Special to the OBSERVER
Often when we are browsing the flower catalogs or strolling through the nurseries, we find ourselves attracted to flowers that are tall to extra tall. Just drive around and you will see how much we love hollyhocks, delphiniums, dahlias, sunflowers, and other beautiful giants. Large, showy blooms are a delight to the eye, but we sometimes forget about small and medium plants that fill in the front and in-between areas of our taller plants. So, when you are shopping for plants this spring, don't forget the smaller ones; both perennials and annuals. These specimens can be just as stunning in flower, and will break up the profile of your landscape with their different foliage color, shapes and textures.
Reminder If you put a sun plant in shade to partial shade, it might still grow, but it will not grow as robustly. So if the plant normally grows in full sun to the height of 4', in the shade it might only grow to 2' and not bloom as profusely.
Another thing to keep in mind, there are many different varieties within a flower family. While one Artemisia might be considered a low growing plant another could grow to 3' tall. If you are looking for a medium to small plant for filling in and giving vertical layers to your flower beds, double-check to make sure that the variety you are purchasing is shorter than the plant you are going to place it in front of.
Colleen Cavagna Cornell Cooperative Extension Educator and Master Gardeners: Debbie MacCrea, David Schaut, and Terry Violet.