By Jodi Torpey
Annuals may be the rock stars of the garden, but I’ve always preferred planting perennials. These long-lasting plants are the backbone of my Mountain region garden because they provide so many happy returns. Here are four ways I’ve put them to use in my landscape:
1. Creating some spectacular scenery. You can’t help but notice the large pink-and-white flowers on the ‘Nelly Moser’ clematis. Because this clematis is hardy to minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit, I expect it to see its exceptionally showy 6-inch blooms again next summer.
2. Filling an empty spot. Two kinds of salvia were the ideal solution to fill in a flowerbed that lacked a dash of color. Salvia ‘Merleau Blue’ and ‘Sallyrosa April Night’ go well together because they are slightly different sizes and colors. Bees flock to the vivid light- and dark-blue blooms that have already appeared twice this season.
3. Brightening a dull planting space. Some of my favorite perennials bloom in early spring. To add zest to a boring patch of fuzzy lamb’s ears, I planted several bright-yellow ‘Cestilla de oro Summit’ basket of gold, ‘Drummond’s Pink’ creeping phlox, and a few more dark-purple salvia plants. The combination of yellow, pink, and purple is a sure cure for spring fever for many years.
4. Planting in a tough spot. Once I saw Garden Tiles from Etera, I knew I had to plant them. These tiles are a green and growing groundcover solution for planting next to hellstrips, sidewalks, and slopes. An environmentally friendly Coco Fiber mat base holds the many tiny sedum plants together.
You can plant these garden tiles for a carpet of coverage, or cut into pieces to fill a large area. The sedum established itself quickly along the driveway, and even bloomed with delicate white and yellow flowers as soon as the weather heated up.
Are you a perennial plants fan too? If so, how do you use perennials in your Mountain region landscape?