NOT-SO-EVEN-TEMPERED Perennial plants for your garden By Martin Stern We can depend on easy care ‘even-tempered’ plants to provide a reliable presence throughout the season, but most gardeners crave other ‘not-so-even-tempered’ treasures that make greater demands, yet provide richer rewards. These plants may have specific cultural requirements and need extra feeding or support. Some have a brief period of glory and remain otherwise unremarkable.
It is wise to know what one is getting in to when growing these “not-so-even-tempered” perennials, but once known - GO FOR IT!
The Lenten Rose – Harbinger of Spring Helleborus is named so as it usually blooms during the Christian season of Lent. Bloom time has varied greatly in our garden-- as early as April 9 in 2010 and as late as May 20 in 2013. Look for Hellebore flowers in the early spring garden at Squire House. Photo: Helleborus blooming in the Squire House garden May 2013
Helleborus demands the right site. The Lenten Rose blooms early in the spring and this perennial is in great demand by our plant customers! New varieties available in the Squire House Nursery include Helleborus 'Walhelivor' ‘Ivory Prince’, and selections from the Winter Thriller series ‘Ice Follies’, ‘Pink Parachutes’, and ‘Mango Magic’.
Delphiniums are tricky to support. Choose heat and humidity resistant, sturdy New Zealand hybrid New MiIllenium Delphiniums.
Aquilegia (columbine) is very short-lived
Acanthus is borderline hardy. Acanthus spinosus - Stunning glossy thistle-like foliage and very long- lasting upright spires in a soft shade of smoky blue Lilium 'Elodie' Hybrid Lilies can be short-lived. Mature clumps will need division. Lilium ‘Serene Angel’ (oriental double), Lilium ‘Elodie’ (asiatic double), Lilium ‘Anika’ (oriental star double) Hemerocallis 'Moses Fire' Hemerocallis (daylilies) are easy to grow, yet they are also greedy for space and decline very early in the season. Choose stellar varieties with smaller, tidier habits or choose those that bloom very late. Some varieties rebloom. Hemerocallis ‘Moses Fire’ (double, reblooming), Hemerocallis ‘Sunday Gloves’, Hemerocallis ‘Primal Scream’
Bearded irises sing the loveliest tune in the perfect light of June. This is not the case however in the heat of August and they are very likely unwilling to sing without excellent light, frequent division ad regular feeding.
PEONY 'BRIDAL ICING'
PEONY 'TOICHI RUBY'
PEONY 'LEMON DREAM"
Peonies are easily grown, known for their fleeting beauty and disliked for their tendency to flop. Like daylilies, they can be space-consumptive. Again it is important to choose the very, very best varieties - there are so many! Smaller (24” - 30”) peonies are available. Those with strong stems and less heavy flowers will stand strong with little or no support at all.