Here are some other suggestions that Reece made that are interesting and unusual.
Caryopteris "Snow Fairy," a variegated Japanese selection of the perennial that has small, compact clump form with fuzzy, green leaves surrounded with a bright white border. Starting in mid-September, the clumps are topped with blue "curls."
Miscanthus sinensis "Gold Bar," a striped grass that doesn't look weedy. It's dense and exceptionally upright and compact in habit. At the end of October, burgundy inflorescences appear just above the blades.
Ilex x attenuata "Sunny Foster," the only known variegated form of the popular Foster holly, and the variegation is an indefinite, nonmarginal type exhibiting pale yellow color in the upper third of the leaf blade, which intensifies as the leaves mature. Reece loves it because it's perfectly frosted - "what I try to get them to do to my hair," she said with a laugh. Great red berries, too.
Cercis canadensis "Hearts of Gold," has big, beautiful golden heart-shaped leaves with lavender-red flowers in the spring. The growing tips take on an orange/red tone in the spring, a nice contrast to the older, chartreuse-colored leaves.
Rubidor Weigela has bright, neon foliage and ruby-red flowers on pink stems. It's trouble-free and may be pruned to shape.
Physocarpus opulifolious "Seward," Summer Wine Ninebark is a cross between Nana and Diabolo with wine-colored foliage and a dense, compact, forsythia-like habit and red seed heads. Diabolo grows very fast; Summer Wine is much slower and controlled.
Reece's final suggestions reflected my gardening habits of late. "The older I get, time becomes more important than money. I used to ask, 'Can I have it in a 1-gallon container?' Now, I ask, 'How big do you have it?'"
Plant experts talk
The West Virginia Native Plant Society will hold its winter meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday in Room 101 of the Clay Tower Building at the University of Charleston. In conjunction with the meeting, Dr. Frank Porter will talk about landscaping with native grasses from 1 to 2 p.m. He owns and operates Porterbrook Native Plants in Racine, Ohio. Botanist Chad Kirschbaum will talk about pollinator conservation from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. He has a master's degree in ecosystem ecology and works in the Wayne National Forest. For more information, call Mary Sansom at 304-776-7852 or e-mail her at msan...@suddenlink.net.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-343-3909.