knautia
1 of 5
Slideshow-prev-disabled Slideshow-next

"I grew Knautia macedonica for the first time last year but have come to adore it. I love how the foliage stays fairly close to the ground, but the flowering stems are these tall, spindly affairs reaching up to 5’ tall. I love how they twist and turn, insinuating themselves through other plants. Also, they are covered in tiny hairs, which means they are amazing backlit." — Scott Weber

panicum
2 of 5
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

" Panicum ‘Blood Brothers’ – I discovered this last year at Portland Nursery. They only had 3 plants available and I bought one of them on impulse. After I got it home, I realized that it was stunning and drove back the next day and bought the other 2! I think they thought I was crazy. They are like ‘Heavy Metal’ (upright, blue-green foliage) but are flushed, almost from the moment they emerge, with deep red-purple… stunning! I can’t wait to see how they do this year…they are still quite small (grasses seem to really live up to the "sleep, creep, leap" saying). I honestly think anyone even remotely interested in grasses should try some form of Panicum … they are easy as pie and beautiful." —Scott Weber

agastache
3 of 5
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

"I’ve become a huge fan of Agastache over the past few years. They (generally) do really well here in PDX, given decent drainage. Last year I tried ‘Blue Blazes’, a new hybrid from High Country Gardens and it is gorgeous. The plants were huge (almost 6’ tall by summer’s end), and bloomed for months. The color is a wonderful rich lavender-purple and every insect in the area goes insane for them. I have them paired with grasses and Knautia macedonica – the red of the Knautia with the rich purple is a great combo and the contrasting shapes of the blooms add another level of interest." —Scott Weber

Schizachyrium
4 of 5
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

"Schizachyrium ‘Blue Heaven’ – I just got this from Wind Dancer in Salem and it’s stunning. In general, Little Bluestem is a great grass for city gardeners – it’s a bit shorter than most so it’s good for anyone leery of larger grasses. They are late to wake up in spring but once they start growing they are just lovely. Blue Heaven colors up earlier than most and even these young plants have a wonderful mix of blues, purples, reds and greens. One of the coolest things about Little Bluestem is how it holds its color all winter. And, like most native American grasses, it’s a great winter food source for birds." —Scott Weber

roma
5 of 5
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next-disabled

" Astrantia major ‘Roma’ – I had read that they were happy in heavy, wet soil so figured I’d give them a try in a poorly-drained spot where nothing else would grow. They seem to love it there! It really is the worst soil in my garden… so heavy I can barely dig a hole to plant. They don’t like to dry out but I’ve grouped them all in an area that only gets a few hours of midday sun… they’re in their own "water zone". They are also just gorgeous in bloom. There are some plants, I admit, I plant just because I want to play around taking photos of them… and these are some of the best for that!" —Scott Weber

knautia
panicum
agastache
Schizachyrium
roma
More Slide shows

Please help us keep this community civil. We retain the right to remove or edit comments containing personal attacks or excessive profanity, and comments unrelated to the editorial content. Consult our Terms of Use for more details.