by High Country Gardens
Unlike most annual bedding plants that bloom continuously, many perennials plants have a shorter season of flowering, typically showing color for 3 to 6 weeks during the growing season. Gardeners will want to remember to select groups of perennials for their plantings that bloom in early spring, late spring, summer and early fall. This provides a changing tapestry of colors as one plant goes out of flower and another comes into flower.
However, there are a select group of perennials that flower for an extended length of time, often 2 to 3 months at a time. Here are three new varieties featured by High Country Gardens this spring that are outstanding long bloomers.
Perovskia ‘Lacy Blue’ is a new true dwarf variety of Russian Sage. This is great news for those of us with small gardens or flower beds where Perovskia ‘Blue Spires’ would be much too large. ‘Lacy Blue’ reaches a height of 18-24” and spreads to about 3 ft. in width. And like its other Perovskia cousins, ‘Lacy Blue’ blooms for 2 to 3 months, from mid-summer into the fall. Perovskia will grow in any soil from sand to heavy clay and looks its best growing in full sun with only occasional deep watering once established.
Salvia ‘Burgundy Seduction’ is a new hybrid bush sage that appeared in my garden as a seedling of ‘Raspberry Delight’ and an unknown pollen parent. The deep burgundy-red color of the flowers is truly outstanding. ‘Burgundy Seduction’ is the most darkly colored of the cold hardy bush sages. The foliage is especially aromatic, with a pleasing sweet herbal scent that keeps hungry deer and rabbits from eating the leaves.
From the mountains of South Africa, comes the delightfully cheerful Osteospermum Avalanche (Avalanche White Sun Daisy). ‘Avalanche’ is a new release from the Colorado State University/Denver Botanic Gardens Plant Select® program. And what a great plant it is! Completely cold hardy to USDA zone 5, ‘Avalanche’ is as easy to grow as a Shasta Daisy, but much more exotic with its bright white petals and silvery-blue sheen on their undersides. Attractive semi-evergreen foliage and a nice mounding habit make this beauty a “must have” ever-blooming perennial. It is outstanding for attracting bees and butterflies too. It fares best in average compost-enriched garden soil with moderate amounts of water once established.
Here are a few more of my favorite long blooming perennials: Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’, Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’, Salvia ‘Maraschino’, Delosperma ashtonii ‘Blut’, Phlox nana ‘Perfect Pink’, Aquilegia chrysantha, Diascia integerrima ‘Coral Canyon’ and Nepeta faassenii ‘Select Blue’, Callirhoe involucrata and Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’.