As a follow-up to my earlier post, Gardening Recap – Summer 2017, I also want to highlight the best perennials of 2017. Since I was starting over in a new yard, I purchased lots and lots of perennials last fall and this year. I decided to try some new varieties, as well as old favorites. These are the perennials that were spectacular in their first year in my zone 4 garden. Lots of times, perennials are just so-so their first year and don’t really shine until their second or third years, but I was very pleased with these and some were just flat-out showstoppers.
First up, Coreopsis Solanna Golden Sphere– what an amazing plant! When I first spotted it in the garden center, I immediately put several in my cart. It was stunning in the garden center, and except for a couple of weeks of it getting established, it’s been stunning all summer. It’s always loaded with buds, and I love the little cone shaped petals. The only coreopsis I’ve had really good luck with returning is Zagreb, so I’m hoping these beauties all come back next spring. Don’t the blooms resemble marigolds?
Meadow Blazingstar Liatris – I’ve never had this variety of Liatris in my gardens before, and its not one I’ve seen in garden centers. I purchased this plant from a local master gardener’s plant sale and I’m so happy I did. It’s so different from the variety of Liatris that I’m used to. It’s definitely a late bloomer, but it’s been a stunning plant and its blooms have lasted much longer than the other varieties. I had both Monarch butterflies and Painted Lady butterflies covering it. You can read my post about the Monarchs’ visit here.
When My Sweetheart Returns Daylily – I’m a lover and collector of daylilies. I moved several daylilies from my previous gardens to our new home. However, this one is new to my garden this year and I believe it’s going to be a favorite. It bloomed pretty continuously for a couple of months. I love the soft coloring. As of the date of this post, it still has 4 or 5 buds that will open over the next week or so. You can check out some of my other daylilies here and here.
South Seas Daylily – I’ve had South Seas Daylilies in my gardens for several years, but I purchased new ones this year for my driveway bed makeover. I love the rich coral color with a touch of bright pink and bright yellow at its throat. It’s really quite lovely. South Seas Daylily is a rebloomer that really is more of a continuous bloomer in my Zone 4b garden.
Oriental Lilies – My oriental lilies this year were showstoppers! I purchased a big bag of bulbs at Costco in the early spring and started them in my little pop-up greenhouse. I planted 3 or 4 bulbs in gallon-sized nursery pots and had about 12 pots. After giving some to the neighbors, I planted the rest in groupings, so I had about 9 – 12 bulbs in each grouping. They were so pretty and bloomed for a really long time. I hope they are bigger and better next year.
And these, oh, the smell was amazing! Because they were a mixed bag, I don’t have their names. They’ve been so awesome, that I still have the last of the blooms this week. You can see more of my amazing lilies here.
I planted several different varieties of Coral Bells this year, but these Sugar Plum Coral Bells are my favorites so far. If the sun hits the leaves, they sparkle a little.
Also for the shade, these Solar Eclipse Foamy Bells were definitely a favorite. I love the bright chartreuse green mixed with the deep purplish color. Ha, ha, I pretty much suck at describing flowers, but I’m leaving my description in.
And, seriously, how can one not have Shasta Daisies in a garden. Once these babies start blooming they don’t stop, even through our weird end of summer weather.
Same with Black-eyed Susan. They just took off this year and are just now starting to look a little tired.
I’ve always had Gaillardia in my gardens over the years and it’s probably one of the longest blooming perennials in my gardens. I added several this year and they’ve been reliable, steady bloomers. The bees love them too. If you grow Gaillardia, make sure to mark them because they are slow to emerge in the spring.
Did you have some best perennials this summer? I will definitely do an update next summer and if any of these beauties don’t live through our zone 4b winter, they’ll come off the list. Fall is really an awesome time to plant new perennials, just get them in about four – six weeks before the ground freezes.
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Happy gardening… until the frost kills it all…
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