Favorite Perennials

A small sampling of some favorite perennials. More to be added soon.

Orange Alstroemeria

Orange AlstroemeriaThese are also called Peruvian Lilies and the flowers do indeed have a small lily-like cup  to their shape. This orange variety has a stripe of yellow with a few brown streaks, which make it even more complex and enticing. They really add a lively punch to the garden, especially when contrasting with darker flowers, like Lavandula ‘Otto Quast’ or Salvia ‘Black and Blue.’ They love full sun and when they get happy, they will create more and more of their fleshy tubers so decide on a permanent place if possible. They’ll spread. But I’m not deterred by that, I just dig up clumps and give them to neighbors to share the gardening love.

Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’

Heuchera 'Plum Pudding'There are a ton of heucheras out there nowadays but I find I often rely on this old favorite when in need of a purple blast of color. It has the most vivid purple color and contrasts well with other yellow or blue-leaved plants. I love how the leaves emerge with pinker tones before turning to that blackish-purple color. I use this one all the time as a repeating pattern to tie in other colored foliage.

Sedum spectabile ‘Brilliant’

Sedum spectabile 'Brilliant'This stonecrop is brighter and more magenta than Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’ Yet it still fades to a nice reddish color as autumn progresses. In the past friends have told me their sedums offer get tall and flop over. I’m pretty sure this is due to the soil being too rich. Sedums are succulents, which means they love dry conditions and lousy soil. Plant them in well-draining soil in the sun and they’ll take off in no time.

Salvia guarantica ‘Black and Blue’

salviaguaranticablackandblueI love all the salvias, which mostly have red or pink toned flowers. However, the Salvia guarantica cultivars are blue. ‘Black and Blue’ is particularly startling for its black calyces and true blue flowers . I love the unique tubular shape of salvias and they’re pretty, usually disease-free leaves. Despite their blue flower color, hummingbirds will visit these. This perennial officially is Zone 9 but I’ve grown it in two locations in the Seattle area and have never lost one yet. Loves sun and heat. Amazing plant.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'This brunnera is a real gem. The heart-shaped leaves light up a shady area and because of their scratchy texture, are not that affected by slugs (I’ve found). I do apply Sluggo now and then to deter chewing insects, but compared to a hosta, this brunnera is low-maintenance. It loves moisture and if it gets enough moisture and some sun, it can double in size in one year. Light blue flowers pop out on long, airy stems in mid-Spring, brightening up the shady area even more. This plant pairs well with a purple heuchera or dark green hellebore. It absolutely glows at twilight.

Hosta ‘June’

Hosta 'June'This is hands-down my all-time-favorite hosta. I just think it has so much to offer. It’s got pointed, elegant leaves with cold blue edges that fade in Monet-like strokes to medium green before finally pooling into that vivid chartreuse color. Plus, it holds its color well throughout summer and needs little care besides a bit of natural slug bait now and then. In late summer, it grows a hardy stalk of pale lavender flowers. What more could you want in a hosta?

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