What makes a plant a good buy? It’s not purchase price alone. Value is best measured by how a plant performs once it’s in the ground. “A bargain doesn’t need lots of attention, isn’t prone to disease or insect problems, and spreads on its own,” says Lexington, Kentucky-based landscape designer Jon Carloftis. And while there’s no question that annuals deliver the most bang for the buck in a single season, perennials, shrubs, and trees provide long-lasting structure and color to the landscape.
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Annuals: Queen Anne’s Lace
Genus: Daucus carota ‘Queen Anne’s Lace,’ ‘Wild Carrot’
Zones: 1 to 10
Cost: From $3
Expert Says: “This is one of the most useful and productive filler pants that you can grow from seed. I plant hundreds of them every year.”