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Growing Wisdom

Choosing perennials for the garden

Choosing a perennial for the garden can be difficult. There are so many choices of plants in gardens centers that it can be overwhelming. Sometimes the newer perennials are not as hardy as those that have been around for decades. Rare plants can be finicky and somewhat expensive if you are on a budget.

Gallardia or blanket flower is an easy to grow flower that is drought tolerant and comes in several colors. Shasta daisy is an easy to grow white flower which brings many weeks of color to the garden and will spread over time.

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If you are looking for a shade perennial to grow, how about trying some of the many varieties of heuchera or heucherella? These shade tolerant plants will brighten up a corner of the garden and can be planted in mass. There are so many leaf sizes and colors available now. I personally love the warmer colors like orange .

I still see lily of the valley being sold in garden centers. Itís a great perennial for the shade, but will run under the ground pop up in all sorts of unwanted spots.

Grasses are a great addition to any garden. The negatives to grass are they need to be cut back each spring (or late fall) and some of them can also spread under the ground or by the seeds after they flower. Grasses do add some movement to the garden and look great when flowering later in the summer.

Another fantastic perennial or group of perennials which stays low are the hardy geraniums also known as cranesbill. There are many different colors of these plants and they prefer a part-sun area, but will thrive in full sun or even some shade. If you grow them in a hot climate, give them plenty of water and some afternoon shade.

Coreopsis or tickseed is another wonderful perennial forming a large clump over time. I live the yellow form of this plant, but the variegated types are also quite interesting. The leaves of this perennial are very fine making it necessary to let it achieve a large clump for a full affect.

When selecting any perennial be sure to read the full description of the plant and then site it properly. A well placed plant will thrive, a poorly placed one will just linger.

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