One of the garden tasks that I usually avoid is planting annuals. To me, a few annuals in pots is all that’s needed to bring something different into the garden. I love the work horses of the garden – the hardy, reliable perennials.
Purple Cone Flowers (Echinacea purpurea) have been returning for years. They are native to North America and were probably used by the Plains Indians for medicinal purposes.
Plus, pollinators love them because of their shape. The flat landing strip makes it easy for butterflies and others to land and drink nectar. The same thing is true for Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum).
Plants don’t have to be expensive. Several years ago I scattered Larkspur seeds and voila, they appear every year in the spring. They don’t necessarily come up where they were originally planted. In fact, this flowerbed didn’t exist when I first put out the seeds. Wherever the wind carries their seeds is where they will germinate.
Some of my plants remind me each year of the friend who gave me the start of a new plants or seeds.
Bulbs are another source of hardy plants because bulbs in the ground don’t freeze and produce each year. This Pudgie Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Pudgie’) was ordered from Breck’s. Since I live in a hot, dry spot, I used to be concerned about ordering from a company based in northern Europe. But have learned that daylilies do very well here even though they originated in the Far East.
One of the cheapest flowers is also one of the most reliable ones. The common Zinnia has pretty flowers that return if the seeds aren’t disturbed. Pollinators visit them frequently.
Hardy Hibiscus have become a favorite because of their size and color. The morning I took this picture, the humility kept fogging up my lens.
The small purple flowers on the left, French Hollyhocks (Malva Sylvestris Mauritiana), are another gift from a friend. They can easily be grown from seeds.
New plants appear on the market all the time. Before I buy, I try to do a little research. But sometimes, the tag gives you a lot of information.
This Blue Frills Stokes Aster (Stokesia Blue Frills) tag stated that it is hardy down to minus 10 degrees. It was planted last autumn and truly lived up to that claim. It made it through our deep freeze.
We all have our favorite places to shop. I prefer locale nurseries where they are knowledgeable about what grows well in your area.
However, I’ve found that the Lowe’s chain does carry some native plants that do well here. In fact, they were the first stores to carry Texas Super Star plants. But that may be changing because I was recently told that the stores are no longer allowed to do their ordering. A central ordering system will decide on the plants offered.
Wherever I shop, I always ask for local plants. If they hear it often enough, maybe it will filter up to the bigwigs.
Another pass-a-long that I received years ago is Blue Spruce Stonecrop Sedum (Sedum reflexum). It multiples like crazy and has yellow blooms in the spring.
This sedum is also easy to dig up and share.
Viette’s Little Suzy Dwarf Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia speciosa ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’) is a modern version of old Black-Eyed Susans. The flowers are large and lots of stems from one plant. Can’t help but notice it.
“Friends are “annuals” that need seasonal nurturing to bear blossoms. Family is a “perennial” that comes up year after year, enduring the droughts of absence and neglect.” unknown