Gardening with perennials

P. Allen Smith has a gardening show called “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home.  This particular episode that I’m watching, he is talking about his favorite  perennial  plants.  These workhorse plants come back year after year, which is why they are a favorite of gardeners.  I would like to add more perennials to our garden, s     so I thought I would take note of P.Allen Smith’s “Top 10.”

Sun loving Perennials:

1.  Salvia – Mexican Sage
2.  Daylillies – select early mid and late season blooming so there is always something in bloom.  A favorite that was mentioned was “Happy Returns” which is                                                                      “repeat bloomer” although I don’t know what that means.
3.Hyssop – easy to grow, I’m not super fond of how it looks, but perhaps look into it more because it blooms for a long time

4.  Verbena Bonariensis – grows up to 5 feet, not a perfennial in all parts  of the United States, but it is “generous seeder” so it will send seeds to other parts of your flower bed
5.  Summer phlox – summer boarder, many colors, can grow really tall, need well-drained soil and full sun, mildew can be a problem, so make sure there is plenty of air around the plant

Shade Loving plants:
1.  Columbine-reseeds itself well.  Origami columbine blooms longer than other varities
2. Japanese Anemonies – need partial shade, filtered light or half day sun
3. Hosta- many varieties
4. Toad Lily-many types, not sure I like these
5. Lady Bells – Adenophora, tall spires of tiny blue flowers, difficult to find, but worth the search

Create a theme garden based on color, conditions of garden, native plants

Native plants advantages- flowers,grasses, etc. – help define the region, economic reason–cheaper because the plants are more tolerant of their particular area, so they can handle drought better, or they might not need fertilizer.

Now Allen Smith is talking about plants native to North American.

First up:
Joe PYe Weed – pretty color, grows easily, grows to great heights
Purple Cone Flower – Echinacea
Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

Fall bloomers
golderrod, asters, Blue Mist Flowers, beeblam, butterfly weed, beebalm, jack in
the pulpit, yarrow, blanket flower, callifornia poppey, cardinal flower, maiden
hair fern

Oriental LIllies- sunny location, well drained soil, go for the largest bulb you can, becames it means the blooms will be large

It is important when putting flowers together in the same bed to determine beforehand
if they have similar needs for sun, water, etc.  Needs to be similar.  It looks really nice to have many different plants together, not necessarily all in a line.  Mix perennials with annuals.

Another plant: smoke tree, burgundy color, hydrangea, back of the flower border,
as a backdrop, can take a wide variety of light conditions, full sun, part shad
e, etc.

There you have it, a few ideas for how to add perennials to your garden to enjoy year after year!


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