Homestead's big Perennials Pandemoniam weekend of events is almost here, and I have to admit having a favorite event or two circled on my own calendar.  The first is a show-and-tell about "Perennials that Laugh at the Hot Maryland Sun" by perennials grower Sandy McDougle, owner of Sandy's Plants.  It's at our Davidsonville location on Sunday at 1:00. 

Sandy's Plants

I've long been a fan of Sandy's plants and Sandy herself - she's a real gardener, and a delight to hang out with, as I learned when I visit her facility just outside Richmond and was given the full tour by Sandy herself.  There she is in the photo above showing off the super-heat-loving plants in her demonstration garden.

That demonstration garden sits in a full-sun location and is treated with tough love - no supplemental watering, even in droughts.  If plants thrive under those conditions in Central Virginia, it's a good bet they'll thrive for us in Maryland.  Sandy's been testing, growing and selling perennials since 1979, so she's had plenty of experience honing her list of the most heat-loving plants and discarding the rest.

Just outside the Sandy's Plants office I found this fabulous example of a fairy garden, possibly the prettiest one I've ever seen.  Filled primarily with Sedums, it's also super-tolerant of heat and drought.

It's not all groundcovers at Sandy's - how about this dramatic Giant Reed Grass and the masses of Cannas?

In a shady spot Sandy's grouped Hellebores with Acorus and a bit of homemade whimsy.

More great perennials for shade.

If You Visit

Sandy's Plants is open year-round and a great stop if you're in the Richmond area, especially if you're visiting the Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden, just 5-10 minutes away.  In addition to the demonstration gardens, you'll get to tour fields of perennials being grown for retailers like Homestead from the comfort of your very own golf cart!  All the plants are labeled with a sign that includes a picture and cultural information.

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