Richie Steffen

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

The pale-yellow flowers of “Padilla” witch hazel are bright additions to the winter landscape.


Great Plant Pick: Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor,’ variegated two-row stonecrop

The sedum is a fine selection as a weed-smothering groundcover or for spotting into rock walls.


Great Plant Pick: Cupressus nootkatensis ‘Pendula,’ weeping Alaskan yellow cedar

What: One of the most eye-catching and beautiful of the weeping conifers,…


Great Plant Pick: Cotoneaster dammeri, bearberry cotoneaster

This mounding shurb grows masses of tiny spring flowers, followed by red berries in autumn.

Great Plant Pick: Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’

This variegated false holly boasts five colors on its leaves — cream, pink, orange, yellow and white.

Great Plant Pick: Viburnum davidii aka David’s viburnum

This spreading shurb is a year-round evergreen with white flowers in spring and berries in autumn.

Great Plant Pick: Blechnum penna-marina, alpine water fern

The evergreen fern’s new fronds emerge in the spring copper red and gradually fade to rich green.

Great Plant Pick: x Fatshedera lizei, fatshedera

This “botanical wonder” is a rare hybrid between Fatsia japonica and Hedera helix (English ivy).

Great Plant Pick: Pinus parviflora, blue-needled Japanese white pine

Glauca Group represents blue-needled selections of the Japanese white pine. Each blue needle has a white stripe.

Great Plant Pick: Stipa gigantea, giant feather or needle grass

Plant the grass next to the lawn so that a viewer may appreciate its dangling seeds on close inspection.

Great Plant Pick: Rhodiola pachyclados, Afghani sedum

particularly for hot, dry sites with poor soil. This variety forms… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Sciadopitys verticillata, Japanese umbrella pine

Despite its common name, this pyramidal conifer is not a true pine. Meaning, it’s not of genus Pinus.

Great Plant Pick: Quercus rubra, red oak or Northern red oak

This tree has a beautiful structure that is impressive year-round. In fall, the leaves turn a rich red.

Great Plant Pick: Molinia caerulea ssp. caerulea ‘Variegata’

This variegated purple moor grass works well in mass plantings or as a specimen in your garden.

Great Plant Pick: Acer circinatum ‘Monroe,’ cutleaf vine maple

This tree was named by Brian Mulligan, former director of the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle.

Great Plant Pick: Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa,’ edging boxwood

This round shrub has long been cultivated for its superior performance as a hedge or screen.

Great Plant Pick: Ceratostigma willmottianum, Chinese plumbago

Electric-blue flowers sparkle among the late summer foliage of this bushy perennial.

Great Plant Pick: Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’

Variegated five-leaf aralia features a creamy white variegation that sparkles in the garden.

Great Plant Pick: Hosta ‘Patriot’ one of the most popular

The variegated foliage of the “Patriot” hosta is striking from late spring through early fall.

Great Plant Pick: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Yaku Jima,’ dwarf maiden grass

This clumping grass can be planted with annuals to provide stature and variety of texture.