Expert Advice for Constant Color

Jul 20, 2017
Know Your Dirt-Perennials


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There are few things more beautiful than colorful flowers in full bloom! The 2014 All-Seasons Garden Guide offers advice on which flowers to plant in your own yard to keep color all season with long-blooming regional favorites.

Expert Advice for Constant Color

If you live in the South, favorite (and easy to maintain) perennials include lantana, Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana), and salvias, such as Salvia carnea. Felder Rushing, a garden writer and lecturer who lives in Mississippi, calls these plants “absolutely unkillable” and shares that “they all happen to be fantastic butterfly and hummingbird plants.” He suggests planting alongside small-flower shrubs for continuous color.

Gardeners of the Northeast should consider a new variety of Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria) called ‘Sweet Laura’ that is hardy enough to make it through cold spells and blooms nonstop from mid- to late June until frost. William Cullina, executive director of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine, suggests mixing long-blooming perennials such as ‘Sweet Laura’ with a few nontraditional annuals such as salvia or agastache.

For those who live in the Midwest, Ed Lyon, director of Allen Centennial Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin, suggests planting yellow corydalis (Corydalis lutea). He says that it “blooms from spring until the snow crushes it, tolerates our dry shade, has lovely foliage, and brightens up dark areas.” Lyon also favors lesser calamint (Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta) and hardy varieties of lavender.

Finally, our friends in the West can liven up their gardens with Texas sage (Salvia greggii). John Beaudry, a landscape designer in San Diego, California, also recommends ‘The Third Harmonic’ Peruvian lily and the Little Miss series of dwarf Peruvian lilies. To draw beautiful butterflies into your yard, include the bright flowers of Mexican butterfly weed (Asclepias curassavica).

For a more in-depth look into making your garden pop with long-lasting color, check out The 2014 All-Seasons Garden Guide!

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