Lessons from the Garden: My Top Ten Perennial Flowers

 Other gardeners often ask me which perennial  flowers are my favorites in the garden. That is tough. It sometimes depends on the season and location of the plant. If you are just starting to garden, the perennial plants are the bones of your garden. They remain year after year and give structure to the garden. Often you have to move them or divide them, but they certainly are the bones.  Here are my top ten  perennials in no particular order:
1) Lilies: Lilies are a bulb and expensive perhaps at first, but they provide staggered color spots all through the summer. Some of them also smell very good!
 2) Roses: Now that I have found hardy roses that grow well in my climate and are easy to maintain . My favorite hardy roses are "Nearly Wild", " William Baffin" ( above in bloom right now), " Honey Perfume", any climbing " Iceberg", "Betty Prior" and "John Cabot."
3) Sedum: Whether "Autumn Joy" or any of the other varieties, they are simple to grow, can be excellent ground covers , and require little water.
4) Lavender: Again... great for bones in the garden, hardy, lovely fragrant flowers, and take less water.
 5)All spring bulbs: Whether you enjoy daffodils, crocus, tulips, iris or hyacinths they are worth having in the garden in the spring.
6) Chrysanthemums: They are the plant that reminds you fall is coming. The grow larger, bloom a long time, and add color after some other flowers begin fading.
 7)Columbine: I started with a few and now I have more than fifty. They spread easily, bloom in lovely colors, and remind you summer is right around the corner.
 8) Cranesbill: This is the perennial geranium that spreads and blooms in places that need texture and color. Some are also very fragrant.
 9) Dame's Rocket: I started some from seed years ago and they are everywhere in the spring with a lovely pinkish lavender bloom...hardy and great in cut bouquets.
10) Peony: Now that mine are finally getting with it, there is nothing more lovely than the rich pink and deep red of peonies.
In the weeks ahead I will also list my favorite blooming shrubs and vines.


  1. A lovely list --- I love your choices. There are some plants I need to add to my garden now, as per your recommendation. :D

  2. I love bulbs because they are like watching a birth. My wife and I spent hours watching the bulbs pop open several years ago in Osburn, We felt like we were experiencing something sacred.

  3. Ahhhh. A garden with some thought behind it. Now I know what I have been doing wrong or I should say not doing at all. Planning.

  4. I love the iris and peony but am also devoted to lilacs..sandy


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