I should mention that the name of the symposium on Saturday was The Exuberant Garden: Creating Joyous Spaces, and that was the theme which wove through all of the presentations.
One of the presenters was Ruth Baumgardner, who owns Mouse Creek Perennial Farm in Riceville, TN. Her program was entitled, "Putting the Oohs and Aahs into the Garden". Ruth recommended several great plants to add "spice" to the garden, some old, some new, but all superstars. Here are a few of her recommendations:
Baptisia Australis (an old favorite of mine)
Cassia Marylandii (such a show stopper!)
Dianthus "Prima Donna," which blooms in summer!
Filapendula "Flora Pleno," which looks like a fern, but grows in full sun
not grow this?)
Dicentra "Luxuriant", planted in with hostas for early interest
Heuchera villosa "Autumn Bride," with big white plumes
Tricyrtis formosana "Gilt Edge" (Toad Lily - another favorite)
Time to go out shopping!