10 unique plants that show off beauty with low-effort. Great finds from world explorer Dan Hinkley

Don’t hate him because he has the best job in the world, okay?

From the forests of China and Vietnam to the mountains of Sikkim and Northern India and recent expeditions to New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, Dan Hinkley’s travels to varied climates and environments are reflected in his extraordinary plant collection available exclusively at Monrovia.

Vibrant foliage, drought-tolerance, and an easy-care nature are hallmarks of the plants in this collection, which is comprised of unique shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous perennials that offer months of beauty with minimal effort.

This collection is brimming with all sorts of problem-solving plants and has it all. Whether a highly-scented hydrangea, a blue-black agapanthus, brilliant red stems of a mountain pepper, or the sweet, fresh-melon scented blooms of a twining vine, every plant is rare, diverse, and just cool.

If you’re hankering for an “all-that” plant no one else is likely to have, check out the full collection here. Want to more about Dan? Read all about his fascinating background.

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Here are TEN must-haves from Dan's fabulous global finds

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Windcliff Fragrant Pachysandra

Yes, it’s a FRAGRANT GROUNDCOVER!  Uniquely fragrant white flowers appear in early spring, repeating in autumn. Forms a dense, glossy evergreen carpet for shade or dappled sun. Reaches up to 6 in. tall. Zone: 6 – 9.

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Chinese Fairy Bells

A tall, fragrant shrub that blooms in mid-spring, its bamboo-like shoots emerge in shades of pink, white and green, maturing to deep green. Creamy flowers are followed by black fruit in fall. Reaches up to 6 ft. tall. Semi-evergreen. Zone: 7 – 9.

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Blue Leap Lily of the Nile

Numerous, extra-large heads of rich blue flowers held on very sturdy stems. A vigorous grower, it performs well in perennial borders or as a cut flower. Excellent in containers in colder climates. Flower stalks to 3 ft. tall. Evergreen. Zone: 7 – 10

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Cathedral Gem Sausage Vine

Flowers, fragrance, fruit. Clusters of white buds open to pendulous blossoms of cream to dusky mauve in late winter, followed by edible fruits in summer. Semi-evergreen in colder zones. Reaches up to 25 ft. long. Zone: 7 – 10.

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Chiri-san Sue Mountain Hydrangea

Highly textured foliage covers the mounded form. Fertile flower clusters are encircled by ray florets, blue in acidic soils and pink in more alkaline conditions. Reaches up to 4 ft. tall. Deciduous. Zone: 7 – 9

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Lacy Hearts™ Chinese Hydrangea Vine

Plant this extremely rare, hardy climber for it’s variegated foliage (with bonus of white, lace-cap hydrangea-like blooms in summer) that nearly shimmers. Self-clinging. Reaches up to 15 ft. tall. Deciduous. Zone: 6 – 9.

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Gotemba Golden Japanese Spikenard

Check out the berries! In late summer, sprays of white flowers climax in fireworks of shiny purplish black berries. Add to a semi-shaded woodland garden or mixed border. Reaches up to 5 ft. tall. Herbaceous. Zone: 4 – 10.

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Pink Elf® Saxifrage

Add some color to that shady spot or pots with late bloomer that comes on late fall to early winter. Stunning sprays of pink flowers are held on dense short stems above low mounds of colorful foliage. Herbaceous. Reaches up to 10 in. tall. Zone: 6 – 9.

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Mountain Pepper

A large, refined evergreen shrub for a mild climate garden. Deep green leaves are held along beautiful red young stems. Creamy, yellow-green, perfumed blossoms come on late winter to early spring. Reaches up to 15 ft. tall. Evergreen. Zone: 7 – 10.

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Golden Crane® Hydrangea

Ever had a SCENTED hydrangea in your garden? It’s a rare trait, but this very early bloomer has large lacecap blooms that perfume the garden with a jasmine-like scent. Reaches up to 5 ft. tall. Deciduous. Zone 6 – 10.

Ready to learn more? Here are a few quick videos.

See Dan’s own garden!

A hardy, tropical plant? You’re gonna want this one.

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