Home Tip Tuesday: Popular Perennials
Perennials are plants and flowers that live longer than two years, though most live much longer than that. They can be left in the ground year after year with little maintenance. Some perennials spread, filling out the landscape a bit more each year. Annuals may provide a bold pop of color in the spring garden, but perennials are the backbone of the landscape.
Ease-of-care, hardiness and beauty make some perennials more popular than others. The following plants score high on all counts:
Lavender ~ Lavender may be the most popular plant in the perennial garden, and for good reason. Its blooms are so charming and fragrant, you’d never guess it's also hardy as a weed. Choose from the petite Angustofolia Lady that grows only about 16” tall, to the Angustafolia Grosso that can reach 4’ high and wide and all sizes in-between. Lavender thrives in full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. It resists deer and drought and blooms from early spring until the first frost. Most lavenders can be grown in zones 5-9.
Roses ~ Despite their reputation for being fussy, nearly every gardener includes at least one rose bush in the landscape. Many easy-to-grow cultivars are available today, there’s really no reason to be afraid. Roses such as Knock Out and Snow Drift require little care and reward the gardener with masses of cheery blooms all summer long. Old roses like Cecil Brunner and Bourbon Queen bring old-world charm, and heavenly aromas, to the garden. Because there are so many types of roses to choose from, ask the experts at your local nursery for advice to make sure you’re getting the right plant for your site. Most can be grown in zones 4-9.
Hosta ~ Don’t let a shady yard keep you from enjoying a beautiful perennial garden. Fill it with hostas! The gorgeous foliage of hosta brings a dazzling palette of textures and colors to a shady landscape. And some, like Chartreuse Wiggles, also offer a lovely bloom. Most varieties can be grown in zones 3-8. From the diminutive “Abby” to the gigantic “Blue Angel” that grows nearly three-feet tall, there’s a hosta for every garden. Hostas prefer partial to full sun and moist, well-drained soil.
Delphinium ~ These towering spires are the highlight of any perennial garden, especially for the gardener who loves cut flowers. Plant delphiniums in full to partial sun and keep them evenly moist for best results. Most varieties spread about 24 inches wide and grow about 24-inches tall. They are deer resistant and can be grown in zones 3-7. Delphiniums bloom heavily in spring with flowers in shades of blue, white and lavender.