"Gardening is a way of showing that you
believe in tomorrow."

~ Author Unknown

The Label System

The beautiful sunset colors of the Northern Sunset labeling system will help you place the right plant in the right place, enabling you to achieve gardening success.

The Label System consists of three components: soil, selection, and size.

The Label System

Since you have found your way to Northern Sunset Perennials we assume you enjoy gardening in some form or another. As a gardener, what is important to you? Do you want to enjoy a pleasant, woodland retreat or quiet corner where you can get away to read a book? Or do you want a wild and wonderful display for all to see? Our labels indicate the light preference of all our plants. This way you'll know if the plant you want likes the sun, the shade or something in-between.

The Northern Sunset label system starts with the background color of the label. The background color indicates the plants preferred light condition.

  • Periwinkle Blue = full shade
  • Mint Green = part shade
  • Warm Apricot = part sun
  • Sunny Yellow = full sun

    Perhaps the journey is the reward. The act of selecting just the right plant and placing it in just the right place, then tenderly caring for your new acquisition, gives you satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment, or, an excuse for puttering about.

    Icon Bar

    Northern Sunset labels contain extensive information that will let you make an informed decision. Below the photograph on the label is an icon bar that indicates the plants water requirements, and special uses such as cut flower, butterfly plant and ground cover. You'll put the right plant in the right place every time.

    Here is an example of an icon bar. This plant attracts butterflies, is a ground cover that will spread to cover bare ground, thrives in part sun/part shade, and needs well-drained soil.

    We have icons that describe a wide variety of information. Here are examples of the icons you may find along with their meanings.

    Special Uses
    Cut Flower: The flowers will last for some amount of time in a vase Culinary Plant: Some part of the plant is edible as a vegetable or herb
    Aromatic Plant: Some part of the plant has a pleasing odor Dye Plant: Some part of the plant may be used to make a natural dye
    Dried Flower: Flowers are useful in home decor and crafts when dried

    Special Garden Types
    Water Plant: These plants will grow in or around water Vine: These plants climb walls, trellises, stumps, etc.
    Ground Cover: These plants will spread to cover bare ground Rock Garden: These plants will grow in or around rocks
    Edging: These plants make ideal edgings for your garden Containers: These plants will thrive in containers
    Salt Tolerant: These plants are ideal for planting along curbsides and driveways Rain Garden: These plants are suitable for planting in specialized gardens that soak up rain water
    Traffic Tolerant: These plants tolerate foot traffic

    Special Environmental Use
    Bird Lovers: Some part of the plant is useful to birds for food or shelter Butterflies: These plants attract butterflies
    Hummingbirds: Some part of the plant is useful to hummingbirds for food (nectar) Deer Resistant: A natural way to deter deer from visiting your garden
    Radtke_Pollinator Pollinators: These plants attract bees with their nectar and pollen

    Moisture Requirements
    Wet: A soil in which plant roots have access to water at all times Moist: A soil in which there is usually some dampness or moisture
    Well-Drained: A soil in which surplus water drains away quickly Dry: A soil which holds no excess water

    Sun Recommendations
    Full Sun: Sun for most of the day. All to mostly direct sun. Usually a Southern Exposure. Part Sun/Part Shade: Sun for half of the day. Some direct sun or filtered sun. Usually a Western or Eastern Exposure.
    Full Shade: Shade all day. No direct sun. Usually a Northern Exposure.

    Special Awards

    Special awards are indicated on the photograph such as "Perennial Plant of the Year" or "All-America Selection". These logos indicate award-winning selections that have been chosen for special qualities or attributes. These logos may help you to decide between two varieties you may be considering. Also, look for the Native, Naturally! Logo, indicating those plants native to the Midwest.


    Northern Sunset Perennials are locally grown and hardy to zone 4b. They are "Something Special from Wisconsin".

    Back of the Label

    The back of the label is full of cultural information like height, spread, soil preferences, bloom time and uses. Just about anything you would want to know about that plant in a nutshell.

    The Northern Sunset System for Success helps you
    put our perennials in the right place for gardening success!

    In addition to the label system, three vital components to gardening success are Soil, Selection and Sizes of the plants. Learn about those now...

    Our nursery complies with the Invasive Species Voluntary Code of Conduct for Nursery Professionals.

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