Sanguisorba ‘Tanna' is a compact, drought-tolerant, 30-centimetre-tall burnet with elegant, crimped, blue-grey leaves and dark red blooms from summer to fall. This Japanese introduction spreads slowly by rhizomes to form a 40- centimetre-wide mass. Poor-to-average, moist, well-drained soil, full sun to light shade, Zone 5.
A toast to Lobelia ‘Crown Royal' for its fire-engine red blooms and dark burgundy foliage. This plant grows 60 centimetres tall by 45 centimetres wide. Slightly moist soil, full sun or part shade, Zone 4.
A new late-blooming sneezeweed (or Helen's flower) called Helenium ‘Mardi Gras' has yellow petals splashed with orange-red. When grown in full sun, the sturdy, 90-centimetre-tall stems do not need staking. Spreads to 60 centimetres. Well-drained, moist, lean soils, Zone 4.
From recent hosta sensation ‘Sum and Substance' comes Hosta ‘Sum of All', with pale lavender summer blooms and leaves with wide, irregular, gold margins. Extremely slug-resistant, this hosta grows 90 centimetres tall and wide. Drought- and sun-tolerant. Moist, well-drained soil, full sun to part shade, Zone 3.
Ligularia dentata ‘Britt Marie Crawford' grows up to one metre tall and 90 centimetres wide. Its large, orange-yellow blooms contrast with its dark stems and big, leathery leaves, which are glossy chocolate maroon on top and dark purple underneath. Moist, rich soils, part shade (morning sun for best colour), Zone 4.
At last, a hardy English ivy that's alive with colour. Glossy green, oval-shaped leaves splashed with white make Hedera helix ‘Henrietta' an eight-centimetre-tall standout. Slow-spreading groundcover. All soils (not waterlogged), full sun to full shade, Zone 5.
Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Apollo' is a new Culver's root with lilac-rose flowers that bloom from late summer to fall. Grows up to 1.5 metres tall by one metre wide. Moderately moist, well-drained soil, full sun, Zone 3.