Tired of the Same Old Plants?

These plants will breathe fresh air into your garden.

| February/March 2004

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates zone ratings based upon excellent adaptability of landscape plants in a given area. Many plants may survive in warmer or colder zones. Usually, mere survival does not represent satisfactory performance.

  • The reddish-brown tones of this Zingiber ‘Midnight’ are accentuated by sunlight.

The pleasure of an herb garden grows with every new plant that finds a home there. I’m continually surprised by the variety of herbs available today, by mail order and in local garden centers. The many promising plants introduced in recent years can contribute much to garden design, with innovations in foliage colors, flower hue or subtle distinctions of scent. Some new varieties feature different growth habits that are variations on a theme — more vigorous or more compact, for instance — for some of our favorite herbs. Below are some plants I’ve discovered recently that are worth checking out.


Agastache 'Apricot Sprite'

Zone 6

This new plant, a relative of anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), is a compact grower, reaching about 2 feet. Its flowers are reddish-apricot with a long blooming season (late July to heavy frost). The edible flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies and lend a minty taste to salads. The leaves also are fragrant with a hint of peppermint. The plant does best in full sun with good drainage.


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