This is the third year for this plant. It is getting shadowed by a large Russian Sage next to it, which I keep cutting back so that 'Ava' can get more sun.
Two seasons ago I purchased four plants from High Country Gardens. The 'Ava' was their 2005 introduction and they are their specialty. I couldn't resist when I saw the photo in the catalog. The first year, of course, they pretty much slept, but the next year (last year) they were spectacular!! I was in love for sure. Last year, I'm afraid to say, they didn't do so well. Do you think it might have been the 1-2' snow drift that covered the area for weeks on end?? Huh? You think? It is highly unusual for snow to stay on the ground that long in this area. But then, it certainly was an unusual winter. I lost two of the plants. But I love them so much that I'm going to replace them next year.
'Ava' seems to be a bit temperamental, but as the catalog states, "This plant takes two to three growing seasons to reach mature size and will live for many years when happy." They go on to say what it is that makes them happy. Being buried under 2 feet of snow for weeks on end wasn't one of them. They are fairly expensive ($9.29 each for 5" deep pots). I think they are worth every cent. I really think they would continue to do well if not for so much snow. Also, some of the Russian Sage are invading their territory, so I need to do something about this. But I love the combination of the two. I am going to order some of their "Yum Yum Mix" winterizer fertilizer to help them out this year. I love these plants so much that I feel they are worth it.
This is 'Ava' in her second year (2006). She was spectacular. Unfortunately both she and the beautiful Rabbit Brush behind her succumbed to heavy snow drifts last year. I was very sad to seem them go. It was just one of those bad years.
Another view of 'Ava' in all her beauty before the winter storms. This plant remains lovely way into Fall if it can withstand the winter. (Two out of my original four survived).