How does Your Garden Grow?

Louise Grabell

Getting hot enough for you? I thought that since it’s too hot to spend much time in the sun, maybe we should spend some quality time in the shade planning a perennial garden. Perennials are reliable plants that bring you blossoms every year without fail. And the best part about them is that perennials multiply, filling your garden with more and more blossoms as the years pass. Once in the ground, they are good to go. No digging up (unless you want to share them) and no pests or diseases to concern yourself about.

A well-planned perennial garden will bring you glorious blooms from March through September. Some are shrubby, and some are bulbs or tubers. Either way, perennials will produce the most awesome blossoms with little care other than some irrigation (perennials don’t need as much watering as annuals) and fertilization.

I’m going to give you the list based on what I have growing in my garden. I don’t have a very large flower bed, but it is designed to accommodate many different perennials. The growing season starts with daffodils, which bloom in March. These are accompanied by clumps of scabiosa (a lovely blue to contrast with the daffodils) which start blooming at the end of March. Then the most awesome bearded irises show their faces. These are rhizomes which multiply and should be dug up and shared with friends every three years or so. Iris blooms are long-lasting, excellent cut flowers. In fact, they will do better inside your house than out in the wind and sun. Prepare for them by having a nice tall vase on hand. About the same time in April, my peonies are blooming and the amaryllis (another of nature’s wonders) are ready to pop. The gerbera daisies are getting ready for their display and the gaillardia are in full bloom.

Blue salvia are starting to blossom in early May and they will blossom all summer if you dead-head the spent blooms. They have a striking blue-violet color, adding pizzazz to the landscape. Yellow coreopsis look fabulous next to the blue salvia. The tall-variety snap dragons are also perennial, and they will be producing gorgeous spikes of flowers in whatever colors you choose through June. My gladiola bulbs bloom in May. Oh, so breathtaking! Late May into June, the purple cone flowers take over the show. These are long-lasting if dead-headed. Yellow finches love the seeds. May into June and beyond, my daylilies and lily-of-the-Nile are creating a blast of blossoms that last a month. I shouldn’t forget my chrysanthemums, which bloom in July and, with pruning, again in September/October. Late summer asters also add color.

There are more perennials, but I am out of space! Have a look for yourself. Try something unusual. Enjoy!

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Remember, nothing brings more tranquility to the heart than a beautiful garden.