Common plants that don’t deserve their bad reputation

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When master gardener Kim Pearson moved into her Santa Rosa home, she cast a practical eye on the landscape and decided which plants needed to go and which would be allowed to remain.

One that made the cut was the agapanthus. For 20 years it had survived in the heavy clay on a steep hillside and in the dog days of August it valiantly blooms, one of the only pops of color in the landscape.

“I wouldn’t say it looks fabulous,” she said. “But it’s a darker blue variety and it’s over 20 years old and I never divided it. I give it credit for being the one thing that is blooming now, and it is something to look at.”

OK. Not exactly effusive praise. Few gardeners fall madly in love with plants that are so ubiquitous they are a cliché. Agapanthus is frequently dismissed as nothing more than a “shopping center plant.”

But some of these overused plants that may not be in high fashion may still be worth a second glance, particularly with new cultivars coming onto the market all the time.

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