Gardening with Sam: Perennials bring lasting beauty

Perennials will last from spring to fall, pop up every year put on a season-long flower show and save you money in the long run.

What I first think of is a large bed of Shasta daisies waving in the hot sun, with me drinking iced tea in the shade. Late in the afternoon, when the sun is going down, is the best time to walk and enjoy your hard work.

Long-blooming types are tough, dependable and flower for weeks or more.

Perhaps the best thing of all about buying perennials is they are great on the wallet. Then you just plant, sit back and enjoy the beauty.

Coneflowers are a common grower in prairie planting everywhere and for good reason. The coneflower succeeds in a wide range of conditions, even the intense heat of the summer. It never fails to please with its large, colorful flowers. I planted yellow and orange last year in a new bed in the back. I have lots of plants coming up, and the cold did not hurt the plants this cold winter.

Coneflowers come in white, orange, tomato red and pink.

Plant in zones 3-8. When they dry, pull heads off dry seed and plant in other parts of your garden.

When it comes to Shasta daisy, Becky is a common cultivar with a classic look that will put a smile on your face. The large bloom will be 3-4 inches across and will last in your garden. Sturdy and upright plants will grow 1-3 feet tall, so they won’t overpower your garden. Plant in zones 4-9.

Russian sage will give you a beautiful splash of color. It has strong stems and will not flop over. You need to plant it in the very back of the garden. Beautiful purplish-blue flowers appear from midsummer to early fall. It is very aromatic and has a grey-green foliage. It will grow 3-5 feet tall unless it is in a container; it will not get so tall then. There is also a dwarf form that matures at about 2.5 feet. Plant in zones 4-9.

Rose Campion, also known as dusty miller, will stay with you unless you pull it up. It grows 2-3 feet and has a bright magenta flower rising above the velvet leaves. It comes in white, red and pink blooms, also.

Butterfly Blue Pincushion Flowers deserve a starring role in your garden. Butterflies love this plant with its lavender-blue flowers. It will produce blooms from spring to frost.

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