On a recent trip to the garden store I spotted an unusual variety of fern-leaf peony. It was costly so I passed. Yet, it's pretty fronds and unusual features still tempt me. Yes, dear readers, it's a fine example of a specimen plant.
Specimen plants are your garden divas. They're show stoppers that are meant to be admired as an individual. No mass plantings for them. You couldn't afford it and they'd lose their "specialness."
Since they're often pricey, specimen plants merit some caution unless you have a generous fairy godmother. If you're uncertain about how the plant might fare in your garden, whether that's because of soil conditions, light, moisture, or the dreaded diners (bunnies, I'm looking at you!), making a mistake with a specimen plant can be especially disappointing.
Yet, when they work they are certainly stunning additions to the garden. If you're considering adding a specimen plant, do your research. Think about the location, its interest across the summer (or seasons), and whether your conditions are a good fit for your garden diva.