When I got married and we bought our house, we received lots of perennials from friends. I was very excited to be able to keep the giving going to Stephanie over at Sandpaper and Glue now that she is a homeowner and getting married. She has a nifty DIY blog and has been hard at work in her yard.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to drop by a few of my favorite perennials.
This yellow primrose was one of several gifts from my friend Ann as a wedding present. She was thinning out her gardens and surprised me with several things that first summer in our house. This is a pretty fast spreading plant in either sunny or partly sunny areas. About 12 to 14 inches high, it blooms in late June/early July (right NOW). In the fall I just cut back the stems right above the ground. You can easily see the purple leaves at ground level as it spreads. They are one of the first things to start growing in the spring, but flower later. Once it was established I moved chunks of it around to lots of garden spots. It can easily fill whatever space you put it in and it has crowded out some other plants.
I have also heard rock geranium called wild geranium or blue geranium. This one was a little bit finicky for me. It likes both sun and part shade, but doesn’t always take where I have moved it around. Once it does decide it like a spot it gets nice and full. Less than 12 inches, it is fairly low. It tends to bloom in early June, but occasionally re-blooms as the summer goes on. I have received this from a couple of different people over the years!
The purple aster was a wedding shower gift. It was originally from Home Depot and I didn’t know if it would come back here in New England. When I planted it, it was only about a foot high and bloomed in early August. When it did return the following year, it was HUGE. It is easily 2 feet high and filled out nicely. I also moved it around to a couple of different spots in different beds, however it was a causality to the spreading primrose so it needs to be protected from other fast spreading plants. Now it blooms in late August and early fall.
I received this hardy mum from a colleague at work. There are actually some of its siblings on campus around my building! It starts out small, but shoots up by mid summer and can be up to 2 feet tall. It can also spread quickly and is super easy to separate and spread around to different areas of the yard. I accidentally put one in the front of a new garden not realizing how big it would get. This spring, I was easily able to divide it up and built a whole row of them against the back of that garden which will fill in nicely by next year. I like plants that fill in a spot that is tricky to weed.
I also gave Stephanie two cone flowers or echinacea. One pink/purple, one yellow. I spent HOURS looking for photos from previous years gardens, but couldn’t find a single on of either of the varieties I gave her! Both bloom is sun or part shade in late summer. The pink/purple one is much taller, 2 to 3 feet tends to spread by shooting up new plants in areas a few inches to a foot away, while the yellow one (also known as black eyed susan) is shorter and just gets bigger and bigger each year. I am constantly having to weed out new pink cone flower plants and I try to relocate them back to one area. The pink ones came from a garden next door. They were digging things up and invited us to come and transplant whatever we wanted. They turned it all into LAWN! The yellow one came from the same colleague who gave me the mums.
Happy planting Stephanie!