Baptisias: Great American Natives!

Baptisias, commonly known as false indigo, are North American native members of the pea family and quite drought tolerant once established. They provide amazing architectural form in a sunny garden or perennial border, and are deer-resistant and a butterfly magnet (See the top 25 flowers that attract butterflies here.). Not only do baptisia come in blue, which many people are familiar with in the most common species, B. australis, but they are also available in a wide array of colors such as white, yellow, purple, and pink, and new breeding efforts are producing bicolor flowers such as those of Lunar Eclipse. Baptisias have long been one of our favorite groups of sun perennials here at PDN. Through our trials of new varieties introduced  to the market, as well as our own breeding program, we continue to select for improved structure and habit as well as flower color. In 2017, we have introduced 2 new varieties in our Tower Series, Yellow Towers and Ivory Towers. These Read more [...]

Surprise Lily and Butterfly Season

There are few times of year more exciting for us than lycoris (surprise lily) season, and we are right in the midst of that now.  We're also enjoying peak butterfly season at the same time, which is really great since butterflies love to drink surprise lily nectar.  It's hard to put the camera down with so many great photo opportunities, so we thought we'd share one of our favorites from this week...an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Lycoris x rosea. (See more flowers that attract butterflies). See the top 25 flowers that attract butterflies here. Read more [...]

Butterfly bush – Buddleia ‘Blue Heaven’

Looking especially great in the garden today is Buddleia 'Blue Heaven'.  This amazing butterfly bush was hybridized to have a perfectly rounded, compact shape throughout the growing season without any clipping.  Here's our amazing plant in the garden this week. Also, check out our in-depth article about Butterfly Bush and our article on the top 25 butterfly garden plants. Check out our quick guide on How to care for Buddleia.  Read more [...]

Butterflies have been busy

We know it's hard for some folks to wrap their mind around being excited when insects eat your plants, but that's how nature works.  In the best scenario, the insect eating the plant is as beautiful or more so than the plant their eating.  I just snapped this photo of the larvae of the Pipevine Swallowtail devouring all of our aristolochia (pipevines) in the garden.  This actually doesn't harm the plants, and before long, your garden will be filled with these beautiful butterflies below.  No spraying, please. See the top 25 flowers that attract butterflies here. A pipevine swallowtail enjoying a lantana nectar snack here at Juniper Level.   Read more [...]

Centrosema vine

Centrosma virginiana flowers closeup

I just snapped this photo yesterday in the garden of the native (Illinois south to Florida) Centrosema virginianum (butterfly pea) vine.  We don’t currently offer this, but if we did, would you buy it? See the top 25 flowers that attract butterflies here.

Aristolochia fimbriata

Aristolochia fimbriata foliage5

One of my favorite foliage perennials is unquestionably Aristolochia fimbriata.   While the flowers are insanely cool and produced all summer, the foliage is just so hard to beat.  Even where it isn’t winter hardy, Aristolochia fimbriata makes a great summer container spiller, sprawling to about 2′ in width.  Here’s how it looks in the garden today. See the top 25 flowers that attract butterflies here.