Plants - Perennials

10 plants that are making a comeback

Donna Balzer
Photography by
Proven Winners

Plants that will enchant and endure in your garden


  • s = Full Sun
  • f = Part Shade
  • d = Full Shade.
  • All measurements are height by width.

Dwarf evergreens
These vary in hardiness across the country, but without fail, there is one for every climate. They provide year-round interest in a rock garden or small yard and come in many shapes, from top-graft pompoms to weeping. In my opinion, every garden needs a dwarf globe-shaped eastern white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Nana’, 1 to 2 m x 1 to 3 m; s; moist, well-drained soil; Zone 3), weeping Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’, height and width: 1 to 5 m; s; moist, well-drained soil; Zone 3) or the smallest of the dwarf blue spruce, ‘Saint Mary’s Broom’ (P. pungens ‘Saint Mary’s Broom’,  height and width 1 m; s; moist, well-drained soil; Zone 2)—a true dwarf.

‘Cuthbert Grant’ rose (Rosa ‘Cuthbert Grant’)
One of the many excellent Canadian-bred Parkland Series roses, this variety has dark red blooms that carry into November in mild seasons. Always buy non-grafted roses because they live longer—up to 15 years, at least. 1.2 m x 1 m; s; moist, well-drained soil; Zone 3

Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata)
A hardy tree with few pests or diseases that displays showy, creamy white flowers in summer; long-lived without getting too big for a small yard. 6 to 9 m x 5 to 6 m; s; moist, well-drained soil; Zone 3

‘Sugar and Spice’ foamflower (Tiarella ‘Sugar and Spice’)
This bold-textured plant is shade toler­­ant, so it’s ideal in gardens with an overhead canopy of trees; pale pink blooms in spring. 20 to 35 cm x 25 to 30 cm; f s; moist, well-drained, loamy soil; Zone 4

Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Album’)
Erect, white bloomer for moist sites. Offers an amazing vertical effect in late summer. Planted in gardens since 1935 in Alberta (and perhaps longer elsewhere), this is a historic winner. 1 to 1.2 m x 160 to 90 cm; s; moist, well-drained soil; Zone 3

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