We tackled shade-loving plants last week, most of which are perennials. This week, I want to talk about perennials that love the sun. I love having a plant on the farm and around my home that I can count on to come back year after year and provide beautiful blooms and foliage for me without fail. A little investment on my part helps set up years of beauty.
Peonies. These beauties are reliable. I just wish I had planted them ten years ago. Actually, I tried. I tried to plant them in an area that got too much shade. I got, maybe, one bloom off of each plant. They never thrived. We transplanted the peonies into the sun a few years ago, and they have taken off. There is some talk about pinching blooms for the first three years to let the plant get established. However, the peony blooms are formed in the fall, and the plant has already expended energy to form the buds before they even appear. Leave the foliage but enjoy your blooms. For the best vase life, cut the blooms when they feel soft like a marshmallow. Blooms can be stored dry for months in cold storage or a fridge.
Roses. I mentioned in the series on roses that, when we moved to our home, there were roses planted in the shade of an oak tree. They continued to struggle year after year with black spot and leggy canes. When I was able to transplant them to a sunny spot on the farm, I trimmed them back, transplanted them, and waited to see how they would do. They are thriving in the sun, have produced many blooms, and have not had issues with disease. Check out the posts on planting and pruning roses and tips and tricks to get the best results with your roses.
Yarrow. A wildflower that adds texture to any floral arrangement. This plant comes in many different colors, though the colors tend to be slightly muted. Yarrow will spread. It does fine in cold weather and is drought-tolerant. Yarrow has medicinal uses and can also be used as a natural dye for fabric or yarn.
Bearded Iris. I have been loving the bearded iris this year. They grow by rhizome and will spread over time. Dividing them every few years helps the plants stay healthy. They are drought-tolerant and easy to maintain. There are a variety of colors to choose from. Usually, 2-3 blooms will appear on a stalk. Once one bloom is spent, remove it, and the next bloom will unfurl. Beautiful!
Candytuft. This is one of the first flowers that blooms in the spring. It is an evergreen plant that has done well for me in a planter. I have been able to divide it each year, cut it back, and see it sprout up each spring. These flowers add whimsy to a floral arrangement and are an easy addition to your garden bed or back porch.
Tickseed. Another example of a plant that does well in a planter, tickseed has grown on our back porch for over six years. It has grown to fill its large pot and loves the sun. Its flower looks like a small star and the saturated orange color adds a pop of color to a bouquet. I cut back the stem once the blooms are spent.
Eryngium. Also known as Sea Holly, the flowers add textural interest to any bouquet. This perennial has a long taproot, which makes it drought-tolerant. It needs little care but does do well with deadheading. It gets bonus points for being a great dried flower.
Lupine. A beautiful flower that reminds me of growing up in TX with bluebonnets in the spring, lupines have a long taproot and do not like being moved. They spread through seeds and make a great addition to a garden or bouquet. Deadheading is important if you want to keep the plant in one place.
While the list can go on and on, these are some of the perennial plants that we have on the farm that we love. I am thankful that these plants require so little care and, yet, give beautiful blooms each year. I hope that you get the chance to plant some in your garden this year.
Be on the lookout for next week's post on sun-loving shrubs or woodies. I am excited to share what we have growing on the farm and what we are looking forward to adding.