What next?

Even though it’s only August, we have started thinking about what to add to the garden, possibly as we do our annual expansion in the fall. One book we like is 150 Perennial All-Stars by Jeff Cox. Another book we’ve discovered, out this year, is 50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants by Tracy DiSabato-Aust. How can you resist a title like that? One of her 12 low-care criteria is that the plant is deer-resistant. Definitely a big criteria for us! On the other hand, I could do with a few fewer evergreens than what she lists.
We’ve spent a few weeks flipping through the book. Here’s what we like:
1. Spiny bear’s breeches, or acanthus spinosus, “a bold architectural plant” with mauve and white snapdragon-like flowers and thistle-like leaves, blooms in June-July.
2. ‘Blue Fortune’ anise hyssop, or agastache ‘blue fortune.’ This has lavender-blue bottle-brush flowers. Butterflies, hummingbirds and bees love it. Blooms for a long time.
3. Blue false indigo, or Baptisia australis. We have been given some seeds and definitely need to try to grow it! Love the idea of indigo blue!
4. ‘Jack Frost’ Siberian bugloss, or Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost.’ With its green veins on bug white leaves, this reminds me of our New Orleans souvenir, only it’s a perennial.
5. ‘Henry’s Garnet’ Virginia sweet spire, or Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet.’ This shrub (yes, a shrub!) has white bottle-brush flowers in May-June, so perhaps a bit similar to our spirea, and has reddish-purple foliage come autumn.
6. ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’ ligularia, or Ligularia dentata ‘Britt Marie Crawford.’ The dark chocolate-maroon leaves are enough! Think of the contrast you can have. Tracy calls it a theatrical drama queen. But then there’s yellow-orange daisylike flowers in the summer. That must be how it gets to be three to four feet tall.
7. Oriental poppy, or Papaver orientale. This is the Brit’s choice. I think I tried a few seedlings last year and they did nothing. A sister spent more money on bigger plants and got nothing. But if they work, they’d be nice too.

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2 thoughts on “What next?

  1. Re: One of her 12 low-care criteria is that the plant is deer resistant. Definitely a big criteria for us! On the other hand, I could do with a few fewer evergreens than what she lists
    Deer ate the needles off of our spruce trees last winter. The trees live, but they are all bare and spindly from the bottom to where the deer could not reach. They’ve already mowed down the hostas, which they usually reserve for October.

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