies in the fall.

The double-flowered autumn crocus has large lavender-pink blooms that resemble waterlilies. (Richie Steffen)
Curly-leaf Japanese privet is jam-packed with leaves, offering great textural interest in the garden. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Ligustrum japonicum ‘Rotundifolium,’ curly-leaf Japanese privet

This evergreen shurb is jam-packed with leaves, offering great textural interest in the garden.

Curly-leaf Japanese privet is jam-packed with leaves, offering great textural interest in the garden. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick

What: Ceratostigma plumbaginoides “dwarf plumbago” sparkles in late summer and autumn with sapphire-blue flowers that are increasingly silhouetted against the rich reds and oranges of… Continue reading

Dwarf hiba cedar has bold antler-like foliage. The leaves are deep green on one side but have bits of white on the other. (Rick Peterson)

Great Plant Pick: Thujopsis dolabrata ‘Nana,’ dwarf hiba cedar

This conifer has bold antler-like foliage. The leaves are deep green on one side but have bits of white on the other.

Dwarf hiba cedar has bold antler-like foliage. The leaves are deep green on one side but have bits of white on the other. (Rick Peterson)
Viticella clematis is a medium-sized vine that produces deep royal-purple flowers in profusion in mid-summer. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Clematis ‘Etoile Violette,’ viticella clematis

This medium-sized vine that produces deep royal-purple flowers in profusion in mid-summer.

Viticella clematis is a medium-sized vine that produces deep royal-purple flowers in profusion in mid-summer. (Richie Steffen)
The variegated Japanese barberry features deep burgundy leaves splashed in candy-pink and vanilla. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea ‘Rose Glow’

The variegated Japanese barberry features deep burgundy leaves splashed in candy-pink and vanilla.

The variegated Japanese barberry features deep burgundy leaves splashed in candy-pink and vanilla. (Richie Steffen)
In late summer, a profusion of lacey small white flowers top white wood aster’s lax purple-black stems. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Aster divaricatus, white wood aster

In late summer, a profusion of lacey small white flowers top this plant’s the lax purple-black stems.

In late summer, a profusion of lacey small white flowers top white wood aster’s lax purple-black stems. (Richie Steffen)
The contorted Japanese larch features twirling blue-green needles are irresistibly soft. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Larix kaempferi ‘Diana,’ contorted Japanese larch

This unique deciduous tree features twirling blue-green needles are irresistibly soft and very touchable.

The contorted Japanese larch features twirling blue-green needles are irresistibly soft. (Richie Steffen)
The variegated hawthorn maple’s showy leaves are interesting yet understated. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Acer crataegifolium ‘Veitchii,’ variegated hawthorn maple

The showy leaves of this tree are interesting yet understated, and do not overpower surrounding plantings.

The variegated hawthorn maple’s showy leaves are interesting yet understated. (Richie Steffen)
Splendid wild ginger has green and silver patterned leaves and curious-looking brown and purple flowers. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Asarum splendens, splendid wild ginger

Chinese wild ginger has green and silver patterned leaves and curious-looking brown and purple flowers.

Splendid wild ginger has green and silver patterned leaves and curious-looking brown and purple flowers. (Richie Steffen)
Hummingbirds flock to this hardy fuchsia for its colorful flowers, which bloom summer through fall. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Fuchsia ‘Lord Byron,’ Lord Byron hardy fuchsia

Hummingbirds flock to this hardy fuchsia for its colorful flowers, which bloom summer through fall.

Hummingbirds flock to this hardy fuchsia for its colorful flowers, which bloom summer through fall. (Richie Steffen)
Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ has blue foliage from late spring through early fall. In summer, tall flower spikes bear lavender blooms. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ aka ‘Ginba Giboshi’

This hosta has blue foliage from late spring through early fall. In summer, tall flower spikes bear lavender blooms.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ has blue foliage from late spring through early fall. In summer, tall flower spikes bear lavender blooms. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Aster x frikartii “Jungfrau,” Frikart’s aster

Frikart’s aster has an extraordinarily long bloom period, from late July into early October.

Great Plant Pick: Crocus ‘Goldilocks,’ Goldilocks crocus

This large-flowering bulb features golden blooms with a splash of burgundy on the outer petals.

Great Plant Pick: Cotoneaster glaucophyllus, gray-leaf cotoneaster

This evergreen shrub produces showy white flowers in spring and ember-red berries in winter.