Popular Flower Types
A trip to the plant nursery can be a little overwhelming. But with a few tips, you can find the right flowers for your garden and get to work.
Roses are a perennial favorite for their beauty and scent, while tulips offer a wide range of colors. For something different, try fritillaria with their contrasting petals and bold centers.
A friend at church asked me if I wanted a clump of flowers he was dividing. My answer: “Of course!”
He said it was an anemone, so it was time to do some diligent research on anemones for my yard.
What I found was a wonderful plant for my garden that fills in a bloom time after the summer perennials like echinacea and daisies have declined. They are in mid-bloom when our fall blooming perennials like golden rod begin to show their fall beauty.
Overall, they bloom for well over a month and many times up to eight weeks with adequate rainfall.
The common name windflower is quite fitting for this tall perennial, as it is about 12 to 20 inches tall before blooms appear. Then, the “floating flowers” appear on stalks that are mostly about 3 to 4 feet tall (a good 12+ inches above the foliage). When the wind is blowing, these flowers do a lovely dance and add great enjoyment to the flower garden.
There are more than 200 species of windflowers, natives to Asia, North America and Europe. They come in colors of white, pink, blue, yellow and purple.
These vigorous bulbs are perennial, moving out to create clumps in the yard, so they must have plenty of rich organic material. They grow in Zones 4 through 9, attracting many pollinators, and are consider poisonous. Windflowers are very cold hardy.
They bring late season into autumn interest, as other annuals and perennials are winding down for the year.
Windflowers are low maintenance, growing from a fibrous woody root base that spreads to form compact mounds. The plant is attractive with the green, hairy leaves looking lovely all spring and summer.
The stems begin to appear in late July where the flowers will appear in just a few weeks. They make attractive front visual contrast to a bed, with the slender see-through stem and a cloud of flowers, blooming from five to eight weeks. Many years, they bloom into the first frosts. The flat flowers are 2 to 4 inches wide, being single to double, with white to colored petals surrounding the yellow centers.
Anemones do best in full sun to part shade but prefer light shade to afternoon dappled sunlight. They are best planted in moist but well drained rich soil. It can overrun other flowers over the years, and can be tamed by taking clumps off the edges. Mulch in the spring after the late emerging leaves have come up in late spring. They can be slow to establish, so be patient. Thin plants every two years to share with friends.
I cannot wait to get mine planted, so I can enjoy these stunning flowers!
For more details and photos, go to http://go.osu.edu/anemone.
Hughes is an Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer in Mahoning County.