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Best Perennial Plants for Summer Color
Summer is here and it's time to plant and enjoy the beautiful flowers that blossom during the heat of the season. A perennial plant is one that remains in the ground for two or more years and ultimately gives a garden its character. Most perennials spread readily, filling out gardens and providing a show of color year after year.
Perennial plants come in many colors. The colors selected will greatly affect the overall look of your garden. For example, orange and red are stimulating colors that will attract attention. Yellows are warm and refreshing. Blues are cool with the most appeal in the warm summer months. White is a neutral and peaceful color that helps other colors blend together. Normally, it is best not to have more than two or three dominating colors at one time.
Many perennials have a distinct bloom period, which lasts anywhere from one week to a month or two. To some gardeners, this may seem like a drawback, since each plant does not flower all summer. However, if planned properly, a perennial garden can have blooming flowers all summer long. Most perennial gardens change with the seasons. For example, you can enjoy pretty Columbines in the spring, vibrant Peonies in the early summer, and wonderful Black-eyed Susans in the late summer ? all in the same garden. One of the finest joys of planting a perennial garden is watching the plants and blooms change with the different seasons.
While there are hundreds of perennial plants available, here are some that flower the best in the warm summer months (June-August).
? Bearded or German Iris (various colors)
? Bellflower (white, blue)
? Butterfly Weed (orange)
? Cardinal Flower (red)
? Coral-bells (pink, red, white)
? Coreopsis (yellow)
? Corydalis (yellow)
? Cupid's Dart (Blue)
? English Daisy (pink, white)
? European Columbine (various colors)
? Fernleaf Yarrow (yellow)
? Foxglove (various colors)
? Foxtail Lily (pink, yellow, white)
? Harebell (blue, violet, white)
? Hollyhock (various colors)
? Italian Aster (purple)
? Oriental Poppy (red, orange, pink)
? Peony (red, pink, white, yellow)
? Phlox (white, pink, red, lavender)
? Purple Coneflower (purple)
? Red Valerian (red)
? Rose Mallow (white, pink, rose)
? Sea Holly (gray)
? Shasta Daisy (white)
? Spiderwort (purple)
? Sweet William (various colors)
? Yellow Foxglove (yellow)
Here are five steps to planting a successful perennial garden:
1. Choose a site that gets partial to full sun. Although there are some perennials that will grow in full shade, you will have a much larger selection of plants to choose from if your garden receives partial sun.
2. Choose the best plants for your garden. Check the USDA Zone rating and pick the plants that adapted to growing in your region.
3. Prepare the soil. It is important to prepare the soil since the perennial plants will be occupying the same space for a couple of years or more. Most perennials enjoy a moderately rich, loose soil with plenty of organic matter.
4. Follow planting instructions that come with the plant.
5. Be diligent about watering the new plants. Typically, a deep watering once a week is better than a daily sprinkle.
To get your perennial garden started, follow the above steps and make a trip to your local nursery. Take your time and familiarize yourself with as many of choices as possible before selecting plants. Be sure to find out what USDA Zone you live in and select the perennial plants that are best suited to your region and your garden.
Lesley Dietschy is a freelance writer and the creator/editor of the Home Decor Exchange website. Please visit the website for home and garden decor resources, articles, decorating pictures, a shopping marketplace, free craft projects, and more. http://www.HomeDecorExchange.com
Store Your Outdoor Furnishings to Make Them Last
In many parts of North America, the end of "porch season" has arrived. Whether you're clearing out for some oncoming bad weather, closing up the cottage for the season, beating the vandals on devil's night, or just retreating to your nest for the winter, you'll want to store away all of your outdoor items with maximum care.
How to Buy a Porch Swing
The Porch Swing is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to the latest Home & Garden trend towards building "Garden Rooms". Patio Furniture Retailers have responded by flooding the market with so many options that making a choice can be a daunting task. Here are some factors that you should consider to help you make the best Porch Swing choice for you:
Planting Roses In Your Garden
Roses are an old standby for any garden and one of the worlds favorite flowers. There are over 5,000 varieties of roses in the United States and they can be used to enhance your garden in many ways - as creepers, shrubs, vines, climbers, hedges or just as beds of pure colour.
Growing and Preserving Cut Flowers
There is nothing more cheerful than vases full of fresh flowers placed around the house that have been grown and cut from your own garden. A cut flower is one that has been cut at the stem and placed in a vase of water. Cut flowers are grown from both annual and perennial plants. Here is a short list (by common name) of cut flowers that you can grow in your own garden to enjoy for many years to come.
The Swallowtail -- A Beautiful Butterfly
Swallowtail butterflies are some of the most beautiful butterflies found anywhere. The North American species are large, brightly colored butterflies with tailed, rear wings. There are more than 600 species worldwide with only about 30 of those living in North America. They have wingspans of 2 to 5 ½ inches long.
Gardeners: Contain Yourselves!
Whether you live in a tiny city apartment or on a large country estate, gardening in containers is a way to add colour and the beauty of nature to your surroundings. The three main elements of creating successful containers gardens are:
Wild Flower Garden - Plan to Plant
In the previous article I discussed design for your new wild flower garden. The next stage is planning the planting. This is an exciting stage, we are just a few steps away from turning your garden design concept into a reality. But first things first.
How to Win the War Against Slugs and Snails
Slugs are one of the most hated of garden pests. You may have spent time carefully planting out your seedlings into the bed, but when you return next morning, you find chewed leaves, the growing points nibbled away and a mass of slimy trails all around. All clear evidence that garden slugs, or sometimes snails, have been enjoying a nocturnal feast at your expense.
Tarragon: A Favourite of French Chefs
Long a favourite of French chefs, the herb Artemisia dracunculus, known as French tarragon or dragon herb is an essential ingredient in Béarnaise sauce, tarragon vinegar, and certain Dijon mustards. A perennial herb, tarragon grows 2 ? 4 feet (60 ? 120 cm) and has dark, shiny, narrow grey-green leaves about 3 inches (8 cm) long with smooth edges. Tarragon produces tiny yellow flowers and has stems that are ridged, round, branching, and light green. Tarragon is rich in Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, and potassium, and has a mild anise flavour in its leaves.
Introduction to Aquaponics
Hydroponics and aquaponics are very similar in every way except hydroponics requires the addition of fertilizer and there's no fish in the nutrient solution.
Vegetable Growing for Beginners
If you have never grown vegetables before the first thing that you need to decide is where to plant them in your garden. Most vegetables need 6-8 hours of sunlight a day although greens can manage with less. Choose a site in an area that will not be shaded by buildings or trees and one that is near to a water supply. You will not want to have to cart water any further than absolutely necessary. Protect the site with a fence to keep out dogs, rabbits and other animals which can damage your crops.
Wildflower Seeds - Ten Reasons Why You Should Plant...
Native wildflowers are those that were growing naturally in the landscape before the first settlers arrived from Europe. Ever since that time more and more plants have been introduced from around the world with very mixed results. Although many of the imports are now prized garden specimens, others are regarded as invasive weeds whose cultivation is actively discouraged eg Japanese Knotweed. The benefits of growing wildflowers are many, but here are just a few:
Feed the Birds
Elaborate and decorative or simple and functional, birdhouses and birdfeeders are lovingly coveted by many people (and birds)!
How To Attract Hummingbirds
Yes! You can attract hummingbirds to your home. Even if you live in the middle of the city, and even if you've never had any luck getting them to come in the past.
What You Should Know About Miniature Roses
Miniature roses are exactly what they sound like. They have all of the fragrance and beauty of a regular rose, but they have smaller blooms. These particular roses are great for indoor planting.
How to Make Your Own Rooting Hormone
When starting a new plant from a leaf or stem cutting, the cutting will be more likely to form roots and create a new plant if a rooting hormone is used.
Building Liner Ponds
Surprisingly enough, it is usually in mid-summer that many gardeners begin to think about installing a small pond or water garden. Ponds don't need to be weeded or watered, and they can supply exuberant color in the form of water lilies and bog plants.
Although it is a member of the Thymelaeaceae, the family that includes the daphnes, it would be hard to imagine a plant less like a daphne at first glance. However, if you are familiar with the deciduous Daphne genkwa, there is some hint of resemblance there.
The Protea Family (Proteaceae)
The protea family (Proteaceae) includes a wide range of ground covers, trees and shrubs that often make superb garden plants. While some of the species are frost-tender, they are in all other respects remarkably resilient plants that often thrive in situations where others would rapidly succumb. Poor soils and hot dry positions that scarcely seem capable of supporting life are often ideal for Proteaceae. If any plants could be said to thrive on neglect the proteas can.
Sleeping Beauties: Porches For Dreaming
There's something magical about sleeping outside, drinking in the night sounds of crickets, frogs and wind chimes, watching fireflies and stars, and feeling the cool night breeze. You'll find children giggling long past their bedtime from sheer excitement.
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