Monday, June 23, 2008

Great Perennials

I wanted to highlight three more of my favorite perennials this time. Most perennials bloom only for a few weeks each summer. These, however, are plants that put out gorgeous blooms for most of the summer, and come back more beautiful every year. All three of these dies back to the roots in the winter and grow new stems.

Salvia
I bought these plants last spring in six-inch pots and they did reasonably well last summer. There are a number of varieties, and those familiar with the Latin names of plants will know that the herb sage is also in this family. I wouldn't try cooking with this beauty, though I intend to blog on flowers that people do commonly eat at some point down the road. Anyway, Salvia comes in all kinds of colors and shapes, from purples and blues, to reds, oranges and yellows. and there are plants that thrive in almost every zone. Mine started blooming early in May and will continue through the cool fall months.

Dianthus
These beauties I bought in a pony pack--they were billed as annuals, but they came back beautifully on their own this spring, though some of them are slightly different colors than I remember buying. Dianthus is another plant that comes in many different colors from yellows into pinks and reds. They generally thrive in full sun. These didn't start blooming as early as the Salvia, but they will put on a show for most of the summer.

Veronica Speedwell
I bought this one in pots last summer from a local nursery. They make good cut flowers, do well in zones 4-8 and love the sun. In my experience they flower more sporadically than the previous two plants, and they just started blooming last week, but they look nice well into the fall. This comes primarily in blues and purples, but there are some cultivars in pinks and whites. Veronicas also come in ground covers and various heights, so there may be something for nearly any spot in your garden.

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1 comment:

C.L. Beck said...

Heather,
Thanks for the tips. I have a pot of pink Dianthus ... yes, growing in a shallow pot about 3" deep ... that comes back every year.

During the winter it's covered in snow, and maybe that's what helps keep it alive through the cold weather. I don't know. But it's amazing.