We asked leading landscape designers for one of their favorite plants to work with. Here's what Susan Morrison, a landscape designer and author based in the San Francisco Bay Area, had to say:
Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’
USDA Zones 7–10
Low to moderate water, sun to part shade
Covered in lavender blooms almost year round, striking Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’ is enough to qualify as my favorite plant on looks alone. But don’t be fooled by its delicate beauty; heat- and drought-tolerant, resistant to deer and happy in a range of soils from sandy to clay, this evergreen perennial is one tough plant. A light shearing in winter is all that’s required to maintain its tidy appearance.
For a cottage garden effect, combine with Flower Carpet Amber roses. To attract butterflies and other pollinators, pair with bright yellow Achillea filipendulina ‘Coronation Gold’, or plant as a backdrop to silver-blue succulents such as echeveria for a dramatic color contrast.