Pink Wild Penstemon (Penstemon palmeri). Short-lived but oh-so-lovely, this tall, showy beaut only lasted two or three years and has now been retired from my garden. I'm not sure if it's truly short-lived or if my clay soil was just too much for it. I think it was probably the latter, as it needs really quick-draining, rocky soil to thrive. It blooms in late summer. I have it on this list because it had the most gorgeous flowers I've ever had in my garden; and the hummingbirds, sphinx moths, bees and butterflies all loved it. It's also very low maintenance and needs no water after it's been established.
|2012 in my garden|
|I ordered mine from High Country Gardens|
|2012 with pink Penstemon Palmeri to upper left|
|2014. Salvia on left, Rocky Mountain Penstemon on right. Lady in background.|
|Swallowtail butterflies, sphinx moths, hummingbirds and bees love this dependable perennial|
|I planted the Yarrow in 2012. Yellow flowers on right are Moonshine Yarrow, White-flowered Yarrow to left of them.|
|Two years later, it's thriving. Rocky Mountain Penstemon shoots up in between white and yellow Yarrow flowers|
|Cut Yarrow flowers last a really long time in a vase and add a bright pop of color to bouquets|
|nom nom nom. Bees loooove May Night Salvia|
|This Salvia has self-sowed to create a long string of plants. Pull out self-sowed seedlings if you prefer a manicured look|
|Salvia is great for cut flowers, and is always a major player in my favorite vase all summer long|
|Salvia to left, Jupiter's Beard in Corner|
|Nobody puts Jupiter's Beard in the corner! Except silly ol' me|
|Flowers open in the afternoon|
I've noticed that the Primrose spreads slowly, has pretty reddish-purple stems, buttery yellow flowers, really cool speckled sepals and blooms all summer long. Even the spent flowers look kinda cool, with an orange-y color tone. Oh, and they're super easy to deadhead, unlike Salvia. It's a true-blue surprise favorite for me and I'm so grateful my M.I.L. brought it all the way from IL to CO.
|Clear picture of newly opened flower with speckled sepals|
|reddish-purple stems visible in this photo|
Iris can always be counted on for Spring color and beautiful, delicate blooms in the Midwest and the West. Plus, it spreads pretty easily, so you can transplant it into other areas after a few years. I don't know exactly what kind of Iris I have because it was one of the few plants that was already planted in our backyard when we moved in. I transplanted a few bulbs to a new area three years ago, and it has grown so well that it may be time to do that again.
|Mine are planted in front of lilacs, and tend to bloom right after the lilacs have lost their color|
If you are just getting your flower garden started, I highly recommend all of the perennials above. They have been low-maintenance, low-budget tested and approved over the past three years. I'm sure I'll have a bunch of new favorites to share with you next year. Let me know what your favorites are, especially if you think they might do well with little to no water!