Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Signature Plants

I recently read that Diana over at Elephant's Eye had issued an invitation for bloggers to discuss their signature plants, here are mine.

I've chosen four plants that I've added since moving here, and they would be first on my list to add if I was starting with a new garden. They have all met or exceeded expectation and have become a permanent part of the landscape.

This is the Purpleleaf Sandcherry (Prunus x cistena), I adore the colour of the foliage & there are very pretty little white/pink blooms in the spring. It isn't getting as much sun as it would like, but will get more once it's a little bigger (which would happen faster if it wasn't shaded, one of the downsides to adding new plants to a mature yard).

The False Sunflower (heliopsis helianthoides) 'summer sun' is next on my list, it is so very easy to grow and produces happy yellow blooms that are great for cutflowers. I give a bouquet and some seedlings to anyone & everyone who visits in the summer. It is planted all along the side of the house in poor clay soil in both sunny & shady spots and it shows no difference in growth habit.

The Ivory Halo Dogwood (Cornus alba 'Bailhalo') is very special to me. I planted it to remember a special canine friend. I've always been a fan of variegated leaves and this one is just beautiful. It grows quickly and does well with clay soil and is in a very shaded spot.

I always grow Blue Star petunias, they are my go to annual for the front raised planters. Even though they are sun loving, they tolerate their shady beds well, becoming a little leggy which adds to their height and visibility. Imagine disappointment the year I waited too long and they were sold out.

I would love to read about Your signature plants.


  1. Lovely choice as signature plants.... My signature plant remains as senduduk.... ~bangchik

  2. We have the Prunus nigra, almost in common, for the dramatic foliage. And we share clay soil. My green and white is Plectranthus madagascariensis. But I do like your Ivory Halo!

  3. It is wonderful to have a signature plant, or four.
    One of mine would definitely be snowdrops. My Nana had a ton of them in her garden when I was growing up, and some of them have been transplanted to every garden I have ever owned.
    I would also pick peonies. The same grandmother (she was a crazy gardener) would tie the first blooming peony of the season to my birthday present, and I associate peonies and presents, yay!
    Both of these plants have been in every garden I have ever had, and if I had to move again, they would go with me.

  4. Hi Bangchik, thank you for your kind words.

    Hi Diana, How interesting, I also have a Prunus (triloba 'multiplex'), your Plectranthus is beautiful.

    Hey Deborah, snowdrops & lovely. My grandmother also grew pink peonies, and they always make me think of her. In fact, I planted one just this past summer.

  5. Nice plants! I like the dogwood leaves especially. Among my signature plants, a foxglove would be the first. Magnolia vine, fatsia japonica, calendula, fuchsia Double Otto... Don't miss your favorite petunia this year!

  6. Rebecca, I love your Cornus alba and the deep red color of the branching.... beautiful specimen. Diana

  7. Hi Rebecca,
    Lovely selection of plants, I like False Sunflower especially.
    Im not sure I have signature plant... I have to think about that one.

  8. Hi Tatyana, you have a lovely list, the magnolia vine must be beautiful. I learned my lesson once (re blue star) and won't let it happen again. :)

    Hi Di, I love my Cornus too, I was admiring the red branches today, when all the other shrubs are leafless & brown it looks especially nice.

    Hi vrtlarica, Thanks for your kind words, I suspect the false sunflower would grow for you too. I grows well from seed, but may not bloom in the first year.

  9. Lovely selections, Rebecca. Your Cornus alba is beautiful, and one of my favorites, too. I suppose some of my signature plants would be Allium, Poppies, and Peonies. Three plants I can't imagine my garden being without. :)

  10. Hi Liisa, thanks for your great comments. I planted Allium, Poppies and Peonies last year, you'd feel right at home here! :)

  11. i like that you have a multitude of signature plants, Rebecca. I do too, and I wouldn't have it any other way. If I had only one, that would be too much like monoculture, and I've been urging against that in the agricultural world for a long time...;-)
    A lot of people have mentioned the variegated Heliopsis to me as an ideal plant, do you grow that as well? I plan to add it this year, I think.

  12. Hi Jodi, it's too hard to pick just one, in fact it was hard to narrow it down to four. I haven't seen variegated heliopsis in person, only in magazines, I think it's beautiful and would be happy to add it to my garden. :)

  13. I'm seriously starting to think something's wrong with my blogroll updater (either that or I need glasses !). How did I manage to miss this post too ?

    Glad to see we have many plants in common ! (Then again, chances are we would seeing we share the same zone). Those are all favourites of mine too, except petunias. Not that I don't like them, mind you, I'm just not into annuals that much. I got lots of petunias last year however. Turns out they're a great companion plant for veggies !

    ps. I just realised I could send you some Baptisia seed if you'd like. I know you're not into seeds that much, but I just had to offer. Drop me an email if you're interested. (My address is on the blog - look for little the little orange envelop).

  14. Hi miss m, my blogroll malfunctions sometimes too. I would love to try some of your seeds, are they hard to start from seed? I'm kind of a scatter and see what happens kind of gal, or at most start in a pot outdoors and transplant at the ~6 leaf stage. I'm such a seed slacker lol.

  15. The seed coat is very hard and requires nicking. Some suggests soaking. I tested both methods (actually three). I nicked, soaked and nicked & soaked separate batches. Nicking seemed to yield the best germination, whether soaked or not.

    I'm a see what happens kind of gal too ('The Informal Gardener' refers much more to my attitude than my planting style). But you'd definitely want to start these inside. (Like 'proper' gardeners do :D). You could start them as soon as Feb or March and have perfect little plants to put in the garden come June.

  16. Hi miss m, Thanks for the detailed information! I think I will pass, but thanks so much for the offer and I will look for them this summer at the garden centre. I don't know why I'm adverse to starting plants indoors, it's kind of a rule of thumb I go by. It could be that I use to work in plant breeding and had started tens of thousands of seedlings in growth rooms, chambers and greenhouses, a little planting tray at room temp seems somehow inadequate. Or it's purely for simplification purposes, just like I don't keep any clothing items that can't be washed and dried ;).

  17. That's right, you worked in plant genetics research ! (Please, disregard my ramblings ! lol)

    The seeding process is still new and thrilling to me. I have plans to build a greenhouse this year (small lean-to type at the side of the house). I'm besides myself with excitement.

    Good luck with the Baptisia ! Can't wait to see it 'In The Garden'. :)