Editor's Note: Every week -- more or less -- we post a new Garden Question of the Week and invite you to respond. After a couple of weeks, we gather the best responses and put them here.
This week's featured responses are to:
. . . in which we asked which perennials bloom the longest in your garden. Here's our pick of the crop:
I just discovered a great plant this year. It's gloriosa daisy 'Irish Eyes.' The flowers are yellow with green centers (eyes). They started blooming shortly after I planted them this spring and have continued all summer, even with the long dry spell we had. They are quite tall and still producing blooms. I cut some for a bouquet and they lasted almost two weeks. Can't be beat!!!
My favorite flower would be the 'Goblin' gaillardia. It starts to show color in early June and still blooms through football season in the fall (September). We live by a football field and everyone asks why the first frost hardly hurts them! They spread well and mound nicely. The flowers are yellow with a red rim. Try them in large garden or rock wall. And they require little water.
I have four: My hands-down favorite is my Phlox carolina 'Miss Lingard.' This year it bloomed from the middle of June through the middle of July with huge,fragrant flower heads that were great for cutting. Then I cut them all off (before they reseeded) and I got a second show within a week or so, that is still going strong! Second, geranium 'Max Frei' bloomed for 10 weeks from early May through mid-July (I deadheaded daily). But it has kept a few blossoms since then and just recently had a second minor show. Third, scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' will bloom from mid-June to frost if deadheaded. And fourth, coreopsis 'Early Sunrise,' when deadheaded, has been blooming since early June. It is now August 11th!
"Hibiscus 'Southern Belle' started blooming days ago and will bloom until fall. I started them from seed in my greenhouse a few years ago and they are getting more beautiful every year. Comes in white, pink, red, and rose. Real hardy in south central Nebraska.
I enjoy my clematis plants. They give off such a show in the spring and again in midsummer. 'Nelly Moser' is a very beautiful choice. I find that this type of clematis is virtually maintenance-free. I have never had to cut it back and the fuchsia pink blooms are large and give a great show and last for many weeks. Of course they should be deadheaded when blooming is over and any dead leaves should be removed to keep the appearance of the vine, but other than the usual maintenance you would give to your other plants, this one's a winner!!!
My favorite is my miniature carnations. They bloom from early spring 'til frost and their beautiful silver gray-green foliage stays during the drab months of winter, enticing me with the thoughts of spring and summer.
Elizabeth, Pittsburgh PA
'Moonbeam' coreopsis and Coreopsis rosea bloom almost non-stop from late June to fall. They need to be deadheaded periodically by shearing off old flowers (I use kitchen scissors) to promote continued blooming.
My favorite is heliopsis. In our short growing season--Zone 3-- it starts in July and goes right to frost. It grows in sun or partial shade. There is a single and a double variety.
I have a perennial I got a couple of years ago called tunic plant (Petrorhagia). It blooms non-stop from late May-early June and well into the fall. It has many tiny flowers and slender foliage. It looks very light and feathery, but holds up well after heavy rain and through the dry spells that we get here in Virginia. Mine has white flowers, but I am looking for any other colors. I might also note that it is planted in clay soil amended with a little peat moss. Did I say soil?
My favorite bloomer is the 'Stella d'Oro' daylily. It blooms June-July-August, sometimes longer if deadheaded regularly. Also the hardy phloxes and coneflowers really stay long, even in the hot weather.