Seems there's no such thing as an "entitlement" anymore, even in the garden. It's no longer good enough for plants to be pretty just two or three weeks out of the year.
Graham Rice, a prolific plantsman and author, believes plants now must be multitasking office workers, earning their keep by having more than one notable talent or feature. Here's what he has come to: "When looking at a plant in flower at the nursery, you'll find yourself asking: 'What else does it do?' "
In his new book Powerhouse Plants: 510 Top Performers for Multi-Season Beauty (Timber Press, $24.95), Rice offers a mind-boggling number of suggestions, organized from A to Z, for plants that feature interesting, often seasonally changing bark, foliage, stems, flowers, and fruits, along with less tangible qualities, such as fragrance and "elegance of habit."