It’s the planting season, or soon will be depending on where you live. As you make your garden plans for the coming season consider these ten perennials.
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ is one of the best grasses for color in the garden. It is hardy in zones 5-9, thrives in part sun or part shade, and grows so thickly that it smothers weeds. This photo was taken in late April so you can see that the yellow foliage brightens up a garden even in the early spring.
Looking for a native ground cover for sun to part-shade? Want a perennial that grows well in very wet areas? You need Chrysogonum virginianum, aka “green and gold.” It flowers fully in spring and early summer and produces a few blooms later in the summer. Hardy in zones 5 to 8. Out competes weeds and is a low-growing favorite for perennial gardens and wet areas.
‘Earlybird Cardinal’ daylilies are short and come into flower in May or June depending on where you live. I love the clear coral-red color of the flowers – they are especially attractive in locations where they are back-lit by the rising or setting sun. A wonderful daylily for the garden that is also called ‘Endless Heart.’ In this garden this wonderful Hemerocallis is growing with other daylilies, peonies, a stand of yellow Verbascum chaixii and Geranium ‘Rozanne.’
Nepeta ‘Grandview’ is a plant for those who want cutting flowers and pollinators. This Nepeta grows to 3 feet tall and wide and the bees and other pollinators LOVE it. It makes a great cutting flower. You can grow this perennial from seed but the flower colors vary from pink to lavender. Hardy to zone 3 and deer resistant.
One of the great new varieties of Coreopsis: ‘Star Cluster’ is a great garden perennial. It grows about two and a half feet tall in my garden and I chop in down by half in late July. Given this treatment it grows back and continues to flower until hard frost. Hardy in zones 5-9. Plant this in full sun.
I love this plant: Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ because it is mildew free, flowers for a long time, and attracts butterflies like nobody’s business. I grow it in part-sun and it does very well. Smaller flowers than other summer phlox varieties, but more carefree and longer flowering.
One of the newer Echinacea varieties on the market and wonderful in the flower garden. ‘Milkshake’ is combined here with ‘Sedona’ coleus and ‘Blue Horizon’ Ageratum. This Echinacea (a not-so-purple coneflower!) is in flower for about eight weeks in the summer. Hardy in zone 5-9 and perfect for sunny gardens.
If I had to pick one variety of hardy Hibiscus, this would probably be it. ‘Blue River II’ is hardy in zones 4-9 and has outrageously large crisp, clean flowers. Plant this perennial in full sun and give it about five feet in diameter so that other plants won’t be crowded and overshadowed.
Here is the plant that will make you change your mind about red-hot-pokers. In the past these plants only bloomed for about ten minutes, right? You had be be careful not to blink or you’d miss their flowering. Thanks to Terra Nova Nurseries, those days are gone. This perennial has been a flower-machine in my garden. It produces flower spike after flower spike over a two month period, or longer! This and it’s cousin, Pineapple Popsicle (yellow) are wonderful, low-maintenance plants for the zone 6-10 garden.
One of the latest blooming perennials is this very hardy Dendranthema ‘Cambodian Queen.’ Hardy in zones 4 though 9 and it grows best in sun or part-sun. A very low-maintenance perennial that you don’t have to touch all summer.
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ (yellow hakon grass or Japanese forest grass)
Chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold)
Hemerocallis Earlybird Cardinal (‘Endless Heart’ daylily)
Nepeta subsessilis ‘Grandview’ (Grandview cat mint)
Coreopsis: ‘Star Cluster’
Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ (Jeana summer phlox)
Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Blue River II’ (hardy hibiscus Blue River II)
Kniphofia ‘Mango Popsicle’ (mango popsicle poker plant)
Dendranthema x ‘Cambodian Queen’ (Cambodian queen chrysanthemum)
More great perennials to come!