powerful perennials


Oriental Poppies – Papaver Oriental

oriental poppies

Oriental Poppies bring stunning brilliance to the late-spring garden. Luminescent, crepe-paper like flowers open wide to three-or-four-inches and “wow” the garden on thirty-inch stems. A Poppy’s huge bowl-shaped flowers are made more dazzling by their hot array of orange, red, plum, pink, salmon and white colors accented by a dark blotched spot in the center of the blooms. Poppy lovers have only one complaint concerning this perennial: it goes dormant after blooming, which is disappointing after such a provocative showing. But this isn’t really a problem. The bristly leaves turn brown, and with a slight tug on the plant’s stem, a gardener can remove the enormous clump of foliage at...

Lilium – Growing Lilies in High Mountain Gardens


Every gardener adores Lilium for its elegant, unbeatable beauty, exquisite colors, and ease of growing (they grow from bulbs). However, not all Lilium perform in Rocky Mountain gardens. Other varieties like the Oriental types of Lilium are breathtakingly beautiful, but when planted in western gardens will gradually fade away due to the high mineral content in both mountain soil and water. Asiatic Liliums are not fussy about soils and will grow in alkaline but regular Asiatics are cherry chocolates to critters, who devour them. So what’s a gardener to do? Lilium is the star of the summer garden. Its height, elegant, tall, narrow foliage that looks great all season, along...

Lungwort – Pulmonaria: Ethereal Color for the Perennial Shade Garden

Lungwort (Pulmonaria) image courtesy Walters Gardens Pulmonaria is a very desirable perennial for shady low-light gardens not only for its original flowers but for its matchless foliage. The perennial’s early spring buds are one color and when they open into delightful tiny ethereal funnel bells they are another color. The flower buds are usually pink, salmon or raspberry and open into shades of blue to purple or red to white when fully mature. Flowers form before the basal leaves barely break dormancy and start to grow. The fascinating flowers last for over a month and it’s not until they finish blooming that plant growth occurs. As soon as the flowers...

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