Perennial All-Stars

The overall concept of the Old English Perennial Garden was to have floating areas of color throughout the growing season. These splashes of color would be repeated in a number of areas and would last two weeks – the normal bloom time of most perennials. Then, the next group would start to bloom. It was a sight to see, but it took four acres and a staff of ten gardeners. A shortcut is to use fewer types of flowering perennials that bloom for a long period of time. The plants listed below have a long bloom time, are fairly easy to grow, and don’t take up a massive amount of bed space. One other common attribute is that they will need to be divided on a regular basis. With most perennials flowering in Spring, this group of mainly Summer-flowering plants is particularly useful.


Purple Coneflower: (Echinacea purpurea) A prairie plant, best in full sun, starts blooming in July and continues through August and into September. This composite flower (daisy-like,) with back-swept purple petals and a black cone, forms in good numbers on this sturdy 3-4′ tall plant.


Goldstrum Black-eyed Susan: (Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’) A couple generations beyond the prairie Black-eyed Susan, this plant starts blooming in July, and blooms until frost. This 2-3′ tall plant is covered with golden yellow composite flowers with a black cone that continues blooming through Fall.


Stella d’Oro Daylily: (Hemerocallis spec.) This daylily is unusual in its height and ever-blooming pattern. Starts blooming with the rest of the daylilies in June, and this one continues at a slower pace, but never stops until September, when it puts on a new push. This is a Dwarf daylily, 15″ tall with gold yellow flowers above.


Coreopsis: (Coreopsis spec.) This fine-textured perennial is covered with bright yellow flowers from July to September. Often planted in groups, it can reach 18″ tall. Looks best with some deadheading.


Luxuriant Bleeding Heart: (Dicentra X ‘Luxuriant’) This very dwarf form of bleeding heart (15-18″) with a very finely cut leaf is a Spring bloomer. This plant produces clusters of cherry-red flowers in May and June. Best in rich, well-drained soil in some shade.


Alaska Daisy: (Leucanthemum vulgare ‘Alaska’) This is an outstanding variety of Daisy that blooms through July and August. Yellow eye with white petals. This plant grows 2-3′ tall and is best planted in a sunny spot.


Butterfly Blue Scabiosa: (Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’) Blooms heavily in May, but continues through until frost. The plant gets 12-18″ tall, with unusual blue flowers. This is the 2000 Perennial of the Year.


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