2009 "Top Performer" Perennial

New leaves have hints of orange upon emergence but turn a startling chartreuse color. This dynamic foliage is a great contrast for the blue-violet flowers throughout most of the growing season. Plant vigor is impressive and will need extra space. Planted in 2007.

Impressively black foliage is the main drawing point for this Heuchera. Besides the nice dark color it is also very glossy and does not scorch or fade even in full sun. The flowers are ivory colored and prolific but may obscure the foliage. Tolerates variable conditions well. It will even handle the heat better than many other coral bells. Planted in 2008.

This vigorous hibiscus variety has beautiful deep purple foliage as it emerges and eventually all but veins and leaf petioles turn green. Leaves are deeply cut and are more interesting than the average Hibiscus. Large dark pink flowers with magenta eyes are prevalent for a long period. It is late to emerge in the spring but worth the wait. Does best with plenty of water. Planted in 2008.

This fountain grass is smaller than 'Hameln' yet taller and more floriferous than 'Little Bunny'. It caught people's attention at peak flowering due to small yellow anthers that gave it a golden glow from a distance. Tawny plumes arch above medium green foliage in late summer. Perfect in the foreground of any bed especially when used with other late bloomers. Small enough to be used in containers. Prefers moderate moisture. Deer resistant. Planted in 2008.

Mounds of lime green dappled leaves emphasize pink and flowers that emerge from purple buds. Growth habit was very uniform. Perfect for shady borders but did surprisingly well in full sun. Very easy to grow. Average water requirements. Listed as supposedly being deer resistant. Planted in 2007.

Unlike other black eyed Susans, this variety is day length neutral. This allows it to produce it's golden daisy-like flowers earlier in the season and will continue to bloom longer than other Rudbeckias. Flowering was prolific. Plants had excellent winter survival after one winter and were very uniform. Benefits from dead heading. Moderate to low water needs. Planted in 2008.

This compact, easy to grow salvia produces a profusion of reddish pink flower spikes throughout most of the season, especially if spent blooms are removed. Both flowering and growth habit were very uniform and made a very attractive overall presentation. Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Excellent for any sunny border or container. Should be drought tolerant. Planted in 2008.

This early bloomer produces red blooms above compact, evergreen foliage. Plants are attractive even without flowers and it is so beautiful with a unique texture that people want to touch it. Perfect for lightly shaded rock gardens but did great in full sun. Average to lower water needs. Supposedly rabbit and deer resistant. Planted in 2008.

Soft pink blooms with white centers form atop upright stems graced with oval, dark green leaves. Flowers are prolific and has a long bloom time. Requires deadheading for best appearance and some secondary blooming. Requires well drain soil. Easy to grow and well behaved. Planted in 2008.

This vigorous speedwell produces large showy inflorescences of pink flowers. Selected for longer lasting flowers. Uniform flowering and growth habit made a very impressive overall appearance. Removal of fading spikes will prolong bloom further. Planted in 2008.