Fine Gardening magazine recommends the following as a "plant that thrives on neglect." Since the No. 1 question I seem to hear is, "What's a plant that doesn't need much care?," I was glad to read about 'Carolina Moonlight' false indigo (Baptisia'Carolina Moonlight').
It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide and is a spectacular perennial hybrid that has spires of buttery yellow flowers in late spring and beautiful blue-green foliage throughout the summer. It's tough, drought-tolerant, long-lived and easy to grow. I think I'll have to try this one.
Lately, several people have asked me about flowering quince. It's been blooming in our area and the reddish-coral blossoms are an early sign of spring. Quince can be found around many old farmhouses as it is a longstanding favorite throughout the region.
While the blooms don't last long, I always love to see them in March and April. Here's a nice cultivar: 'Texas Scarlet' flowering quince (Chaenomeles x superba).
It grows 5 to 9 feet tall and wide, and works in full sun to partial shade. The leaves are glossy green, and it has spines that deter the deer (and rambunctious children -- just ask my son).
Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) is a tough, low-care shrub that has deep red flowers in the summer that have a spicy fragrance. Grows in full sun or partial shade, grows to 8 feet tall. Also called sweetshrub, some people say the scent is reminiscent of strawberries. Highly resistant to disease and pests.
Hydrangea paniculata is the easiest hydrangea to grow. The fluffy clusters of white flowers fade to shades of pink and green. It works in full sun or part shade, grows to 10 feet tall and wide.
Indigofera (Indigofera amblyantha) grows 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide, filling a large, sunny spot with arching, lacy-textured leaves and spikes of pink flowers throughout the summer. It's hardy, and should be pruned to the ground each year.
Just a few more of my favorites.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.