Richie Steffen

Great Plant Pick: Erica carnea ‘Rubinteppich,’ winter heath

This spreading shrub covers itself with hundreds of small urn-shaped, purple-red flowers in winter.

Great Plant Pick: Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’

This evergreen shrub, commonly called winter creeper, sports year-round variegated foliage.

Great Plant Pick: Picea orientalis ‘Skylands,’ golden Caucasian spruce

This tree’s needles emerge vivid yellow; then, gradually, the striking conifer becomes softly gilded.

Great Plant Pick: Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata,’ Irish yew

This conifer was discovered in Ireland in 1780 and has been a favorite for formal hedges ever since.

Great Plant Pick: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gold Bar,’ variegated maiden grass

This is a maiden grass is a showstopper with dramatic gold stripes that cut across the grass blades.

Great Plant Pick: Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ‘Purple Stem’

The inconspicuous flowers of “Purple Stem” sweet box bring an impressively sweet scent in wintertime.

Great Plant Pick: Yucca filamentosa ‘Bright Edge,’ variegated yucca

This vase-shaped shrub stands out in any border or as a specimen container plant.

Great Plant Pick: “Sekkan Sugi” golden Japanese cedar

This tree is a standout when planted with gray- or blue-needled conifers or purple foliage plants.

Great Plant Pick: Taxodium distichum, bald cypress

In autumn, the needles of this pyramidal conifer turn rusty-gold before they fall.

Great Plant Pick: Aster lateriflorus ‘Prince,’ calico aster

In early fall, cloud-like starry white flowers blushed with pink and purple cover the plant.

Great Plant Pick: Enkianthus perulatus, white enkianthus

The fall color of this slow-growing shrub is a screaming scarlet red — a real standout in the garden.

Great Plant Picks: Vitis coignetiae, crimson glory vine

This spreading vine is quite the climber: It can grow to be 60 feet tall when mature.

Great Plant Pick: Cotoneaster salicifolius ‘Repens,’ groundcover

Commonly called spreading willowleaf cotoneaster, this shrub needs plenty of room to grow.

Great Plant Pick: Colchicum ‘The Giant,’ autumn crocus

Although commonly referred to as autumn crocus, Colchicums are not closely related to true crocus.

Great Plant Pick: Trochodendron aralioides, wheel tree

With its whorling branches, this evergreen is in a genus by itself and is native to Japan and Korea.

Great Plant Pick: Schizophragma hydrangeoides “Moonlight,” Japanese hydrangea vine

What: A self-clinging and well-behaved vine, the Schizophragma hydrangeoides “Moonlight” is unique for the silver moonlight patterns on its leaves. Where: Japanese hydrangea vine, its… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Waldsteinia ternata, barren strawberry

This strawberry-like spreading perennial will form a low, tight-knit groundcover over time.

Great Plant Pick: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gold Bar,’ variegated grass

“Gold Bar” clumping grass is a show-stopper with dramatic gold stripes that cut across the blades.

Great Plant Pick: Pseudolarix amabilis, golden larch

This pyramidal conifer has pea-green needles in the summer that turn a bright gold in the fall.

Great Plant Pick: Aucuba japonica ‘Rozannie,’ Japanese aucuba

This compact evergreen shrub has year-round glossy, dark-green leaves and bright red fruit in fall.