Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Snappy little Snapdragons* have burst into bloom! If you wonder why I'm surprised by that, it's because I've discovered a perennial snapdragon.

Previously sold as one-season annuals, these perky plants have been known to grab the lion's share of my budget ever since I learned how to till a garden.

In the 60's, breeding projects improved their performance. My Mom planted them all over the yard. Much to her dismay, as kids, we just loved opening the 'jaws' of these flowers and watching them snap back shut.

The Latin name for Snapdragon is Antirrhinum majus. "Anti" in Greek means "like," and "rhinos" means "snout." Snapdragons are 18-inch spikes of flowers, covered with buds which open from bottom to top. Vibrant, multi-colored flowers keep on coming, July through September.

New perennial snaps are great fun because they're a one-time investment that nicely completes a cottage garden patterned after my Mom's.

Combine these perennials with multi-colored annual snaps for a jaw-dropping show.

* Antirrhinum (Summer Carnival) and Antirrhinum (Debutante,) USDA zones 5-10, are available from White Flower Farms.

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