Favorite Plants

Lemon Cucumber

On WMUR's Grow it Green, Mary Tebo Davis shared her plant  varieties and asked that viewers share theirs too. She also asked around the office and people where happy to offer up the plants that they think standout among the rest.   

Add Your Favorites to This List


OUR FAVORITES

Sun Perennials: - (by Emma Erler, Margaret Hagen, Mary Tebo Davis)

Favorite full sun to part sun perennials (flowering plants that come back year after). Our list includes a succession of plants that flower at different times for early, mid, and late season blooms to support pollinators and provide color throughout the growing season. You can see these different plants in bloom in person by visiting your local garden center throughout the growing season. We also encourage you to share your favorite sun to part sun perennials and tell us why they have become a favorite!  Share yours here: https://extension.unh.edu/favorites

Early Season Blooms (April through June) for Sunny Areas (Full to Part Sun)

  • Marsh Marigold – native plant great for wet areas, bright sunny yellow flowers and shiny foliage that are unpalatable to deer and rabbits.  The flowers attract beneficial pollinators.  Seeds are eaten by Wood Ducks, some other woodland gamebirds
  • Creeping Phlox/Moss Phlox ‘Fort Hill’ and ‘Scarlet Flame’ – tolerates dry soils long lasting carpet of color in the spring
  • Geum - airy habit with 5-petalled flowers in red, orange, apricot. Clumped foliage is attractive and tidy once flowering season is past.
  • Salvias including ‘May Night’ -beautiful spikes of purple flowers loved by butterflies and other pollinators
  • Peony - so many varieties of these large gorgeous blooms on a small shrubs like plant. Nice foliage too serves as a backdrop for other perennials once the flowers have gone by or are picked for inside

Mid Season Blooms (June – Aug.) for Sunny Areas (Full to Part Sun)

  • Garden lupine - great showy spikes that come in all colors and have interesting foliage, they will seed in but aren’t aggressive, I love to see where they will pop up. Long tap root brings minerals to upper soil layers and other plants
  • Baptisia/False Indigo - round bushy plant with pea-like purple flowers, stores nitrogen in roots making it available to other plants
  • Agastache/Anise Hyssop ‘Blue Boa’ – gorgeous violet blooms that bloomed all summer into fall and attract lots of pollinators
  • Butterfly Weed - (different than butterfly bush) this native tolerates dry conditions and its orange flowers attract all types of butterflies
  • Meadow Rue ‘Lavender Mist’ - airy tall wispy foliage with delicate sprays of flowers that last
  • Black-Eyed Susan - long blooming bright and cheery attracts butterflies
  • Queen of the Prairie - its height makes it a lovely backdrop for perennial borders. The pale pink flowers are also pollinator magnets.
  • Blunt Mountain Mint - silvery foliage and flowers are great for bringing in lots of pollinators, for less spread plant in drier soils
  • Coneflower - long blooming butterfly magnet
  • Siberian Catmint - long bloom time of lavender-blue upright flowers
  • Daylilies - common, but especially good for covering steep hillsides especially if you spread bloom over season
  • Balloon Flower - purple, pink or white flower balloon-like buds that emerge into star shaped flowers, fun plant for kids to watch

Late Season Blooms (Aug. – Oct.) for Sunny Areas (Full to Part Sun)

  • Perennial Hibiscus - large bold flowers great specimen plant many different colors
  • Kalimeris/Japanese Aster - blue daisy like flowers with long lasting bloom for many weeks
  • Sedums - many fall bloomers, lots of sizes and shapes)
  • Joe Pye Weed – native meadow and plant butterfly magnet
  • Chocolate Joe Pye Weed - native selection with dark foliage that provides great contrast in the fall when covered with white blooms

Shade Perennials

 Many times perennials for shadier places have interesting leaf textures and colors that stand out more than the actual blossoms. Our list includes a succession of plants that have interesting characteristics that will provide color, flowers and nectar sources all season long. You can see these different plants in person by visiting your local garden center throughout the growing season. We also encourage you to share your favorite perennials for full shade and part shade and tell us why they have become a favorite!   Share yours here:  https://extension.unh.edu/favorites

Early Season Blooms (April through June) for Shady Areas Full to Part Shade)

  • Hellebore/Lenten Rose Penny's Pink - blooms March through Mid-May!
  • Pulmonaria/Lungwort – spotted foliage  blossoms that turn color and provide nectar for early pollinators including hummingbirds
  • Old Fashion Bleeding Heart – great with ferns, astilbe, bulbs, pink and white varieties
  • Virginia Bluebells - great spring native plant under trees
  • Woodland Phlox - (not the more common moss phlox, woodland phlox is a great groundcover and doesn't even mind dry shade
  • Phlox x paparazzi ‘Brittany’ - a cross between woodland and creeping phlox and can take sun or shade!
  • Epimedium - small interesting red, pink, white,or yellow flowers emerge before heart shaped-leaves, semi-evergreen
  • Waldsteinia/Barren Strawberry - good semi-evergreen ground cover, easy spreader, easy to grow

Mid Season Blooms (June – Aug.) for Shady Areas (Full to Part Shade)

  • Canadian Ginger/Wild Ginger -  wonderful native woodland groundcover. Foliage is usually relatively pest and disease free. Flowers are very interesting – mimic carrion.
  • Coral Bells ‘Plum Pudding, ‘Red Sea’ and ‘Appletini’ - part shade just a few of the wide variety available - great ruffled foliage of many different colors and shades
  • Astilbe - early and late bloomers, lots of sizes and colors
  • Rodgersia - cool plant, great texture with big bold leaves
  • Gillenia/Bowman’s Root – fine textured white starry flowers and red stems bush-like clump and good fall color
  • Ferns including: Maidenhair Japanese Painted Fern - easy and pretty, both are slow to spread, great if you're not into dividing often
  • Hostas – grown for the leaves now come in all sizes, textures and colors (can serve as a deer salad bar)

Late Season Blooms (Aug. – Oct.) for Shady Areas (Full to Part Shade)

  • Ligularia ‘Brit-Marie Crawford’- dark glossy leaves chocolate- red leaves with bright yellow orange spikes of flowers in late summer
  • Wax Bells - coarsely toothed leaves are striking and unusual. Drooping, waxy, bell-shaped, yellow flowers are also quite attractive.
  • Closed Gentian - native plant with tubular purple or blue flower pollinated by bumblebees who force their way in
  • Japanese Anemone - easy to grow, spreads readily but not invasive, late summer early fall bloomer, likes moist and cool soils and northern exposures

Veggies and Small Fruits:

From Mary Tebo Davis:

  • Tomato: "Sweet Tangerine" - Large sweet tomato with lower acidity; flavor similar to brandy wine, but more dissase resistant.
  • Winter Squash: "Sunshine/Amber Cup" - Smooth and very sweet, sweeter than butternut. People in my family who typically don’t like squash really like this one. Great winter keeper, too. 
  • Beans, Green Flat Pod: "Italian flat bush" and "Jumbo" - These have great flavor and if you don’t get to pickling, they are still delicious even when big!
  • Red Raspberry: "Encore" - Large berry, very sweet and almost thornless.
  • Black Raspberry: "Jewel" - The flavor is great. They usually don’t make it into the house!
  • Pepper: "Shishito" - Mild pepper from Japan that can be eaten green or red (deeper flavor if ripened to red). Has a long season and does well in cooler climates. Has a thin skin, so it can be seared quickly in a pan. Approximately 1 in 10 have a little heat, so it's fun include in a meal with family or friends and see who gets what!

From Margaret and Karl Hagen:

  • Pepper: "Shishito" - Mild pepper from Japan that can be eaten green or red (deeper flavor if ripened to red). Has a long season and does well in cooler climates. Has a thin skin, so it can be seared quickly in a pan. Approximately 1 in 10 have a little heat, so it's fun include in a meal with family or friends and see who gets what!
  • Tomato: "Berkeley" Tie Die -  Medium sized slicer (4 inches across) that is both flavorful and meaty. Great for BLTs. Heirloom.
  • Tomatillo: "Purple" - More prolific than green tomatillos. Tomatillos aren't good pollinators, so plant in a group or cluster for best results. Great for green sauce for Mexican dishes.
  • Snow Peas: "Oregon" Giant - Large size, very sweet flavor. 

From Emma Erler:

  • Beans, Pole: "Red noodle" - Beautiful, long burgundy-colored sweet beans.
  • Tomato: "Indigo Rose" - Great flavor and unusual color: a true black/purple.
  • Tomato: "Purple bumble bee"  -  Salad tomato with incredible flavor.
  • Cucumber: "Lemon" - A classic heirloom.
  • Summer Squash: "Magda" - Light green; has a great sweet taste when harvested young.
  • Beans, Flat Pod: "Dragon's Tongue" - Yellow with purple streaks. Can be eaten fresh or used as a shelling bean.

From George Hamilton:

  • Grapes: "Somerset Seedless" - A sweet, wonderful red table grape.
  • Grapes: "Vanessa" - A sweet, wonderful red table grape.

From Jonathan Ebba:

  • Corn, Field Corn: "Oaxacan Green" - Ancient drying corn with dented green kernals of all shades, traditionally used for green tortillas. It also makes an excellent green corn bread! Also used ornamentally.

From Viewers:

Submitted on January 19, 2019 - Roberta Smith, Croydon NH  - Sweet 100 tomatoes. - so many...enough to share...and so yummy .

Anna Boudreau Supports Extension

I Support Extension

Anna Boudreau
State Advisory Council Chair, Natural Resources Steward and NH Coverts Cooperator