Choice little alpine from the heights of Syria, Lebanon and Turkey which is remarkably hardy. Sue brought this out west with her from her garden in northern Vermont in case you think we're making stuff up. Which we do but we're not this time. Perfect low mats of small rounded gray leaves and white spring flowers. Its former name of Eunomia was most apt referring to the Greek goddess of lawful conduct and order as well as being the spring goddess of green pastures. This is indeed a well-mannered plant who has not once caused ripple of horticultural discord here..
A real stunner, this rare member of the bellflower family holds aloft its glorious flowers atop 3-5' stems. Those flowers? Quite unlike anything you've seen before, unless of course you're hiding the world's first Passiflora x Campanula hybrid (our phone lines are open!). Reflexed white petals forming a sun-like halo around a showily protruding pistil make for a guaranteed garden conversation starter. Potentially a great fit for the sunny rock garden or other well drained sunny spot.
Tough Sage from Asia Minor -Turkey, Georgia and Iran - where it grows on stony slopes up to 11000 feet so check the boxes on hardiness zones 5-10, good drainage, full sun and moderate water needs. While you have your pencil, check deer and rabbit resistant, white flowers, summer blooming and 30 inches tall. Now you are free to doodle. Seed shared with us by horticultural mega-icon Panayoti Kelaidis from his Denver garden.
Absolute rock hardy jewel from Lebanon and Syria. Well. it's rock hardy here anyway - we know that means something entirely different in Minot. This is perfect for our area as it is winter growing and summer dormant so our Mediterranean dry summers feels a lot like home to it. Surprisingly, it has been very tolerant of being watered all the time while dormant so it is more cosmopolitan than one might guess its geography. Blooms in late spring with lots of lavender-blue flowers on stems up to 18" and after flowering it disappears until Fall. Not often available and we have the inimitable John Flintoff to thank for sharing this with us.
Poet's or Alexandrian Laurel. Panache oozes from the phylloclades of this haute shade shrub. Before you get nervous, phylloclades are leaf-like organs of modified stem tissue as this nonpareil evergreen is so far beyond the cutting edge that true leaves are just so yesterday. Small green flowers to delight a microscopist, showy red berries in fall. Imagine wearing this crown of laurel in ancient Greece after winning the marathon. I can visualize the wearing but am having a bit of difficulty focusing on the running part. Now if it was a weeding marathon, I would have to say, let's get it on! These aren't big plants that you will get by any means as they are slow to go but we have gotten the painfully slow beginning out of the way so it is all good from here. You can't go unless you start.