Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Long-Blooming Perennials

I work hard for a living and my flowers should, too. That means nixing lazy perennials that think they can get away with a bloom time of 4 weeks or less. (Slackers with the name Day Lily need not apply.)

These high altitude work horses flower 8-16 weeks with minimal care. All are drought-tolerant, much-loved by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Johnson's Blue Geranium
Geranium himalayense x pratense
Flowers: May - September
Full Sun
USDA zones 4-8

Redbirds in a Tree
Scrophularia macrantha
Flowers: June - September
Happiest at 6,000 feet or higher
Full to part sun, shield from wind
USDA zones 5-10

Cat Mint
Nepeta x faaseenii 'Select Blue'
Flowers: June - August
Full to part sun
USDA zones 4-9

Jupiter's Beard
Centranthus Ruber
Flowers: June - August, with deadheading
Full to part sun
USDA zones 4-9

Corkscrew Ornamental Onion
Allium senescens 'Blue Twister'
Flowers: June - September, with deadheading
Full to part sun/Loves clay soil
USDA zones 3-8


* Tip: Some of the most spectacular perennials bloom for very short lengths of time. Plant them among these long-flowering varieties for continuous color all summer long.

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