Are you planting a garden this year?
I’ve been a gardener for most of my life and over the years I’ve learned to plant flowers that have multiple use. Are they edible? Are they good picking flowers? How much care do they take? Do they self weed? If they are just pretty and a lot of work, I tend not to plant them. Getting older and tired, you see.
The following are my favorites:
1. Stella D’Oro Daylily- All my flower beds (10 total) are bordered with golden yellow Stellas. I was given a pot of lilies from a neighbor which she split when she was thinning her lily patch. From that one clump (about 7”) I split it into 5 clumps and the next year I split them again and so on and so on. Every year I kept splitting my lily mounds until I have around 50 plants which line all of my beds. They are just beginning to bloom (early June) and I call it the show. Spectacular! They are low maintenance and nothing eats them like rabbits and voles. They are basically self weeding and are a wonderful cutting flower. I’ve introduced about 15 varieties of day lily into my garden and they all perform wonderfully and make a spectacular bouquet.
2. Zinnia- My sister got me excited about zinnias when she introduced me to State Fair Zinnias. Firstly, they are huge and gorgeous and they come in the most intense and beautiful colors. Of course other zinnias are stunning as well and I’ve grown to love the Peppermint Stripe variety. Zinnias are annuals and I plant seeds every year. My co-worker, Kim, told me her husband Larry cut the blooms when they were done and put them in a bucket where they dried over the Winter. In the Spring he would rip apart the dried blooms and plant the new seeds. This will be the 3rd year I’ve done it and it is a total success. I plant them in a large zinnia patch. It’s a wow, let me tell you. Zinnias are probably my best cutting flower and have been known to last in a vase (refreshing the water every other day) for up to 2 weeks.
3. Sunflower- Buy some seeds packets and push the seeds into the dirt all over your property. Make sure it’s in a sunny spot and step back and watch. Sunflowers have a lot of biomass. They go from seed to 10 feet tall in 3-4 weeks. They are impressive to say the least and they simply make me smile. They draw bees and goldfinches who chirp and sing and fly all around me in my garden, flitting from sunflower to sunflower. It’s magical. You can pull the seeds and eat them yourself but I just put the flower heads on a shelf underneath my window or right into a bird brick cage. The birds love it.
Every year when I go to greenhouses to buy my annuals and herbs, it’s easy to be distracted by the new flower of the season. I often try the new trend buy I always get these three. They are consistent producers and they wow everyone who gets my garden tour. Lots of bang for the buck!