Perennial of the Week: Shasta Daisy

One of the most popular perennials that most gardeners have in their gardens is the Shasta Daisy.  This wonderful flower standard has many traits and characteristics that will help it stand out above the rest in your garden: A must for all flower gardens.

The Shasta daisy does come in several different varieties offering many growing conditions for you.  You can find tall varieties along with short ones, single layer of petals too almost full heads of petal layers.  The taller varieties will need to be staked or they will probably tip over as they can grow up to 3 feet in height.

No matter which variety that you plant in your garden, the white flower head with its bright yellow center will attract bees, butterflies and birds to your garden.  Bloom time can vary from early summer to late fall: truly offering a long range of beautiful blooms.

A couple of very positive attribute is that the Shasta daisy is deer resistant, and drought tolerant. However, it still needs to be watered and does prefer to be planted in loose soil offering good drainage. Though Shasta Daisies prefer full sun, this perennial will tolerate partial shady conditions. You will need to divide your plants every few years too.

Shasta daisies will offer a graceful and elegant touch to any garden.  You won’t have any regrets planting this wonderful perennial in your yard.

Annual(s) of the Week-Diascia and Nemesia

If I mention Diascia, I need to say Nemesia too!

These two wonderful recent introductions into the plant world are a great reward. Both are in the same family as the snapdragon and offer some of the similar traits: one of the most important is that is can be fairly frost tolerant.  However, don’t take it from the cozy sheltered life of a greenhouse and place it outside if the nights are still freezing.  Allow these plants to adjust to the local conditions first.

Other than being able to be among some of the first annuals to be planted out in the spring, look for some other amazing traits. Nemesia you will need to make sure you are planting the right cultivars:  Nemesia strumosa is a variety that will NOT tolerate the freezing temps, look for Nemesia foetans, N.pallida, N. capensis, N. Fruticans, and N. caerulea are the stronger, sturdier varieties that will also tolerate the cooler temps.  Nemesia will offer smaller daintier flowers in shades of blues and also beautiful pure white to pink blossoms:  A must for a planters and small flower gardens.

Diascia is the real charmer in any container arrangement or in your flower bed.  The color scheme is a little different than that of Nemesia: You will find hues of red, apricot, salmon, and pink.  The flower size of the Diascia plant is also larger and the plant itself offers a stronger upright profile, yet some varieties will also lay down offering a spreading habit.

As  you find this little darling of a flower make sure that you make room for these two little gems in your containers and flower gardens. Being able to tolerate cooler temperatures these beauties can be planted early and enjoyed all summer long and into the cool nights of the fall. A lasting favorite to all those who plant them.

Perennial of the Week-Daylily

Is the Daylily the perfect perennial for your garden?

Have you ever had to really wonder if the perennials, that look so wonderful at your local garden center, would actually grow in your yard once you got them home? We are prone to buy blooming flowers on impulse and then figure out where we are going to plant them after getting them home.  One perennial that doesn’t take a lot of thought about having the perfect growing spot is the Daylily (Hemerocallis).

Hemerocallis comes from two Greek words meaning “beautiful” and “day”. For a daylily is true to its name in that that a bloom will only last one day.  However there are usually several blooms on each stem and several stems to a plant allowing for a long blooming period of time.

Daylilies are quite adaptable to many if not all growing conditions.  They can grow in drought conditions and also along the ditch bank or waterway.  They will grow in full sunlight, which is best, but then you can get them to grow in partial shade.

I remember one customer of mine, who would come into the greenhouse, looking specifically for new and interesting daylilies that we might have gotten in to sell.  She asked me to also keep a lookout for the unique and unusual. Diane had developed a daylily garden in her yard and at that time she had over twenty different varieties of daylily in this specific garden, with many more planted throughout her whole yard.

You can find varieties that bloom early in the season, and then they are done and will then only offer green foliage for the rest of the year. However there are varieties that will bloom mid-season, late, multiple times.  There truly is a daylily out there to suit your wants and desires.

There are more than the traditional yellow and oranges to choose from: you can have pinks, reds, maroons, purples, chiffons, almost any color that you want. According to The American Hemerocallis Society, you can purchase daylilies anywhere from $3 to over $500.  It just depends on what you want.

Don’t let diploids and tetraploids or scapes confuse you. If you see a daylily that you like, buy it and take it home and plant it.  However you might find out some of the basic information if you need; but for the most part plant it and enjoy it.  Daylilies might just be the perfect perennial for your garden.

How many daylilies do you have in your garden?