I thought I'd re-post my list of favorite perennials in honor of their amazing ability to survive these very long, very cold Montana winters.
Is it cheating to re-post? I hope it's not cheating to re-post.
This was written last March when all my plants were still in full lock-down mode.
Ready? Let's dream some summertime flower dreams together.
Perennial Favorites - from March 1, 2010
Are you making your garden plans yet? I know we still have a way to go, but I have just started really thinking about what I'm going to be doing in the garden this year. Flower successes that I'll repeat again, and things I'd like to change. I'm making lists of seeds, and thinking about bare spots that need filling in the perennial bed.
Bleeding Heart is one of the very first bloomers in my garden. They are so pretty and old fashioned. Last year, we planted some white ones too, and I can't wait to see how they do this spring.
Hardy geraniums are one of my very favorites. Some varieties get huge, leggy and out of control, but this one, Birch's Double, is one of a few varieties that know how to behave.
Peonies. Good gracious, the peonies. I always want to bring bouquets inside, but mine are absolutely filled with ants. I'm always afraid I'll wake up the next morning to find the kitchen crawling with the little buggers.
Dianthus. Pinks. Whatever you call them, they are a treat. Their sweet smell is so fresh and a little bit spicy. Yum.
Black Eyed Susans are everywhere in my herb garden where pretty much anything goes as far as color. Nice because they bloom a bit later in the season after most other perennials are done.
Delphiniums are quite possibly my favorite perennial ever. They have a couple strikes against them where I live, the deer love them and the wind can topple them, but they are so worth the hassle. And usually if you're a flower in my garden you have to be able to totally fend for yourself or you're outta here. Not delphiniums though. I'm willing to coddle those baby blues a bit. They're the favorite child. Shhh. Don't tell.
I'm very torn about what to do with my hollyhock patch. When they are good, they are great, but more often than not, the foliage gets very nasty looking and the ugliness overpowers the beautiful blooms.
Last year I vowed to tear them all out, but of course now I want to give them a second chance. All of my fall tough talk is gone. The birds sing, the bee's buzz, and I am deluded once again, that this year my hollyhocks will be beautiful for more than five minutes.
Another later summer bloomer is Purple Coneflower. It took a long time for me to really start liking this plant, but it blooms till frost, and you just can't say that about your average joe perennial. That reason alone earns it a spot in my heart.
There are many, many new varieties of Coneflower, and I have tried quite a few of them. Big Sky Sundown is a great color and fades to a pretty pinky orange. Very fun.
I could ramble on forever about ye olde garden, but at some point I should probably wrap up and save some for another day. A few last favorites....
Columbine, Sidalcea and Trollius.
As you can see, the "less is more" philosophy has no place in my garden. When it comes to flowers, more is more. That's my story, and I'm stickin to it.
Every year I try at least one new thing. What are the must have perennials in your garden?
Be an enabler and share your favorites.