Thursday, May 17, 2007

Flowering Hedges

Big Max Perennial Sunflower (zones 4-9)
6 feet tall, loaded with blooms
Bonus: Drought tolerant!

There's only one downside to pay day and that's the sad fact that it doesn't come around often enough. But, it certainly is a happy frenzy on the day the paycheck arrives.

I went shopping! For drought tolerant, wind tolerant, Kate tolerant big, big (5 feet tall or more) perennials. Because the front yard of my property gives new meaning to the term 'Dante's Inferno.'

Maximiliana (above) is a perennial sunflower, destined to become the flowering hedge in my front yard. It blooms in August after it's companions, the Arnold Schwarzenegger ("I'll be back...") of roses, grows weary of entertaining us:

Rosa x 'Nearly Wild' Pink Floribunda (Zones 4-8) blooms all summer and puts up with a ridiculous amount of abuse.

Father Hugo is a tried and tested monster of a rose who shrugs off many forms of torture:

Rosa hugonis, 7' tall, 4' wide, zones 5-9. Father Hugo Shrub Rose is what I like to call Kate Tolerant, (which means when I forget to weed him, prune him, or even water him, he'll be just fine.)

Hugo has a short-lived burst of gorgeous lemon-yellow flowers each spring. But, that matters not to the native birds who nest in his thicket all summer long. * Very painful thorns prevent outdoor cats from 'visiting' the nests.

Tip: Don't discard the black one-gallon pots your perennials are sold in. Use them as a root irrigation system for the young bushes and trees you're planting. Sink the pots into the ground, next to new plants. Fill with water once a week. The water goes directly to the roots, where it will do the most good.