Tag: flowers

The Perennial Flavor of Summer

Perennials are valued among gardeners for their longevity. With perennials, you’re spared the extra effort of planting new ones every year and can enjoy them for years on end. Here are a few of the most popular perennials:

Astilbe is a beautiful perennial that comes in shades of pink, rose, and white. It is ideal for shady, moist spots. Astilbe flower clusters stand atop glossy, fern-like foliage and vary in size from 6 inches to two feet, and they rise to two or three feet tall. They may look delicate, but they’re actually quite tough.

Peonies are extremely long-lived, sweetly fragrant perennials that product flowers in late spring. The blooms can be so large that the stems have to be staked. The peony forms two- to four-foot-tall clumps in shrub-like bunches, and peonies come in a wide range of colors—almost every shade except blue.

Perennials Blog 1Hostas give you a bright splash of color that that lasts all season long. They come in tubular flowers that appear on tall stalks. It’s an easy plant to grow, as long as you have ample shade. The leaves come in a large range of shapes, colors, sizes, and texture and may be solid in color or multicolored. Hostas are low maintenance and available in most nurseries.

Coneflowers are moderately drought-tolerant butterfly magnets, some of which are used in herbal remedies. The seeds in the dried flower head also attract songbirds to your garden. Their large, daisy-like flowers come on two- to three-foot stems and in shades of pink, white, orange, rose, and yellow.

Salvias produce spikes of small, densely packed flowers with sweet-smelling foliage. These flowers are very heat- and drought-tolerant and originated in Mexico. Plants grow 18 inches to five feet. Also known as sage, salvia flowers come in purple, pink, blue, or white.

Yarrow is a drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant, and cold-tolerant perennial with flat-topped bottoms and ferny foliage. Yarrow can be grown with little effort, even by a gardener with little experience. These flowers are hardy and grow in many tiny, tightly packed clusters. Its fern-like leaves are often aromatic.

Black-eyed Susans produce dozens of flowers in midsummer to fall, depending on the variety. They bloom from midsummer until frost, with orange or gold-yellow blossoms. Black-eyed Susans are native to North America and are among the more popular varieties grown in America. They tend to blanket open fields and are members of the sunflower family.

Russian sage are very drought tolerant. They’re suited to larger gardens, creating large crowds of blue flowers in late summer. Russian sage like sun, and they’re very tolerant of drought and heat. Plant them in the back of your garden to give them room to grow. 

Letting Your Plants Go to Pot: Planting Potted Plants

Having potted plants is a nice way to enjoy nature on your own terms. It lets you tend a wide variety of flowers and vegetation to be grown where space is limited and allows people in cool-weather climates to grow plants all year round. I love the way they add color and interest to my otherwise boring porch. Here is the basic process you should undergo to nurture your potted plants:

Planting Potted Plants 4 copy

Choose the right pots. Make sure each pot has one or more holes in the bottom to allow water to flow freely. If there’s not enough drainage, the roots can drown and kill the plant. Don’t think you need a special type of pot. Just about anything can be used as a container. Mix it up- use different size, styles, and kinds of containers. If you’re on a budget, don’t spring for a heavy, expensive pot—you can find plastic, resin, or fiberglass around the house.

Next, choose the mix. Don’t use soil from the yard or garden; these might have weed seeds, bugs, or fungus. Buy some soil from your local garden center, where you’ll find a loose, light mixture of materials like peat moss and decomposing organic matter. Potting mix with time-release fertilizer and moisture-retaining polymer crystals can reduce plant maintenance.

Choose the plants. What are the conditions of your space? Determine which plants can live in your available space. Take into account temperature and availability of sunlight. Pay attention to plant tags, which will give you helpful information. One kind of plant per pot should be sufficient. To create a really great look, consider using a mix of tall upright plants with mounding broad plants and trailing plants. Use plants that create high contrast and be bold with color!

Get the pots ready. If your containers are heavy, place them at their destination before filling them with soil. Put a basket-type coffee filter or a shard or broken pot over the hole to keep potting mix from spilling out. Then fill the container with soil. Put it enough potting mix so the place on the plant where the stem sprouts from the soil’s surface is about an inch from the top of the pot. Before planting, pat the soil down with your fingers to eliminate air pockets.

Planting Potted Plants 1

Lastly, place the plants. Take them out of its nursery container. Support the top of each root ball by putting a finger on each side of the stem. Carefully pour the soil around it. If you’re planting multiple plants in one container, leave at least an inch of soil between root balls. Don’t pile soil on top of the plant—spread it around the roots. There should be about an inch from the top of the soil to the rim of the container. Then water the plant.

Good work! You now have a potted plant. Stay tuned for future posts to learn how to care for your plants.