Articles in Category: Perennial

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'

on Monday, 20 September 2010. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Flowering Plants

Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan


Black eyed Susan may seem too common to mention but it is so easy to grow and provides such cheerful, long lasting color that it should have a place in every garden. This selected form of the coneflower is a true perennial, coming back with larger clumps every year. You will always be able to divide it and spread it throughout your garden, from clay soils to sandy soils and drier spots to moister locations. For most areas, Rudbeckia is deer resistant, however you may want to test it first. It can be drought tolerant but seems to appreciate a deep soak every week or so. The deep golden yellow petals surround a brown cone on a sturdy stem that is great for cut flowers. The flowers bloom in succession from mid summer to frost and even when the petals are gone the cones make a pretty sillouette in the winter. The best reason for leaving the seedheads up is to watch the yellow finches land on them and peck away at the seeds. You can then prune the stems back anytime from fall to spring, and a new flush of leaves will appear in late spring. Rudbeckia look great in a large mass or combined with other jewel- toned perennials or ornamental grasses. 'Goldstrum' can get about 3' tall and plan on it spreading to at least 2' wide; more after a couple of years unless you divide it. Try this low maintenance perennial that needs no staking or extra care.

Penstemon heterophyllus 'Catherine de la Mare'

on Monday, 28 June 2010. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Ground Cover, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Catherine de la Mare Foothill Penstemon


One of the best and easy to grow Penstemons.  The iridescent blue flowers contain a range of colors as they bloom- shades of purples and pinks and blues beckon you to look closer, where you may run into a hummingbird or a happy bee.  The colors on this penstemon just fascinate me, I could stare at it for hours; reminding me of underwater plants or multi-colored fish.  It's more compact height of 18" or so make it stand up well on its own; no staking required.  The spread can range from 18"-36" and has a nice full habit when sheared once a year.  It is one of the few Penstemons to keep nice looking foliage through the winter, even this past extra cold winter- ours kept evergreen narrow leaves in a neat mound.   The flower show starts in May and continues to frost (better than an annual!).  Deadheading always helps but you don't have to- although they make nice cut flowers.  This Penstemon is not choosy about soil, just give it a deep soak every so often but it can be quite drought tolerant and will be fine in part shade or full sun.  Looks great with silver toned foliage plants or darker maroons.   Come visit--We'd be happy to show you our specimens in our garden.  Penstemon strictus or Rocky Mountain Penstemon has a similar habit and color and is a tough alternative to some of the taller forms of Penstemons.  We always try to have both in stock.

Geranium x 'Brookside'

on Monday, 07 June 2010. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Brookside Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)


We're into the purples this month it seems and this eye-catching purple is hard to capture in a photo.  This lovely hardy Geranium has deep lavender blue flowers with a white eye that is one of the easiest perennials we have grown.  It is similar to the more familiar 'Johnson's Blue' variety but is slightly more compact at around 2' x 2' and has sturdier stems.  Soft foliage surround the everblooming flowers that seem to complement most other perennials or grasses.  The strongest bloom comes in June but it will bloom most of the summer especially if it gets cut back after the first flush of bloom.  Not many perennials get nice fall color but this one gets brilliant red and orange as it fades out into winter dormancy.  We have it on the west side of our house in full sun, where it looks best with moderate water and well draining soil, but it can be drought tolerant in part shade.  Could be deer resistant but we think the smellier Geranium varieties (Biokovo) are better for that, but let us know what you find out!  We also carry Geranium 'Rozanne' a newer variety with a compact habit and darker purple flowers.