Perennial Flowers that Will Thrive with Little Care
I spend many days dreaming of having a well-manicured lawn with beautifully pruned hedges and bushes, blooming flowers, and butterflies flittering around. One day hopefully I will have that. But for now, the reality is that I plant tons of great flowers and veggies when the spring starts, and by mid-summer most are dead, dying, or not looking like they should. I unfortunately just don't have the time right now to do everything I want (or need) to be doing. I imagine I am not the only person like this. However, through my attempts to plant an award-winning garden, I have come across the heartiest perennial plants that just keep coming back stronger and stronger, despite my forgetfullness when it comes to watering, fertilizing, and weeding. These plants can honestly take care of themselves...and they're all beautiful!
So what are these gems that make me look like I have a green thumb? Here's the current line-up: roses, daisies, lilies, honeysuckle, and mint.
All images © gardenharbor
Roses are one of the classic flowers, yet for some reason not many people keep them in their gardens. Not only do roses take care of themselves (unless you're in a desert, you don't need to water them - the rain will take care of it), but they also will bloom throughout the entire summer. The only care they really need is to be trimmed every now and then. If you take advantage of making fresh bouquets for your home or office, then you will be doing this without even realizing it! At the end of the summer (or into Fall), you will want to trim them down pretty low one last time. My husband and I actually have three rose bushes next to each other that we use as hedges!
RosesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Daisies are another classic that can fit beautifully into any garden or bouquet. And just like all the other flowers on this list, they grow so easily! Daisies are also wonderful because more and more will show up every year. So think before you plant! You will want these to be in a corner or area where they can start to creep out and grow into a huge bloom. These flowers love the sun, so don't worry about putting them somewhere where there is no shade or cover. The more sun, the better!
DaisiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Lilies are one of my favorite flowers. They have such a distinct look and come in a huge variety of colors - including some that are more than one color! One of the things that is also great about lilies is that their leaves have a tropical look to them that is not like most flowers. And these flowers can really take care of themselves. They basically require nothing at all. At the very end of the summer, or early fall, when they have finished blooming, you will want to cut back the leaves - that's it! There are also a few different species of lilies that you can plant, so you can really mix up the look of your garden, while still having just one type of flower. Most lilies don't bloom until late in the summer, so don't be worried if you don't see flowers early on.
LiliesClick thumbnail to view full-size
I remember finding wild honeysuckle as a kid and pulling out the little buds to suck off the honey. So in some ways, I wasn’t quite sure about planting it in my garden. It just seemed too much like a weed to me. That was before I realized that honeysuckle actually comes in a variety of beautiful colors - not just yellow and white. We have an amazing honeysuckle plant in our garden that is a deep coral, pink, and orange. It is stunning. One of the great things about this plant is that it will grow up a trellis, around a tree, or along a fence, which will add some needed height to most gardens.
Many herbs are known for their ease in growing, but none have come close to mint. Some people actually stick their noses up to mint and consider it a weed. And they’re partially right - mint grows like a weed! However, mint has a beautiful leaf with a beautiful scent and tons of great uses in the home. I use mint in lots of drinks and floral bouquets. In fact, mint will continue to grow just in water for nearly a month! So you could make a beautiful bouquet of just mint and you don’t have to worry about changing it like you do with flowers. For those that are really ambitious, you can also use mint in homemade cleaners and soaps.
Classic Summer Mojito
Mojitos should be your go-to drink over the summer, and this recipe will make them feel a little extra special!
- Prep time: 5 min
- Ready in: 5 min
- Yields: 1 cocktail
- fresh mint from the garden
- 1 shot of spiced rum (I use Captain Morgan's)
- 1 cups of club soda
- 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar (you can substitute sugar if you'd prefer)
- squeeze of lime juice
- 1. Trim some nice sprigs of mint from your garden and wash. I would recommend 8-10 leaves per cocktail.
- 2. In a drink mixer (or large glass), mix the mint leaves, spiced rum, honey or agave nectar, and squeeze of lime juice. I usually tear apart some of the mint leaves so the flavor comes out easier. You can also add some ice cubes to help muddle the mix.
- 3. Shake the mixture vigorously. If you do not have a cocktail mixer, then put two glasses together so that you can shake without anything coming out.
- 4. Pour mixture into a cocktail glass full of ice.
- 5. Fill the rest of the glass with club soda and stir.
- 6. Add a mint leaf as garnish and enjoy!