10 Perennials for the Northeast



For many gardens and landscapes, the spiky, surprisingly blue Veronica is a staple plant, and for good reason: It loves sun, takes little care, and provides color not only in borders, beds and rocky areas but also in containers and as cut flowers indoors.

Also known as speedwell, the typically spiky blooms on these perennials, which flower from spring all the way through fall, can supply some of the most beautiful blues in an outdoor space, but Veronicas aren't always blue. Some varieties are white, purple or pink. But it's the blue ones that so many gardeners seek out, since you don't find too many ways to add this color to your yard.

There are many varieties of this common plant, which is so low-maintenance it grows roadside. You'll find heights ranging from 4 inches to 4 feet (10 centimeters to 1.2 meters ), potentially no limit on width, and flowers that can be star-, saucer- or tube-shaped and grouped into either loose clusters or tight spikes [source: Rushing]. The lower versions, including prostrate speedwell, are an excellent, hardy ground-cover option that can thrive in part or full sun.

One thing to keep in mind about Veronica is its soil preference: While average soil is perfectly fine, it should be well-drained. This plant doesn't like to soak.

Read on for a much less-common but fairly ideal plant for the Northeast ...