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Article: Perennial Favorites for the Garden

Created on: Thursday, June 19, 2003

So often we're asked to help select perennials for our customers' gardens. With hundreds of varieties from which to choose, the task can be quite daunting.

As varied and unique as each garden can be designed, there are still a few perennial flowers we reach for time and again because of their time or length of bloom, their compatibility with or striking counterpoint to other plants, their ease of culture and reliability, and their appealing good looks, whether in or out of flower.

Each variety merits an entire feature of its own, but for now we'll just list them. Our list changes only slightly from year to year, but as you incorporate these flowers with other perennials, you will create a look that is yours alone. Trusty harbingers ofspring include candytuft, dianthus, primrose and alyssum or basket of gold. Blended with spring bulbs, the results can be spectacular. Peonies, iris, oriental and day lilies top our list in the bulb and rhizome category. Their flowers are unmatched, and all have great looking foliage to help keep interest in the garden throughout the season. For length of bloom, we reach for "Moonbeam Coreopsis", Veronica "Sunny Border Blue," Salvia Meadow Sage, and balloon flowers or Platycadon. Garden phlox, Sedum. "'Autumn Joy," Rudbeckia and Perovskia or Russian sage are our favorites for the fall garden, and for their season-long good looking foliage we choose Artemesia "Silver Mound," or Powis Castle and Santalinas of gray or green. For shade we rely on hosta, astilbe, foxglove and the large family of ferns. Creeping Veronicas, sedums and thymes are favorites for setting amongpaving stones, and rockcress and basket of gold hold their own in crevices of stone walls. Planning next year's garden? Be sure to incorporate many of these sure-to-satisfy perennials-- they'll delight for years to come.

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