Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Silvery .. Scalloped .. Spiky - Drought Tolerant Spring Selections

Annie's Annuals & Perennials
Silvery, scalloped & spiky selections!
All are drought tolerant, a quality I'm looking for when choosing new plants for the garden.

These beauties are available online at Annie's Annuals & Perennials: Locals will come upon their booth at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. Among the crowd, I'll be picking out plants on opening day of the show!

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow'
A shade perennial for USDA Zones 3 - 10, this dramatic columbine should grow well with average to low water. Interesting, there are no spurs on this variety.

Beschorneria x 'Martin Grantham Hybrids'
Such a savvy plantsman, Martin Grantham is a Bay Area treasure, working his plant magic at my alma mater, San Francisco State University.
A specimen for dry gardens, this rare & unusual cultivar grows in USDA 8 - 11, or perhaps as a container specimen in colder regions if given protection. Place in part shade to full sun.
Plants are wonderfully textural, and when in bloom, the flowering stems are stunning, as are dark red seed pods that follow.

Centaurea gymnocarpa 'Velvet Centaurea' pictured below: The grey foliage is a give away, as it's one indicator of a drought tolerant plant. A showy Spring bloomer, deer proof and perhaps even fit for a dry and shady spot, this centaurea boasts rich pink-purple blooms - for USDA zones 8 - 10.

Dianthus plumarius 'Rose de Mai'
Don't we all adore the clove scent of dianthus in our gardens?
This variety is recommended for USDA zones 3 - 11, and according to Anni J. - one of the head propagator's at Annie's - the plant pictured is 7 years old and does not receive supplemental water in our summer-dry region. Quite a recommendation.
Grow in full sun.


  1. I love Annie's, but it's an expensive trip to take! Those 4" pots really add up and they're always irresistible! I especially can't leave without some of their CA native poppy hybrids and the Oriental poppies, too.

  2. The 'Velvet Centaurea' is pretty. I like its spikey attitude!

  3. Thanks for the reminder about the upcoming flower and garden show in SF, I almost forgot! I love the Centaurea gymnocarpa, it's a beautiful color, and especially like the 'deer proof' part!

  4. i love annies too, but its too dangerous and the prices are a little steep...good thing i don't live there anymore...too many nice gems to bring home.

  5. I still like Black Barlow, I had that in my black and white garden a few years ago.

  6. Feeling like a total plant geek today! Springtime and all. Glad to share my 'geeky' mood with all of you. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. ooh, love the centaurea and I've always wanted the black barlow. Great spring highlights!

  8. Given how well grown and how climate appropriate Annie's plants are, I think it's money well spent.

    I just now got back from Annie's, where I had about as much self control as an newly-paid alcoholic in the Bev-Mo.

  9. That Aquilegea is very stylish.

    I bought some pinks the other day. (Tiny ones that'll take a couple of years to spread.)