Tag Archives: Perennials

How do we get more butterflies…plant host plants that the adults like to lay eggs on…and the baby caterpillar larvae like to eat!           The Red Admiral caterpillar larvae like the plants we consider weeds…plants of the nettle family…we are most familiar with stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and maybe hops (Humulus). […]

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.


Jan. 10, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

Well, it is possible. With no snow, you can still add mulch to your perennials. It’s a little scary in MN…no snow on January 10 and it is 50 degrees? Rake so leaves…undo the saved bags, buy some straw or bales grasses…protect from the winter that is coming…?


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. 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.

Crown Vetch and Quake Grass are noxious weeds and a threat to native vegetation in most of the United States. They are used for elimination of erosion on steep slopes, along ditches and where ground cover is desired. They are very difficult to eradicate once they are out of control.

Tulips are up at Gentle Gardens…we’re open for business.