To even be considered, a plant must meet the following criteria:
- Be hardy in USDA zones 7 and 8;
- Be long-lived;
- Be vigorous and easy to grow by a gardener of average means and experience;
- Be reasonably disease and pest resistant;
- Have long season of interest and preferably multiple seasons of interest
- Be available from at least two retail plant sources;
- Be adaptable to a variety of soil and fertility conditions;
- Not require excessive moisture (with the exception of aquatic plants); and
- Not be invasive or overly vigorous in colonizing the garden or larger environment.
Can you think of 10 plants that meet all these criteria and perform as well in British Columbia as they do in Medford, Ore.? I can’t. Yet if you look at the Great Plant Picks website, you’ll find 850 beautiful plants and their outstanding qualities and culture to choose from, as well as images for each selection. Whew! As I was reworking much of my garden this spring, I regularly searched on the GPP website for plants for a particular site.
A special “thank you” to Rick Peterson, Great Plant Picks Manager, and Richie Steffen, Curator, for inviting me for a peek at the GPP process and allowing me to wander the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden, a rare treat.
Have you used GPP as a plant selection resource?