Perennials are Staples for Gardeners

...Who Wants Easy-Care Color

by Mike Dooley

Catmint is included in most of my designs for its long bloom season. It’s a great substitute for lavender because it’s about the same color but blooms much longer. Catmint forms a low mound and gets cut to the ground in winter.

Yarrow, especially the yellow blooming varieties, are also a staple in the high desert garden. Each plant will get about 18”x18” and are semi-evergreen. With a long blooming season and bright yellow flowers, it’s also rabbit resistant in most areas.

Salvia greggii is also known as “Autumn sage.” This beauty forms a low mound about 2’x2’. Autumn sage comes in a range of colors but the red, cherry and pink are the most popular. My favorite is the raspberry. Planting salvias in groups and using different colors within the group gives an interesting effect. Salvia greggii must be cut back severely each year or they will begin to look woody.

Salvia ‘May Night’ doesn’t bloom as long as Salvia greggii, but it’s a show stopper when it does bloom. “May Night” blooms cobalt blue spikes in spring but must also be cut to the ground in winter.

Jupiter’s beard is my final selection. Jupiter’s beard returns early in the spring and produces a plant that can reach 3’x3’ at maturity. Its spectacular coral flowers are long blooming and accent the medium green foliage.

This is a spectacular group of perennials that you can’t go wrong with. Your color palette includes lavender, bright yellow, shades of red, cobalt blue and coral. Wow!

Happy Planting!