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Eriogonum umbellatum, Sulfur Buckwheat. "... the attractive whorls of leaves and especially the striking, long-lasting deep yellow flowers make the effort worthwhile. 1’ tall and 1-3’wide." (click thru for more info on Buckwheats)

from Better Homes and Gardens

The Best Perennials for Your Yard

2008: 'Rozanne' Geranium I fell in love with this plant at first sight. It offers gorgeous lavender-blue flowers from early summer all the way to frost, attractive variegated foliage, and it's a cinch to care for. 'Rozanne' is definitely a winner! Name: Geranium 'Rozanne' Size To 1 foot tall and 3 feet wide Zones: 5-9 Plant it with: White shrub roses, yellow coreopsis, or perennial hibiscus

from Sunset

23 knock-out native plants

Lewisia cotyledon Native to California and southern Oregon. Grows to about 1 ft. high, 10 in. wide.

from Better Homes and Gardens

The Best Perennials for Your Yard

1998: 'Magnus' Purple Coneflower Perfect for bouquets, attracting butterflies, and standing up to heat and drought, 'Magnus' purple coneflower bears magenta-pink blooms from mid- to late summer. Bonus: Many gardeners find this plant to be deer and rabbit resistant. Name: Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus' Size: To 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide Zones: 3-8 Plant it with: 'Franz Schubert' phlox, 'Harvest Moon' coneflower, or 'Wine and Roses' weigela

Once your lavender plant has had one year to establish itself, you will need to prune your lavender once a year. The best time to prune lavender is in the spring just as the new growth is starting to come in. The next step for trimming lavender is to prune off 1/3 of the plant. This will force the lavender to create new and more growth, which will not only keep the lavender bush from going woody, but will also help to increase the amount of lavender available for harvest later in the…

from Better Homes and Gardens

Top Native Plants of Southern California

Pineleaf Penstemon A hummingbird favorite, pineleaf penstemon offers delicate, fine textured foliage and bright, orange-red or yellow flowers through the summer. Name: Penstemon pinifolius Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil Size: To 1 foot tall Zones: 4-9

from Better Homes and Gardens

17 Top Ornamental Grasses

Feather Reedgrass The most popular ornamental grass, feather reedgrass offers a distinct upright habit that looks fantastic all winter long. Like many grasses, this tough plant tolerates a wide range of conditions.

Creeping Thyme-This miniature thyme is incredibly useful. Only 2"-3" tall, you can walk in it (releasing its lemony aroma), tuck it between pavers in a garden path, use it as a tidy border or fill in a flower bed. It grows quickly but isn't pushy, delivers texture, fragrance, and flowers, is great for cooking, and requires almost no care. In summer, it's covered with tiny purple blooms that attract honeybees and butterflies. It can even be planted as a lawn that never needs mowing.