Western Mountains and High Plains
Don't know what to plant or which plants combine well with each other? Perennial Combinations, by C. Colston Burrell (Rodale Press, 1999; $29.95) is chock full of ideas for different color combinations, how to plant for texture and form, plus tips on soil and exposure for plants. This book will inspire you to design and plant a garden that looks good year-round.
Favorite or New Plant
Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) adds grace to the summer garden with its tall spires of blue-violet, pealike flowers. The flowers combined with mounds of soft, gray-green foliage make this a multi-talented plant. In the landscape, it's a fine addition to flower borders, native plantings, meadow gardens, and transitional areas between a perennial bed and open space. Allow plenty of space for this plant to grow and develop. Stems grow rapidly in spring, and in June the intense blue flowers open on the tall stalks. For the remainder of the season, the three-lobed, clover-like leaves add a soft textural form to the garden. Use false indigo for the back of a flowerbed, as its blue-green foliage remains attractive throughout the growing season.