It’s time to get cracking with that spring garden, and as we always say, why work harder than you have to? These perennials will last for years with some low-level maintenance. Adding some pops of color to your landscape will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a magical garden.
Growing 6 to 24 inches tall, Geranium, or cranesbill, looks as good in containers as it does at the border’s edge. It’s a rugged plant that prefers full sun, but it will bloom in partial shade. Cranesbill bears white, pink, blue, or lavender flowers on a pretty arching stem from late spring until fall. Most varieties also have mottled or veined leaves that add to the color show even when the plants are not in bloom. The plants can quickly carpet an area with bloom.
The jewel-like flowers of moss phlox, Phlox subulata, open early in the season, often appearing alongside daffodils and tulips. This rugged little ground cover rarely grows over 10 inches tall and does best in full sun and well-drained soil, making it an excellent candidate for rock gardens or slopes. Colors include violet, pink, white, blue, and bi-colors. The plants are also deer resistant.
Practically indestructible, daylilies will flower profusely in almost any sunny spot. They are drought and insect resistant and offer a wide range of colors and bi-colors. Daylilies are also available in early-, mid-, and late-season bloomers. For an all-season flower show plant a few of each in your garden. Or, grow daylily varieties that are repeat bloomers, flowering from spring until fall. These easy-care perennials flowers eventually form large clumps that should be divided every three to four year
One of the most popular perennials is Nepeta, or catmint, this flowering plant blooms throughout the spring and summer. The plant has rich blue flowers that stand up to heat and drought. Plus, after they finish blooming, you can shear the plant back by a third of its height and it’ll bloom again in the late summer and early fall. Taller varieties that grow 3 feet tall look great mixed with roses, peonies, or ornamental grasses. Shorter catmints that grow just 12 inches tall excel at the border’s edge.
Just when you think winter is never going to end, the spirit-lifting flowers of hellebore burst into bloom. Often called Lenten or Christmas rose because of their early-flowering season, hellebore excels as a perennial flower for shade where its nodding pink, white, rose, green, purple, yellow, spotted, or bicolored blooms bring welcome color to dark corners of the landscape.
Sedums should be on the top of your shopping list if you’re looking for a perennial that requires almost no care. These scrappy plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and won’t knuckle under to heat, drought, winter cold, or insects.
Once established, Baptisia, occasionally called false indigo, can live for decades. Baptisia is a shrub-like perennial that develops graceful stalks of blue, white, purple, or yellow flowers in the early spring. It has pretty, blue-green, pea-like foliage that looks terrific even when the plants are not in bloom. Baptisia requires a sunny spot and grows 3 to 4 feet tall.
The hardiest of all the lilies, Asiatics are almost foolproof. They grow quickly from bulbs planted in the fall or early spring and develop gorgeous upward-facing flowers in a wide range of colors and bi-colors. Bloom time varies by variety but most put on their biggest flower show in early to midsummer. Asiatic lilies also multiply fast, so you can dig and divide them every few years and spread them to other sunny spots in your garden.
You can’t go wrong with hostas. These shade dwellers are available in hundreds of different shapes, sizes, and colors—including giants that can grow 4 feet tall and dwarves that top out at 4 inches. Prized for their colorful foliage, hostas also produce lovely wands of blue, white, or lavender flowers during the summer. Hostas are a snap to care for and can be dug and divided to produce more plants whenever you need them.
Make a long-term investment in your garden with peonies. These gorgeous sun lovers will bloom reliably for decades, getting bigger and better every year. Peonies are available in a variety of colors and flower forms including singles, doubles, and semi-doubles. The flowers are also delightfully fragrant, making them an ideal choice for fresh-cut bouquets. Although they vary slightly by variety, most peonies bloom in May and June, but even after they flower, their finely cut foliage provides interest in the flower border.
For More Gardening tips and advice on perennial flowers and their care try Garden Perennials for The Coastal South:
Garden Perennials for the Coastal South
Information gathered from www.bhg.com