Old Friends

The backbone of my flower garden, perennials pop up year after year like neighbors returning to camp in the summer months. Reassuring in their predictability, they nonetheless impart an element of surprise by laying dormant for

Barb Heller's perennial island

Barb Heller's perennial island

months and then suddenly shooting up up flower stalks when they are ready to bloom. Perennials are the lazy gardener’s friend, persevering in less rich soils, without additional watering. There is an art, and science, to planting a perennial flower bed that will¬† provide color and contrast all season; however, I am largely ignorant on this topic. My enjoyment comes from the fact that these flowers add beauty to the world with so little effort on my part.

Here are a few photos of perennials taken over the past few days. If you’ll send me some pictures of your garden, we can have¬† a blooming bouquet for Friday’s post!

Verbascum "Southern Charm"

Verbascum "Southern Charm," my current favorite

Oriental Poppies

Oriental Poppies

Iris and Lupines

Iris and Lupines

Coreopsis, self sown

Barb's Coreopsis, self sown

Rosa Rugosa

Good old Rosa Rugosa -watch out for the thorns!

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3 Comments on “Old Friends”

  1. Roxanne Coleman says:

    Hi,Ellen–

    My perennial garden here at camp has been a great source of enjoyment for many years. Now, however, it’s increasingly invaded by two unbelievably invasive weeds: one is goutweed, aka bishop’s weed, with which I’m sure you’re familiar–and the other resembles longleaf pines. Neither has yielded to constant weeding. I’m afraid Roundup or its ilk would kill all my plants as well as the weeds. Any recommendations?

  2. Ellen Beberman says:

    Roxanne,
    I have never used herbicides of any kind, so I can’t give you advice there. One small thought – weeds thrive in less-than-optimal soils. That’s why they’re weeds! After you scratch up or uproot the weeds in the garden, you might want to add a bit of compost around the plants. This will act as a mulch to keep weeds down, and will add some organic matter that will help your lovely perennials to thrive and out-compete the unwanted weeds.

  3. Jill Breit says:

    Bishop’s weed is a particularly assertive plant. A friend of mine called a landscaper to ask him how to eradicate it from her garden and he advised her to move! I’ve never had experience with this plant, but I did manage to eradicate a large stand of Japanese knotweed from my property by cutting back any bit of foliage I saw emerging from the roots. It took a few years to stop finding shoots, but eventually the roots expired. This method requires real vigilance, because if you let any new shoots grow, the plant will gain vigor and ground. Not sure if this method will work for bishop’s weed.

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