Best of the Northwest: After much debate, here are some of the 43 newest Great Plant Picks

The Miller Garden adds to its list of nearly 1,000 plants that perform magnificently in our climate.

THE GREAT PLANT PICKS program is a gift to Northwest gardeners from the Miller Botanical Garden. Its ambitious yet simple aim is to help us grow plants more successfully, and to this end a great many talented people have given their time and attention the past 16 years.

The GPP webpage ( has grown into a rich resource of photos and descriptions of nearly 1,000 plants that perform magnificently in our climate, plus useful lists of plants for specific garden situations. This year’s full-color poster, “Bright Ideas for Shade,” features a palette of new and older GPP picks for less-than-sunny conditions.

You can trust that every plant on the GPP list has gone through an intense selection process. Experienced designers, nurserypeople and horticulturists from British Columbia, Washington and Oregon meet twice a year to discuss, sometimes passionately, the virtues and drawbacks of plants considered the best of the best for our Northwest gardens. The criteria are stringent: Plants must be reasonably drought-tolerant, available to purchase, vigorous (but not too vigorous), disease- and pest-resistant, long-lived and hardy.

Get your poster

Richie Steffen will speak on “Great Plant Picks: Bright Ideas for Shade” at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 4:15 p.m. in the Hood Room of the Washington State Convention Center. “Bright Ideas for Shade” posters are available free at the Great Plant Picks booth at the show and in the Feb. 19 issue of Pacific NW magazine.

Here’s a look at a few of this year’s 43 new Great Plant Picks:

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