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It’s The Berries—and The Blooms

One of the dilemmas for gardeners is that there are so many plants we want to grow. But then we realize there is only so much time in a day and money in the budget—and, more often, simply not enough open space in our gardens for new additions.

ONE PLANT THAT IS WORTH FINDING ROOM FOR, though it’s not often used, is a new Hypericum called ‘Compact Star’. While there are many varieties of Hypericum, which is also called St. John’s wort, this one grows to just 16 to 18 inches tall and has a compact, well-branched habit. 

BEAUTIFUL YELLOW FLOWERS COVER COMPACT STAR for most of the summer. Small, cream-colored fruits then form and turn pink as summer wears on. Flowers and fruit are often displayed at the same time from late summer to fall and make an impressive show. The stems, full of berries, are also excellent for cutting and using with other cut flowers or holiday arrangements. 

THIS PERENNIAL IS DEER-RESISTANT and is both heat- and drought-tolerant once established, with very few pest problems. It prefers to grow in full sun but tolerates light shade. It can be planted singly or in groups, depending on your space. 

TRY TWO OTHER VARIETIES IN THIS SERIES of St. John’s wort. ‘Jacqueline’ produces creamy yellow-orange berries that turn red. It is taller than Compact Star, 24 to 28 inches in height. ‘Renu’ produces cream berries that turn pink and is the tallest of this group, at 28 to 30 inches.

PICK ONE OR SEVERAL VARIETIES AND BE REWARDED with a beautiful plant and a long season of color. You might even consider adding a whole new landscape bed just to make room for them.

SHELLY NOLD is a horticulturist and owner of The Plant Kingdom. 4101 Westport Road, Louisville, KY 40207.

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