An expert has advised keen greenhouse-owning gardeners to "try something new" and go for broke with Purple Smoke this summer.
Horticulturist Kevin Eberhard at the Barber and Oberwortmann Horticultural Center in Joliet, Illinois, told readingeagle.com that this flowering plant is "cutting-edge but has that old-fashioned appeal".
Purple Smoke is easily grown in well-drained soil in full sun to part shade and has a good drought tolerance.
The plants tend to open up after flowering and may need support as the summer progresses.
Patience is needed as they usually take three years to establish, but are of easy culture thereafter.
Mr Eberhard also name-checked the new echinaceas, such as Arts Pride, as ones to watch out for.
"So many people stay with the same formula, but every year theres so much thats new on the market," he said.
Meanwhile, Kevin McGowen of Midwest Groundcovers in St. Charles, Illinois, told readingeagle.com that he recommended visiting garden centers not just once during the mad rush of spring but throughout the summer and into fall.
"Youll have a much nicer landscape if you plan and plant for continuous colour," he advised.