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Brilliant fire red, magenta, or sparkling white, campions come in vivid colors. Otherwise called catchflies, their sticky calyces are sometimes inflated to do a better job of trapping small flies. Low-growing species are often from alpine regions, tolerating intense cold, but not wet feet. Taller species are ideal in dryish wild or native plant gardens where they mix well with grasses and other natives. They often self-seed generously.
Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 3 feet
6-24 inches wide, depending on variety
more varieties for Silene
Clifford Moore catchfly
(Silene 'Clifford Moore') offers pink flowers in early summer over yellow-edged leaves. Zones 5-8
(Silene regia) has 2-inch-wide fiery scarlet flowers in summer on stems that may reach 4-feet tall. The foliage is downy, covered with fine hairs. Excellent in native plant gardens in Zones 4-7.
plant Silene with
One of the longest bloomers in the garden, coreopsis produces (usually) sunny yellow daisylike flowers that attract butterflies. Coreopsis, depending on the variety, also bears golden-yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor flowers. It will bloom from early to midsummer or longer as long as it's deadheaded.
Snow-in-summer is a double whammy plant -- it covers itself with striking white flowers but it also has striking silvery foliage. It looks completely at home in the hot, dry, sunny locations it loves -- next to sidewalks, between pavers, in rock gardens, along the edge of retaining walls, and tucked into the cracks of stacked stone walls. In fact, if the soil is too wet too long, root rot is likely to set in.Where it's happy, snow-in-summer will slowly spread, creating a carpet of white blooms that cover the plant in spring to early summer.
Introduce scenery from the Greek Isles to your garden with lush plantings of thyme. This sun-loving, drought-tolerant herb carpets hillsides in Greece, thriving in well-drained soil. Drought conditions concentrate the aromatic oils in thyme, so the drier your growing conditions, the better. In your garden, tucking plants into raised beds or mulching them with gravel will give thyme the conditions that cause it to thrive and be flavorful.The flowers beckon honeybees, so add thyme near vegetable gardens to assure an ample supply of pollinators. Shear plants back after bloom, cutting off about a third of stems. With dainty proportions, thyme suits containers or the tight growing quarters between stepping stones.Thyme introduces a savory flavor to dishes, such as roasted vegetables, soups, and sauces. It is also a key ingredient in bouquet garni, fines herbes, and herbes de Provence. Use thyme to enhance poultry, beef, pork, or seafood. This herb also adds a kick to cheese and egg creations. Thyme's oils take time to be infused into dishes; add thyme early in the cooking process to release the greatest flavor.