Rad Perennials to get you out of your Funk.

May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I get into a brain funk, I kick myself out of the house with my camera. It always ends up giving me some new pizzazz and some great stuff to share. This time I went out to the Center of Urban Horticulture at the UW for a couple of reasons. First, I know they’ve got some great plants and trying to do designs with a stale plant palette is like trying to make a masterpiece with just red sidewalk chalk… Like a little nub of sidewalk chalk and oversized gloves (snort, you look funny doing that in my head). Secondly, I’m presenting some floral displays at their upcoming Open House on July 21st and I wanted to scope out my preferred spots for some sketch overlays.

I gathered so many photos that I’ll have to dissect them all into three different posts: This one Rad Perennials, Orchard Grotto Wedding Visualizations, and Plants that Look Like Muppets (because there are a lot).

As a landscape architect, I can get stuck thinking too much about evergreens and plants that offer four seasons of interest since this is what my clients typically want. So when perennials come about, my eyeballs get big and I start breathing like Sasquatch. Perennials really are what tweaks the inner plant freak after months of looking down at our feet and scrambling out of the rain. So yay. Just yay.

By the way, I’m not tooooootally sure I’m correct with these plant names…

Okay, so these are chives. But seriously, little purple poufs on stems with cute perfect buds?! You know how I feel about poufs. And so low maintenance.

Astrantia! I love the simple shapes and such a great dried flower.

Disanthus cercidifolius. This vine is the bomb. It’s Katsura-like leaves are so sweet and delicate. The CUH has some amazing trellis-work covering boring walls of the building. These walls of green are divine.

Double hellebore?! Yummy fluffilicious! Bonus: its leaves are evergreen at my house on a hill and the flowers hang out a long time.

Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’- Sometimes flowers are just not as exciting as the foliage. Though when this one gets its white flower, it will pretty cool then too. I love foliage doing the copper-green thing. Throw in some chartreuse and whabam!

Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’. I can’t grow ‘hot’ flowers at my house,  so I stare at this plant and think of my imaginary second home which is a sensual strawbale house with Sedums, Agave, Yucca Color Guard, and Euphorbia. And there is a miniature fluffy donkey involved in this dreamscape. His/her name is Bertrand or Beatrix with a French accent.

Okay, this is a witchazel trained to a wall (?!) Hello? Nice work!!! Beautimous.

What is this? Heuchera? Lime Marmalade? Whatever it is I want to spread it on toast and eat it. Mnom. Mnom.

Lupinus ‘The Governor’. I love this plant because of its boldness and for the fact that I keep saying the name over and over with a Terminator accent.

I don’t know the name of this but it is a mini Iris. As in 8 inches tall with 2.5 inch blooms. If you read my Iris post, you know my new-found love of Irises.

This tree is one of my all-time faves: Parrotia persica or Persian Ironwood. So lovely. It’s fall color is flippin’ fantastic too.

Anemone x hybridus? Orange? Mwhaaa? This is one of the ones I’m not too sure of. But I am sure of its total radness.

Saxifraga aureopunctata. I love the fuzzy airiness.

I included this photo because I’m always trying to get clients to leave their sedum up through the winter. the brown dried flower heads look pretty cool.

Well, that’s all folks, the rest all look like muppets. So stay tuned.

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