If you only grow one native plant, it should be purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). This classic beauty is well-known for its immune-boosting effects, but in gardening circles, it’s famous for its wildlife appeal. Pollinators of all sorts visit the flowers, and goldfinches flock to feast on hedgehog-like seedheads. The blooms make long-lasting additions to summer bouquets. Grows 24 to 60 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Look for new varieties that grow to shorter sizes and open flowers in a rainbow of colors.
Located in the heart of the ritzy shopping complex The Shops Buckhead, Biltong Bar has added Tiki Tuesday menu to its offerings, with classic drinks like Mai Tais, Fog Cutters and Rum Barrels rounding out the already copious, clever boozy options from beverage director Sean Gleason. This South African gastropub bills itself as "beef jerky and booze" (biltong means beef jerky and is a traditional South African snack) a with Indian, French and Malaysian dishes on offer and a creative bar menu with exotic French-Caribbean sips like a trendy Chartreuse Colada, a mezcal and lavender soda Summer Dresses and other imaginative offerings.
Give your yard’s shady spot a splash of color courtesy of Dear Dolores hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Wyatt LeFever’). This bigleaf or mophead hydrangea opens 8-inch flower heads all season long—pink in alkaline soil, blue in acidic. (Add aluminum sulfate to soil to make it acidic.) The first wave of flowers appears in spring, followed by blossoms from summer to fall. Prune after flowering and/or in early spring to shape the plant. This classic bloomer grows 5 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Good to know: Mulch soil around hydrangea to help maintain moisture and keep weeds down.
Chokecherrry is a beloved native tree known for its black cherries that beckon birds—and make good jelly, too. Goldspur amur chokecherry (Prunus maackii ‘Jefspur’) is a dwarf form of the classic native, bringing the multi-season beauty of this tree to a size that fits any yard. White flowers appear in spring, followed by black cherry fruits in summer. Leaves shift to yellow tones in autumn, but the best show occurs in winter, when the gold peeling bark is visible. Size: 10 to 15 feet tall by 6 to 9 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 2-9.
Flowering crabapples are a classic yard tree, beloved for their spring blossoms, fall fruits and fall color, if they have disease resistance. Ruby Tears is a weeping crabapple that blends disease resistance with pretty pink blooms. Red fruits form in late summer that beckon birds. If you don’t want a weeping tree, look for dwarf flowering crabapples, such as ‘Red Jewel’ (white blooms, 14 to 18 feet tall and 9 to 12 feet wide) or ‘Sugar Tyme’ (pink buds open to white blooms, 12 to 18 feet tall and wide). Ruby Tears—Size: 8 to 10 feet tall by 12 to 15 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
White is a classic tone often used in shabby chic designs. HGTV fan rnhey wanted to create a light, airy dining room ideal for casual year-round entertaining, so she used this fresh hue as the base for her entire design. The upholstered cane-backed chairs, freshly painted table and vintage marine life prints are reminiscent of relaxed summers and shabby seaside homes. White beadboard walls allow the sand-colored curtains and accessories to act as complementary accents rather than simply appearing in the background. For an elegantly shabby look, combine your rustic pieces with more contemporary counterparts. The white table and rattan chairs feel ultra casual, while the symmetrical prints, pleated draperies and dark wood serving tray deliver a perfect hint of refinement.
Crape myrtle is a Southern classic, beloved for its endless show. Summer flowers, fall color and beautiful winter bark earn this beauty a place in every Southern yard. Flower colors vary, including ruby red, pastel lavender and snowy white. New varieties also offer wine-red foliage. Look for semi-dwarf varieties to find ones that qualify as small tree size. Examples include ‘Acoma’ (white, to 10 feet), ‘Delta Jazz’ (ruby red, to 10 feet), ‘Rhapsody in Pink’ (pink, to 12 feet), ‘Zuni’ (lavender, 6 to 10 feet) and Early Bird Lavender (6 feet). Semi-dwarf size: 6 to 12 feet tall by 3 to 10 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 7-10.
This classic clematis traces its history to the 1850s, when it made its way to the United States from England. One of the most popular clematis, ‘Jackmanii’ is beloved for its deep purple blooms that blanket the plant from early summer into fall. To prune, in late winter or early spring cut all stems back to the previous year’s woody stem, which should be just above the base of the plant. Pruning this way helps avoid a situation later where the base of the plant becomes one bare stem with a tangle of vines above it. Vines grow 4 to 12 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4 to 10.
Romance blooms when ‘The President’ opens its deep purple blossoms. Expect the first flush of flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by a second blooming with smaller flowers in early autumn. Clematis with classic flower forms like ‘The President’ grow best in full sun to part shade. Prune in late winter or early spring, cutting vines back to 6 to 9 inches tall. Place cuts just above a pair of strong buds. Clematis grows well on a pergola, but flowers may unfurl across the top of the structure, out of sight. Instead, try planting clematis on an arch or fence so you can see the blooms. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 8 to 12 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
A classic native wildflower, purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) brings a steady stream of color to gardens all summer long. It’s a hearty plant, withstanding full sun, drought and poor soil of all sorts (clay, rocky, shallow). Plant breeders have worked to improve this flower powerhouse by expanding blossom color and form. The result? You can find (no longer purple) coneflower plants in a rainbow of shades, including red, gold, white, orange and pink. This variety is PowWow Wildberry, which unfurls vivid rose-purple blooms. Coneflowers are deer- and rabbit-resistant. Purple coneflower grows 24 to 60 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. Some newer varieties grow shorter. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Good vase companions for purple coneflower: Oriental or Asiatic lily, Russian sage, catmint, hosta and gas plant.