Hilltop Farm From the Air

Choice Perennial Gallery

Perennials For SunPerennials For ShadePerennial Vines

Welcome to our Choice Perennial Gallery! For those of you who live close enough to visit us at our Farm location, this page is a sample of the many choice perennials that will be available for your buying pleasure.

Do keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive - we grow thousands of varieties. Those presented here are just a few that intrigue us.

Ice Plant

Shade Vines

Perennials for Sun

Balloon Flowers

For a low height, all-season bloomer try these - they are easy and rewarding.

Banana 'Basjoo'

Yes a truly hardy banana! This banana has green leaves and is supposedly hardy to Zone 5. We were skeptical at first, but when it overwintered for us we became believers! This green-leafed banana will amaze you with its quick growth! Our bananas are now over 10 years old. They go from "dormant-in-the-ground" to 14' tall in about a month! Our clumps have expanded to 12' wide, but could be "reduced" if we really wanted to. In the fall we let the freeze "take it down" and do not clean it up until the spring. Self mulching and much easier clean-up.

Basjoo, the Hardy Banana
A two-year-old 'Basjoo' hardy banana towers over zinnias and container gardens here at Hilltop.

Buddleias (Butterfly Bushes)

These open-growing bushes are among the best plants for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Their long season of blooms provides a constant source of nectar that will keep hummers and butterflies interested in your garden. You might consider planting two or more varieties of butterfly bushes in the same hole. As the plants grow their branches will intermingle, making it seem that different colored blooms are coming off of one plant.

Do not prune until late spring; as they leaf out you can cut out any dead branches. In a hard winter they will die back to the ground, but will still be blooming by midsummer regardless. As a bonus they are deer resistant! They prefer full sun, and their rapid growth demands rich soil and even moisture.

These will bloom this summer. Available from mid April until early June.

'Buzz' series
Short (3' tall) and tidy, this new series is user-friendly for those with smaller spaces. Their habit also makes them very desirable for container gardening, attracting lots of butterflies to your patio. All are fragrant, floriferous, and fantastic!

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Ornamental Grasses

From 7' tall Miscanthus to 12" tall Stipa, we have lots of ornamental grasses to choose from. Most are extremely easy to grow needing just basic garden care - Here are 3 interesting ones from our selection of many! (Two are annuals; one is a perennial.)

Pennisetum 'Atropurpeum' (Purple Fountain Grass)
This annual grass is wonderful. It will quickly grow to 3' tall sporting pink foxtails over burgundy blades. It prefers full to part sun and evenly moist soil. Adequate fertility is necessary to support the rapid growth rate.

Pennisetum 'Atropurpeum'

Pennisetum 'Fireworks'
This annual grass is the variegated version of Purple Fountain grass. It grows a bit shorter (2' tall) so it is excellent in containers as well as beds. Striped foliage is dark burgundy and rose. Pinkish plumes appear in late summer. It prefers full to part sun and evenly moist soil.

Stipa (Nassella) tenuissima "Ponytails" or "Angel's Hair"
This hardy grass makes nice, 12" tufts of the softest grass. It has been hardy for us in well-drained soil. A nice texture plant - put it where you can "pet" it. It needs full to part sun, good drainage, and adequate moisture. It will grow 12" tall and wide this summer.


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Nepeta fassenii 'Walker's Low'

This plant wants to grow! It will easily produce a mound of foliage 18" tall by 48" wide this year! (You can cut it back if it becomes a threat to its neighbors). It will reward you with clean grey-green foliage covered in vast quantities of small lavender-blue flowers all summer long that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Place it in a location with full to part sun and evenly moist soil for best growth. Drought tolerant once established.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low'

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Purple Leafed Oxalis

Arising from a weird looking bulb/root, this plant forms masses of purple shamrock leaves and lavender flowers. It will make an easy houseplant, conservatory specimen or perennial. In our garden it has been used if full sun to bright shade and has prospered everywhere. It has formed clumps up to 18" wide and remains attractive all season long. It goes dormant after the first fall frost and re-appears each spring without fail. This is a perennial for us.

Purple Oxalis

Tall Garden Phlox

Native to the U.S., many of these varieties went to Europe for an education. Summer or fall blooming in a wide range of colors. Hardy and drought tolerant once established.

Tall Garden Phlox.

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Perennials for Shade

Bletillas (Hardy Orchid)

These hardy orchids bloom outdoors each May in our zone 5-6 garden. We offer the plants no special protection or care in our shade gardens, nor do they need it. They will form clumps 18" tall by 36" wide. We recommend planting in part sun to bright shade in evenly-moist, good soil.

Available April through June.


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Corydalis lutea

Blooming from March to November, this is a favorite - a bright, cheery lemon yellow. Attractive, ferny foliage, too.

Corydalis lutea

'Gold Heart' Bleeding Heart

This perennial sports golden foliage with pink blooms. This is the gold-leaved version of the Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart, so it may go dormant or semi-dormant in the summer (or maybe not, depending on the summer and the location.) Striking plant for the semi-shade garden.

Hardy Ferns

We will have lots of varieties to choose from - tall, short, clumping, or running. Some are a soothing green, others are shades of red or silver. Here are two of our favorites, but we offer many more!

Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum )
A classic beauty, the leaves of the Japanese Painted Fern are brightly colored with silver and burgundy. An outstanding plant for bright shade or morning sun. They require even moisture and prefer a compost-enriched soil. Grows 12" tall by 18" wide.

Japanese Painted Fern

'Brilliance' Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora)
This is another colorful fern for your bright shade garden. Pink fiddle heads unfurl to coppery-orange fronds, which mature to dark green over the summer. The 18" tall by 24" wide mound is semi-evergreen here. Like most ferns it prefers good soil and even moisture in morning sun or bright shade.

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Hellebores are a fantastic plant for the shade/part shade garden, offering blooms in the winter! Yes, winter! (February to April).The plants are also "deer proof" so it is an excellent choice for those with a deer problem. Go the the Hellebore Variety Spotlight for more information.



"Coral Bells" with leaf colors of green, purple, amber, or chartreuse - a trouble-free plant for sun or shade. Small blooms attract hummingbirds.

Heuchera 'Amethyst Mist'

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Our hosta selection is the best in the area. We offer miniatures to giants in all leaf colors and shapes. Many of our offerings have fragrant flowers in summer. Our display beds feature hostas, so plan a trip to Hilltop to make your selections.

Variegated Solomon's Seal

I like this plant! Slowly spreads to form large clumps - it looks great spring to fall. Tolerates drought but grows best (like most things) if you pamper it a little. It grows so well here that nothing - not even weeds - can stop it. We always sell out - you will like this.

Variegated Solomon's Seal

Vinca minor 'Illumination'

Vibrant gold-centered leaves are vigorous enough to make a good ground cover. Blue flowers in the spring are an added bonus. This is a very rugged groundcover, and once established it is quite drought tolerant. Grows in the sun or shade, and can really lighten up a dark corner. You might also consider using it in container plantings or hanging baskets.

Vinca minor 'Illumination'

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Perennial Vines

These are great to hiding or embellishing old cars or outhouses. Equally at home on a trellis or (for some) growing up or through a tree.


We offer many varieties - most prefer bright shade here in Missouri. Nice grown up into smaller trees or mixed on a trellis. The Queen of flowering vines. Plant two or more plants in the same hole. Your neighbors will be impressed with your "multicolor" clematis.

Blue Clematis


This year we will be offering the scarlet (non-fragrant, hummingbird magnet), and two different pink/yellow (fragrant) honeysuckles. They are fabulous growers and bloom most of the summer.


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