Garden & Landscaping

Winning Perennials

I am always in search of the perfect perennials to add to my garden- after looking at different garden plans and plant care instructions I decided that these were some of my favorites for this year.  Please feel free to share some of your favorites as well…


Coreopsis is one of my favorite perennials.  The mini golden-yellow flowers bloom all summer long (June-July, sometimes into August) and vary in size and shape.  Commonly called “tickseed”, this plant can grow anywhere from 1-4′ in height and just as wide.  It requires full sun exposure- at least 6 full hours of sun- and average soil conditions.  I plant these beauties in front of taller, spikey flowers like delphiniums or astilbes to create contrast in color, shape and texture.  Favorite varieties include: ‘Threadleaf’, ‘Zagreb’, and ‘Bigelow’s’


The thing I love most about dianthus flowers is the variety…you can plant two different types and they will look like two completely different plants.  They grow to be about 1′ to 3′ depending on the variety and are relatively easy to care for.  They require full sun/part shade- at least 3-6 hours of sunlight each day- and grow best in loose, well-drained soil.  Regular watering may be required during dryer times.  Favorite varieties include: ‘Miss Pinky’ (above left),  ‘Rainbow Pink’ (above right), ‘Chomley Farran’, and ‘chinensis’ but there are few that I don’t like.

Shasta Daisy

Shastas mix well with any other plants and their cheery flowers appear in late spring and last until October.  They form beautiful clumps, about 3-4′ in height and just as wide (depending on the variety) and can be a fantastic cut flower.  Shastas require full sun and will grow in any soil condition.  They can be divided every 2-3 years.  Favorite varieties include: ‘Becky’ (above), ‘Brightside’, and ‘Snow Lady’


Also referred to as “Cranesbill”, perennial geraniums tend to have a long bloom time (June-September) and grow to about 1-2′ in height and just as wide.  They are super easy to take care of and can be planted in full sun, partial sun, or partial shade.  They are soft-stemmed plants so they should be planted where they can cascade or lean on surrounding plants- they have the tendency to grow horizontally and can take up a large space in a garden.  Favorite varieties include: ‘Brookside’, ‘Jolly Bee’, and ‘Rozanne’ (above)


I just planted a few of these in my front yard and I’m excited to see how they’ll look- they grow more horizontally, about 6-12” in height and 12-15” wide but they are beautiful in the front corners of gardens where they have the space to hang off an edge.  Their delicate white flowers are beautiful against their bright green folliage.  They are drought tolerant and can be planted in full sun or partial shade.

Phlox Paniculata

I’m totally loving phlox right now but I haven’t yet decided where to plant them.  Phlox require full sun and well-drained soil but are pretty easy to care for.  They bloom in a dozens of brilliant colors from July to August.  They are vertical growers and reach a height of 1-4′ and maybe half as wide (depending on the variety).  Favorite varieties include: ‘Coral Flame’, ‘David’, ‘Light Pink Flame’ and ‘Eva Cullum’


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