Richie Steffen

Great Plant Pick: Eupatorium maculatum “Gateway”

What: Eupatorium maculatum “Gateway,” commonly called Joe Pye weed, is a tall,…


Great Plant Pick: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Glowing Embers’

The flowers of this hydrangea are a deep rose-red to a rich purple-blue depending on soil acidity.


Great Plant Pick: Campanula lactiflora, milky bellflower

This tall bell flower produces clusters of star-shaped blooms that vary from white to deep sky blue.


Great Plant Pick: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Lutea’

Golden dwarf Hinoki cypress is a perfect small specimen for the garden or as a container plant.

Great Plant Pick: Rosa ‘Hansa,’ double pink old-fashioned rose

This shrub rose will shine in a garden bed also planted with pink, blue or orange perennials.

Great Plant Pick: Lonicera crassifolia, creeping honeysuckle

The shrub’s tiny flowers open from rosy-red buds tipped in chartreuse and turn orange as they mature.

Great Plant Pick: Malus toringo ssp. sargentii ‘Tina’

Plant dwarf Sargent’s crabapple in small gardens and in landscapes with mixed-flower schemes.

Great Plant Pick: Polystichum makinoi, Makinoi’s holly fern

This holly fern, with its olive-green fronds, gives the garden a more refined, sophisticated look.

Great Plant Pick: Clematis chiisanensis ‘Lemon Bells’

This vine features bright lemon-yellow nodding blooms that hang from dark purple stems.

Great Plant Pick: Primula veris aka cowslip

Cowslip is an European primrose with clusters of drooping fragrant yellow flowers.

Great Plant Pick: Spiraea japonica ‘Walbuma’ Magic Carpet

This Japanese spirea bursts out in color in spring, revealing brilliant orange-yellow new growth.

Great Plant Pick: Osmanthus x burkwoodii, Burkwood’s sweet olive

This hybrid Asian shrub is tougher and more beautiful than its parents.

Great Plant Pick: Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Queen Esta,’ fairy wings

This epimedium gets its common names fairy wings and bishop’s hat for its dainty spring flowers.

Great Plant Pick: Smilacina racemosa, false Solomon’s seal

A native of the Pacific Northwest, this clump-forming perennial looks great in the garden.

Great Plant Pick: Erythronium revolutum, coast fawn lily

This lily-like pink flower, with mottling reminiscent of a fawn’s coloring, is a native plant.

Great Plant Pick: Abies balsamea ‘Nana,’ dwarf balsam fir

The needles of this dwarf conifer emerge bright green in spring and turn dark green over the summer.

Great Plant Pick: Corylopsis pauciflora, buttercup winterhazel

Winterhazels pair wonderfully with early spring perennials such as snowdrops or hellebores.

Great Plant Pick: Narcissus ‘Tete-a-tete,’ miniature daffodil

These delightful golden-yellow flowers positively glow in the late-winter garden.

Great Plant Pick: Helleborus foetidus, stinking hellebore

The plant gets its nickname from the stinky smell you get when the leaves are crushed.

Great Plant Pick: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Spiralis,’ granny’s ringlets

This semi-dwarf Japanese cedar, bright apple green in color, is especially attractive in the winter.