List of a few favorites of ours for gardeners who have no time for high-maintenance flowers.
Old-fashioned and romantic, peonies are beginning a revival. And the new Itoh hybrids are adding sensational colors. When in bloom: to die for. Simply combine with summer-blooming plants that start flowering when peonies finish.
The upright, flowering sedums can really be valuable to late summer and fall gardens. The bold foliage, strong stalks, and large flower heads really have presence, especially if planted en masse.
Huge, sensational cupped blooms with centers of prominent stamens. Their exotic buds and beautifully-cut leaves are almost as beautiful as the flowers.
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa)
Once in bloom, pincushion flower never stops. Mounds of finely-cut, gray-green foliage sport spindly (but strong) stems with pincushions in blue, pink or white.
Inspirations featured the breathtaking array of new colors and forms of coneflowers last year.
What we might not have emphasized is the sturdiness of this prairie girl.
This rather non-descript, low-growing ferny foliage arise beautiful, flat-topped flower cluster in chrome yellow, red, pink, or subtle shades like terracotta. Absolutely foolproof.
If the color yellow is all that comes to mind when you think coreopsis, then you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. This tough, always-in bloom cookie now comes in red, orange, cream, purple and combinations thereof.
The arching, strap-like foliage is perfect contrast to most perennials, but it’s the non-stop flowers in just about any color you want that make this clumping perennial a must-have.
Easy-to-grow Shasta daisies have lots of large, white or yellow-toned flowers most of the summer. They make terrific cut flowers, too.
It’s not a super-long show, but when catmints are in bloom, their clouds of lavender blooms are spectacular, especially as borders along sunny paths. Blooms for a long time and re-blooms if cut back.
The problem with salvias?
Too many colors to choose from. And they’re all bulletproof. For fun, try out some of the new ones. You really can’t make a mistake with salvias.
Yes, it’s been around for a while and used a lot. But there are new ones out in different colors and sizes. Give this trooper a second go.
Maiden Grass (Miscanthus)
With regular water, there’s really not a more dependably showy ornamental grass than Miscanthus. Lots of sizes and colors. A mature clump is a sight to behold.
With this trooper, you get huge and dramatic dinner plate-like size flowers in summer. You’ll want to position them so they’re protected from wind.
Perennial Geranium (Cranesbill)
The new hybrid true geraniums are pretty sensational. ‘Rozanne’ for instance, was a recent selection as the “Perennial of the Year”. For good reason: a fool-proof plant and one that’s covered with vibrant, non-stop blooms.