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One of the earliest spring bloomers, the purple or lavender blooms of pasque flowers were once used to dye Easter eggs, and that is a good way to remember when they bloom. The flowers open as the dissected leaves emerge. Attractive silky heads of seeds follow so these workhorses continue to look good for many weeks.
Pasque flowers are native plants that demand excellent drainage. They are ideal for sunny rock gardens, crevice gardens, and any spot that is very well drained.
Under 6 inches
4-8 inches wide, depending on variety
how to grow Pasque flower
plant Pasque flower with
Basket-of-gold is one of those plants that loves to grow in the least likely of place -- cracks between paving stones, the edge of gravel paths and patios, rocky outcroppings, between the stacked stones of a retaining wall, and more. It loves a baked spot with excellent drainage but will struggle in hot, humid areas and tends not to do well in the South.But where it does well, it's a showstopper. It will reseed prolifically in little cracks, filling an area each spring with dazzling neon yellows. After it finishes blooming, the grayish-green foliage makes an attractive mat in the perennial garden.
Rock cress, as you can guess from the name, is one of those plants that like tough love -- give it a hot, dry crack between some stones somewhere and it will flourish. It can cover a stacked-stone wall or rocky outcropping with beautiful blue-purple flowers.Purple rock cress usually has purple or blue flowers, but rock wall cress is more likely to bloom in white or pink. Both make attractive low mounds that look great at the edge of retaining wall where they get full sun and excellent drainage. Cut stems back after spring bloom to keep plants compact.
Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any large sunny flowerbed or border shouldn't be without. There are several different kinds of phlox. Garden and meadow phlox produce large panicles of fragrant flowers in a wide assortment of colors. They also add height, heft, and charm to a border. Low-growing wild Sweet William, moss pinks, and creeping phlox are effective as ground covers, at the front of the border, and as rock and wild garden plants, especially in light shade. These native gems have been hybridized extensively especially to toughen the foliage against mildew problems; many recent selections are mildew-resistant. Phlox need amply moist soil for best overall health.