All gardeners want their flowerbeds to put on a show. Like any Broadway production, that requires some star attractions.
Stephanie Cohen calls those "plants with bling." And the good news, she says, is that plenty of easy-care native plants have that kind of star power.
Cohen is an author and educator who calls herself the Perennial Diva.
"You gotta have a few stars in your garden every season" -- plants with outstanding attributes like color or form that demand attention, Cohen said. They add to a garden what the right scarf or jewelry adds to a basic black dress.
For the divas to stand out, a garden also needs filler plants, which she likened to the chorus. Otherwise your garden would be a little like Beyoncé, JLo and Mariah Carey performing an ensemble version of the national anthem. They'd all be clamoring for attention.
Now that it's garden-planning season, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from Cohen's list. Prepare to be wowed.
Unlike more common ground covers, however, wild ginger isn't evergreen. "Get over it," Cohen said. Who looks at ground cover in the winter, anyhow?
But beware: "They are promiscuous," she said. They'll cross-pollinate and develop new colors, which she counsels her audience to just accept and enjoy.