Sun-loving perennials perfect for local backyards

"...there are many reasons why people prefer low-maintenance landscapes."

Over recent years, I’ve found there are many reasons why people prefer low-maintenance landscapes. Some are not interested in taking care of the yard; they haven’t the time to weed, deadhead or prune; there are physical impediments; their passion for gardening and energy to pursue the hobby has waned. For myself, nowadays, the less work the better! While some wouldn’t consider my garden to be low-maintenance, it’s now a quarter of the work it was 10 years ago.

I still get immeasurable joy watching my garden grow and change through the seasons and, I still love the diversity of wonders offered up from a well-maintained garden. I’m just not as excited about babying plants along as I once was and now prefer only the tough (disease resistant), good performers!

So far, the majority of  perennials and flowering shrubs I’ve planted in my back yard are mostly summer-blooming. Since I spend most of my leisure time under the gazebo during this season, I have worked towards creating a sanctuary where I’m surrounded by the beauty and fragrance of my garden.

I’m already enjoying some of my favourite sun perennials.  Along with the hydrangeas, the trumpet lilies (lilium), daylilies (hemerocallis), sedum ‘Matrona’ and shasta daisies (leucanthemum) are all in bloom.

Daylilies need a fair amount of deadheading to look their best so I usually watch for the triploid specimens which have stronger, bigger blooms that last just a bit longer.

As I peruse my garden, I see a few spaces where I may be able to squeeze a few more sun-loving perennials. My next additions will include a purple liatris, coneflowers and lavender.

Named Perennial of the Year in 1998 and the 2002 Herb of the year, coneflowers (echinacea) have petals that droop from large conical crowns attracting bees and butterflies. Purple was the original colour but new varieties such as the “Big Sky” series offer yellows and oranges. Coneflowers usually grow about 2-3 ft. X 3 ft., don’t like to be moved and get better with age. Most flowers are produced in the second and third season. If you shear them back in the late spring you will see bushier plants that bloom longer into the fall.

When most of us think about fragrance in the garden, the always popular lavender (lavandula) is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Brushing against it fills the air with the wonderful smell of summer. This beautiful plant grows to about 2 ft x 2 ft.  It prefers well-drained, light and sandy soil and like most silver-foliaged plants, doesn’t like applications of fertilizer (which contributes to the ‘leggy-look’). The secret to keeping lavender compact is to shear it into a 12 inch round ball in late August. If that opportunity is missed, wait to do it in the spring when all danger of frost is past. This trimming will promote vigour for the coming season.

Blazing Star (liatris) is a wonderful ‘feature’ perennial for any border planting. The rose-purple or white flower spikes open from the top downward and rise to about 3 feet above a low grassy clump of leaves. Although tolerant of a wide variety of soil types, liatris thrives best in good garden soil that stays evenly moist and is well supplied with nutrients (compost). It attracts butterflies and bees. With a little planning, all of our sunny, hot, summer gardens can be enhanced with flowers and fragrance and we won’t have to work too hard to achieve some very wonderful results!

Patty Siddall and Betty Drover operate a local garden business. Contact Siddall Drover Garden Services at 250-364-1005

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Most Read