Case in point...Bubba brought home a sunflower sprout from school. He set it on the window sill and watered it every day. We watched it grow until it was too large for the little paper cup it was planted in. I went out and bought a larger pot so we could let the plant get stronger and healthier before we moved it outside. We were looking forward to seeing how tall it would get and maybe even harvesting sunflower seeds from it in the fall. I very carefully transplanted it. And then? It died. Kaput. Curtains. Bummer. Hmm. But no big deal, I said. We'll get some more sunflower seeds, plant them in the bigger pot, and have even MORE plants! So we did. And what do you think happened? Just guess. Not a sprout. Empty pot. Nada. Zilch.
This little experience just served to reinforce my love of perennials. You plant them in the ground once and you're done. You don't have to continuously dig in the dirt (something I am unusually averse to), spring after spring, over and over. They grow for you, automatically! And if you're lucky, they reseed and spread! What a deal!
Some of my favorites...
Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia)
I like blanket flowers because they bloom all summer, and they even look cool after they lose their petals (at least for a little while!).
Peonies are as beautiful as roses, but without the work. Unfortunately the flowers don't last very long, but they do make gorgeous bouquets!
My coneflowers are one of the first plants to flower and the blooms last most of the summer! I have a number of the classic purple plants, and I finally bought two of these raspberry-colored ones this year. The plants are super hardy, too!
I first saw sedum in my sister's yard and thought it was so unique. The stalks and stems reminded me of an aloe vera plant. I enjoy sedum because this particular variety blooms in the fall, when everything else is looking dead. My plants are just showing the faintest hint of turning pink!
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Black-Eyed Susan is super prolific, so it's a good thing I like it! My plants bloom in July and usually last until fall (provided the weather isn't scorching hot and dry, like the summer of 2012). They are thick and provide a lot of color! They flowers remind me of a sunflower, which, as you now know, I have been not so lucky at growing...
That's a bit of my perennial garden. It's a work in progress. Now if only I could use my brown thumb for good. Like getting rid of daylilies and dandelions!