Archive for 'Perennials'

Turtlehead is the common name…and it’s a host plant for butterflies. Beautiful plant as a backdrop for shorter plants all season long. And when it blooms…it’s an eye catcher. Plant one or several, you’ll be glad you did. Gentle Gardens has several in different areas.

Well, in my little corner of the world…MN…Richfield…we are now considered Zone 5…however, I’m not fooled! Mother Nature has a way of playing games with us. Yes, I have planted a few Zone 5 plants in the past and they have survived for a few years and then have perished in the winter’s harsh winds. I am going to continue to purchase Zone 3 and perhaps go as far as Zone 4 for my Gentle Garden clients…after all I don’t want them to be disappointed. The issue is time, especially for trees and shrubs. It takes several years for a tree to be a real asset to the landscaping…imagine waiting for it to be the specimen tree you were always looking for and then have to supersize it’s winter protection year after year. It’s hard work, wrapping and mulching and etc. So, my theory, plant Zone 5 perennials and stick to hardy Zone 3 for the trees and shrubs. Happy Gardening, Gentle Gardeners!


Jan. 11, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips, Perennials

Hollyhocks…large fig leafed plants that are common in the rural gardens, swinging by the garden gates, bowing to the wind and spreading seeds for the following year. Always a welcome sight on any farm…and larger gardens.

‘Stella d’Oro’, a daylily that is the work horse of the garden. Maybe you think it is over used because you find it happily lining the edges of perennial beds along shopping centers and living complexes…well, why not, when you’ve got a good thing, use it. Landscapers love it, and it remains the first and one of the best performing of the long-blooming day lilies…and it has a place in your garden.


Aug. 22, 2011 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips, Perennials

Ligularia, a shade loving perennial plant that produces spires or spikes of yellow color in July and August. They love moisture, rich humus soil, and grow in large clumps…Be sure to leave plenty of room between them. Ligularia get its name because of the tongue like shape of the large petals on each of the flowers. The larger leaves are either round or kidney-shaped and are sometimes toothed. The strong stems stand upright and the blooms are long lasting. They are a striking plant and deer seem to avoid them while butterflies love them. Companion plants with which to balance the ‘solid’ foliage of the Ligularia would be some light and lacy ferns, Meadow Rue or Astilbe. Golden or variegated Hosta would add color to the green foliage display.


Jul. 18, 2011 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips, Perennials

“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do”…they wave in the summer heat and are welcome signs in all gardens. Shasta Daisy has the classic white peddles with the yellow center that we all recognize. They are wonderful planted in and around the roses. There are color daisies too; Red daisy, Painted daisy, Golden Sundrops. Be sure to look for your zone before purchasing one that wouldn’t survive our MN winters. And keep the wild ones, they are whimsical and bring smiles.


Jul. 10, 2011 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips, Perennials

d’Ora Day Lily…a great re-blooming perennial for lots of color, especially in borders. Many new color varieties are now available since the original yellow. Check them out for fast, long lasting color in the sun garden.

Fern Leaf Peonie

Jul. 10, 2011 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips, Perennials

Paeonia tenuifolia, an amazing perennial. This fern leaf peony was only one bare root stemmed plant when Gentle Gardens first planted it in 2005. Now it has over 8-10 blooms each year. I am considering dividing it this fall for lots of different locations. They are the very best perennial…needs little care, are easier to grow than roses and are longer-lasting in the garden or on the dining room table.

Results of the winter seed sowing in milk containers was a success in most of the containers. I think one carton was too dry to germinate very many of the seeds, and one was too wet. For the first time of trying this type of seed planting, I consider it a successful adventure. I think I will try it again next year.

Pasque Wildflower: Winter is all of frozen beauty, Mother Nalure hibernating. By the time of the Vernal Equinox we tire and hope for the “spring” of life. The pasqueflower symbolizes all that is missing in the wintry landscape, blooming early around Easter and is sometimes called the May Day Flower.