It’s a new and exciting year at the nursery for many reasons. One reason is we are about to start growing a bunch of new varieties of plants we have not grown before. After the past two years of drastic heat I have been trying to put together an assortment of perennial flowers that looks great but can endure the elements with minimal amounts of love.
These plants would include Achillea aka Yarrow, Dianthus aka Pinks, Penstemon aka Beardtongue, Helenium aka Sneezeweed, Asters, Coreopsis, Echinacea aka Cone Flowers, Rudbeckia aka Black Eye Susan (a new dwarf variety), some new Sedums aka Live forevers or Never Die if you prefer that name, Agastache aka Hyssop, Geraniums, Phlox aka tall garden Phlox and Aquilegia or Columbine. If you love flowers but have limited amounts of time these groups of plants are great for thriving in the heat of the summer. If weather trends continue to be what they are, you may want to explore these groups of plants when planning your next garden.
Something else to take note of is in the past couple years there are a lot of new varieties that are red and orange or a combination of the two colors. The perennial world is not so pastel as it use to be. There are some true reds that will knock your socks off like Geum ‘Red Dragon’ is absolutely fantastic! This plant does about 24-30″ tall. It’s not a little dinky rock garden Geum. This is a plant with presence!
Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ is a double petaled cone flower that is a striking red orange. The plant is so vibrantly colored it looks like its on fire, not too mention the unusual shape of the flower! When using these reds throw some white in with them to get them to really pop.
Another plant to take note of is Asclepias or Butterfly Weed. This plant has true orange flowers, is a native plant and brings on the butterflies! The orange is just outstanding! Once again throw some white in there to get it to jump. Consider using 12-18″ Echinacea ‘Pow Wow White.’ In the past couple years I have had so much fun designing with these plants because they have enabled me to come up with so many new combinations never explored! It’s important to remember to contrast the shapes of the flowers as well. For instance the Cone Flowers big daisy type flower will look great with the Penstemons clusters of bell shaped flowers.
It’s going to be a great year! Let’s grow something together!