The Dianthus EverLast series are low-maintenance, longer-blooming plants that bloom early and stay in bloom, and then flower again in late summer when nighttime temperatures drop. They combine double flowers and perennial hardiness into compact 8- to 12-inch plants.
My shade garden surely will benefit from the new Heuchera Carnival series, with plants in light green, bronze- and silver-streaked burgundy and dark green. This series is heat tolerant and has a tidy mounding habit.
Sunblaze roses offer bright colors and will do well in small gardens or containers. They come in salmon, yellow, red, pink, white and bicolor.
Recycling plant pots
I recently asked for places where gardeners can take plastic pots and six-packs for recycling. Charles and Anne Ferguson sent an email suggesting I contact Lowe's.
A spokesman at the Kanawha City Lowe's garden center said they accept the containers at the garden center registers and at the customer service desk. He said they send them back to the plant producers for reuse.
Betsy Keene, of South Charleston, wrote that she's seen the six-pack containers used as fillers for the bottom of really big pots.
'Good' invasive plants
Keene also responded to my column about plants that are planted as "good" plants but then take over the garden.
"I too have invasive good plants. One, I don't know the name, but it has a little heart-shaped leaf, green with a little color to it, and a citruslike smell. My neighbors call it 'the curse'!" she wrote.
Keene asked a question about her daughter's yard:
"My daughter recently bought a house with a nice deck on the back. The view is a fairly steep bank covered in clay shale with some sparse weeds here and there. Any ideas what would grow there?"
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.