Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Long Blooming Perennials

My garden doesn't look anything like this today.
But, I can dream, can't I?

I was awakened by howling winds... dark grey skies, blowing snow. I probably wouldn't mind so much if it hadn't been for that glorious early start to spring 2 weeks ago.

Alyssum is one of the first perennials to flower in my spring garden. (Not counting bulbs.)

That's when the weather warmed so beautifully I was able to spring into action and clean up one of my flower beds.

As Alyssum begins to fade, pale blue Jacobs Ladder bursts into bloom.

Then as quickly as spring arrived, it disappeared. Under another foot of snow. Unseasonably cold March days. No more tromping around the garden ~ at least not for awhile.

After Jacobs Ladder comes a sea of multicolored Columbines.

So, today I'm dreaming about my assembly line perennials. They may not be ultra-cool or super exotic. But they serve a happy purpose. These girls bloom in rapid succession all summer long.

Columbines grow amidst big clumps of perennial Geraniums.

Blue blooms first. Then pink steps in to pick up the slack.

Come 4th of July, Jupiter's Beard celebrate their own independence. It doesn't matter how often I thin the herd, they still grow up to be monsters.

In the dog days of summer, Yarrow creates a polka dot mess of bright color:

Soon after, fall-blooming Asters add new life to my gardens, indicating the sorry change of seasons:

Which serves as the wake up call for Sedum:

Sedum finishes blooming right about the time I'm so over gardening it isn't even funny.

The only real downside to a perennial garden is that even the long-blooming perennials only flower for 6-8 weeks, as opposed to 4 months of flowers with annuals. But, I still think perens are the way to go.

If I had to hand out report cards, these gals would graduate at the top of their class. The perennials listed here provide bright, gorgeous color from early spring to late fall.
  1. Alyssum
  2. Jacobs Ladder
  3. Columbine
  4. Cranesbill Geraniums
  5. Achillea Yarrow
  6. Rudbeckia
  7. Jupiter's Beard
  8. Solidago
  9. Asters
  10. Sedum
* They might flower at different times in your garden. Things are weird in the mountains.

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