Magazine article Sunset

What to Plant Now: The Seven Plants You'll Want to Grow This Year, from Our 2012 Edition of the New Sunset Western Garden Book

Magazine article Sunset

What to Plant Now: The Seven Plants You'll Want to Grow This Year, from Our 2012 Edition of the New Sunset Western Garden Book

Article excerpt

1 | Fuchsia x hybrida Ruffled petals swirl about like a flamenco dancer's skirt. Part shade inland, full sun near the coast. SUNSET CLIMATE ZONES 4-6 WITH PROTECTION, 15-17, 22-24; H1

2 | Phormium 'Jubilees' Its leaves have cherry-hued margins like its 'Jester' parent, only much more vivid--striking in borders and containers. Grows 3 feet tall; colors up best in part shade. ZONES 7-9, 14-24; H1, H2

3 | x Heucherella 'Stoplight' Nearly glows in light shade; its red-streaked leaves turn lime green in summer. ZONES 1-10, 14-24

4 | Echinacea purpurea 'Doubiedecker' Petals top this perennial's cone like a royal's feathery fascinator--after the second growing season, that is. ZONES A2, A3; 1-24

5 | 'Poodle Skirt' dahlia Wine-colored poufs and flaring hot pink petals add pizzazz to blue and white summer borders. Plant tubers between February and April, ZONES 1-24

6 | 'Superb' grevillea Large apricot orange flowers fleck this unthirsty, 4-foot-tall, 6-foot-wide hybridized Aussie shrub all summer long. ZONES 16-24

7 | Kalanchoe thyrsiftora Otherworldly or deepsea creature? You decide. Either way, this succulent's chalky green paddles are stunners. ZONES 13, 17,21-24; H1, H2

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Make a succulent (live) bouquet

For a striking display, arrange echeveria rosettes in vases with other eye-catchers, such as the burgundy-flowered scabiosa, blue viburnum berries, spidery tillandsias, and trailing string of pearls stems pictured here. Afterward, set the rosettes into containers filled with succulent mix to start new plants. DESIGN Susie Nadler, Flora Grubb Gardens, San Francisco (floragrubb.com)

Pair art with plants

Hang an outdoor painting to pick up a garden bed's bright colors. Here, a fence-mounted metal patina work, by 5 Feet from the Moon (fivefeetfromthemoon.com), adds a pop of vibrant yellow that echoes the golden leaves of Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit', while its whimsical orange blooms play off a 'Big Red' kangaroo paw, burgundy-leafed C. c. 'Royal Purple', and Euphorbia tirucaili 'Sticks on Fire'. Agave attenuata 'Nova' in the foreground and a tall, gray-green silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum) in the rear add cool contrast. PLANTS AND DESIGN DIG Gardens, Santa Cruz, CA (diggardens.com)

Use boulders for seating

Toss a pillow onto a smooth flat boulder to create a natural outdoor recliner. …

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