Are you inspired by gardens with perennial interest, but don’t know what makes them sparkle? Well, you’re in luck! Join Smithsonian Gardens’ Horticulturist Janet Draper for a webinar disclosing easy design principles and learn how to put foliage first!

Webinar Video



  • The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer: R. William Thomas 
  • Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden: Ruth Rogers Clausen and Thomas Christopher 
  • Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on Their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes: Allan Armitage 
  • Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses: Michael Dirr 
  • Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States: The Guide to Creating a Sustainable Landscape: Tony Dove and Ginger Woolridge 

Plants by Slide

Slides 4-5: Enid A. Haupt Garden – mass plantings of Angelonia (white) and Scaveola (Blue), Clipped Alternanthera (Yellow and green), Dusty Miller (Silver), Lobelia erinus (blue) under Columnar Taxus (Yew) and Crossandrainfundibuliformis (Orange)   

Slide 9:   Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ with Paeonia ‘Chiffon Clouds’, Yucca rostrata (silver), Deutzia ‘Chardonnay Pearls’ (Chartruese foliage) .  

Slide 11: with perennials, Start with FOLIAGE then the flower is a bonus! 

Slide 12: look at Plant Habit or Form, Texture, foliage color. 

Slide 13: Spirea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ (Feathery Chartreuse), Iris sibirica  ‘Butter and Sugar’, (Straplike vertical) , Paeonia ‘Goaishu’ (Tree peony- green mass), plus  Orlaya grandiflora (white flower), Carex ‘Everillo’ (Golden mound)  

Slide 14: ‘Prizm’ Kale, (ruffled silvery grey—and yes!  Very edible!)  Ocimum ‘Pesto Perpetuo’ (Basil – upright variegated),  Amsoniahubrichtii (feathery green),Pentas ‘Red Velvet’,  Acalyphareptans (red ground hugger) 

Slide 15: Start with one Strong plant and build on it.  

Slide 16:  Furcraeafoetida ‘Mediopicta’ (bold  variegation),  Thunbergiagrandifolia  (velvety foliage)  Euphorbia  tirucalli “Firesticks”Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ (little white flower)  

Slide 17:Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Heart shape variegated foliage),  Disporopsispernyi  (glossy green)Semiaquilegia – maroon flower in rear  

Slide 18:Tricyrtis ‘Togen’, Corydalis lutea (feather blue grey foliage) and Hakenochloamacra ‘Aureola’ (grass)  

Slide 19: Hosta ‘Halcyon’,  Hakenochloamacra ‘Aureola  (Hakone Grass),  Rhodea japonica and Hydrangea macrophylla (mop head hydrangea)  

Slide 20:  Solanum quitoense thorns  

Slide 21:  Solanum quitoense,  Sancheziaspeciosa, and Gossypium herbaceum  ‘Nigra’ (Black Cotton)  

Slide 22: REPETITION- Same Plant  

Slide 23: White Birches at  Olbricht  Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin 

Slide 24: Repeating Containerized Buxus (Boxwood), Ontario, Canada 

Slide 25: Paeonia ‘Bartzella’ (yellow tree peony), Spirea  thunbergii  ‘Ogon’, Rosa mutabili  (pink in rear)Phlox ‘May Breeze’  

Slide 26: Repetition of Color  

Slide 27:  Podophyllum, Mustard ‘Red Giant’,  Epimedium  

Slide 28: Paeonia ‘Bartzella’, Aquilegia canadensis, Orlaya   grandiflora (white)  

Slide 29: Playing with Complementary or Contrasting Colors 

Slide 30:  Tagetes  (Marigold) and Euphorbia  chariacus  ‘Wufenii’  

Slide 31:  Lilium  ‘Black Beauty’ and Eucomis  ‘Sparkling Burgundy’  

Slide 32: MASS! 

Slide 33: Asparagus  densiflorus  ‘Meyersii’ in Urn with Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ oozing over wall 

Slide 34: Athyrium nipponicum  ‘Pictum’  (Painted Fern),  Geranium ‘St. Olga’,  Bletillastriata, (Hot Pink) Nepeta  ‘JoAnna Reed’  

Slide 35:Erysimum  ‘Citrona Orange’,  Veronica ‘Waterperry  Blue’, Carexbuchanaii  ‘Red Rooster’,  Buxus, Yuca  rostrata, Pinus  thubergii 

Slide 36: Agave, repeated silver color in Plectranthusargentatus, Orange vine, Pseudognoxyschenopodioides  (Mexican Flame Vine), Veronica, Nicotiana  

Most importantly, Relax and Have fun!  If you don’t like it, grab the shovel!  

Janet Draper