It’s that time of year to revisit ‘Great Plant Picks’. While I was working at the Miller Botanical Garden the ‘Great Plant Picks’ program was developed as an outreach program so I had the opportunity to work on it from the beginning and still do. I am now a member of the perennial committee. I reference the program often when I do the daily Facebook posts if the plant happens to be a ‘Great Plant Pick’. I thought it may be useful to make people not familiar with the program aware of it (many of you are, I’m sure). It is a great resource for reliable plants in our area. Although it is geared for zones 7 and 8 much of the plant information is useful for other areas. There are fact sheets with photos and cultural information for every plant that has been chosen over the last 17 years.
The Mission of Great Plant Picks is to build a comprehensive palette of outstanding plants for maritime Pacific Northwest gardens. Great Plant Picks debuted in 2001 with the first recommendations. To date over 1000 exceptional plants have been selected for gardeners living west of the Cascade Mountains from Eugene, Oregon, USA to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The success of the program is due in large part to the expertise of the committee members. The Miller Garden assembled about 35 top notch horticulturist from all aspects of the industry, wholesale, retail, growers and botanic gardens. They are also divided amongst Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. There are 3 committees, trees and conifers, shrubs and vines, and perennials and bulbs.
In addition, Great Plant Picks selections should follow these guidelines:
When I’m working on a garden design the GPP website, greatplantpicks.org is my ‘go to’ place to jog my memory or inspire me to come up with just the right plant. I recently helped a friend design a new garden where deer were a major concern. I was able to come up with a complete garden just using Great Plant Picks list of deer resistant plants. I encourage you to use the website. I hope it is as valuable to you. This years theme is one of my favorites since the garden here at Old Goat Farm has lots of large trees. The shade was already here and it is my favorite place to be.
The photos used for this blog are from ‘Great Plant Picks’.