Perennials: Early Summer Bloomers and some non-flowering
Summer flowering perennials
Everyone loves garden flowers, they add color to your yard and color to your life. There's nothing like looking out the window and seeing different flowers and colors surrounding your house or yard. Birds, bees and butterflies are attracted to your flowers and add even more interest to your viewing pleasure.
For those not overly interested in planting flowers every year, God created perennials. Perennials not only bring that color to your garden but they bloom year after year with little care and attention on your part.
Wikipedia defines a perennial as a plant that lives for more than two years. That means, you plant it once and it blooms every year. It dies back in winter but when summer roles around it grows and blooms year after year. Some grow from bulbs, some from tubers and some from rhizomes but the important thing is they grow on their own. What better way to fill out your garden? It is true, some perennials only bloom for a short time but if you research and plant your garden with a variety of perennials you can have flowers all summer long with very little work.
There are perennials suitable to most any soil conditions and any climate. There are perennials that grow in the shade and perennials that need constant sun. Like any other thing you plant it is always good to research perennials before you plant. Many perennials have a habit of spreading on their own and that little space you carved out for them may not be enough in a year or two.
There are perennials for every season from early spring through fall but I would like to concentrate on the perennials of early summer (in the Northeast climate where I live). Of course before planting perennials, or any other flower for that matter, you need to prepare the 'bed' or area you are going to locate your perennials. Pull out all weeds, outline the area, prepare your soil...add organic matter and/or mulch, make sure the soil is well drained so your flowers don't have constantly wet feet and you're ready to go.
Perennials can be planted almost any time during the growing season especially now when it is easy to purchase mature plants and you don't have to 'grow your own'. Once your perennials are planted it is a good idea to mulch around them, fertilize occasionally, and make sure they get enough water. Weed as necessary and your garden is ready to go.
Which perennials are best for your garden? Of course it depends on your climate and soil so I'm going to write about perennials in the Northeast (I live in upstate NY) and the soil I use is sand (because that is what I am stuck with).
One of the longest blooming perennials (in this area) is the spiderwort. Now there are some warnings that come with the spiderwort. It is very invasive; by that I mean it will spread everywhere, whether you want it to or not. You may spend hours every year pulling it out from places you don't want it to grow. On the plus side, it will grow and prosper anywhere and it blooms from early spring through fall. It comes in various shades of purple and is really a pretty little flower.
An interesting early summer perennial is the digitalis. They can flower anywhere from May through July with mine usually flowering in June. There are many types of digitalis with some having more dense flowers than others. Of course I don't have the ones with the dense flowers. Mine are white with very dainty bell-like flowers on long stems. Purported to be biennial (bloom every other year) and can grow to be over 5 feet tall. Mine do not, probably because they get too much sun and should be divided every three to four years. Did I mention that about perennials? They do need to be divided occasionally as they crowd themselves and reduce blooms.
Digitalis a/k/a Foxglove
A flower of interest in the garden from early spring until late fall is the coral bell also known as Heuchera. While the flowers are very 'whispy' and like all perennials, short lived, it is the plant itself that adds interest to the garden. Coral bells come in many different colors; amber, bronze, green, gold, pink, purple, and silver veined. Their color can vary depending on their location and environment. Flower colors can be from cream to red. They grow very full after a year or two and are a lovely addition to any garden. Their flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. They do like some shade but will do well in sun too. You'll know if they're getting too much sun as the leaves will 'scorch'. I've had no trouble moving these plants around any time of the season.
Yarrow is one of the few perennials that flower all summer long. In New Mexico it is called 'little feather' because of the shape of it's leaves. It'll grow just about anywhere in the United States. Fair warning, it too can be invasive and spread itself everywhere. It is such a delicate flower with such delicate leaves it adds a little whimsy to the garden. It does like sun though. Lots of sun produces lots of blooms.
According to botanical.com;
An ounce of Yarrow sewed up in flannel and placed under the pillow before going to bed, having repeated the following words, brought a vision of the future husband or wife: 'Thou pretty herb of Venus' tree, Thy true name it is Yarrow; Now who my bosom friend must be, Pray tell thou me to-morrow.' ---(Halliwell's Popular Rhymes, etc.)
I've only scratched the surface of the early flowering perennials available but hope I've peaked your interest. There are also many colorful plants that may or may not flower but are a nice addition to your garden because of the color of their leaves. So many, many plants to explore!
I hope you have enjoyed this hub and maybe found something useful. Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by.
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