Balloon flower is 2 ½ – 3 feet tall and hardy to zone 3; the balloon flower has blue/violet blooms up and down the stalk and they start out as round puffs that one day pop op
en to show the inside of the flower.Called Jie-Geng by the Chinese, the roots are edible and have been used in soups and for sore throats, coughs and bronchitis for years.They have a tap root that makes them hard to transplant when large, but also very drought tolerant.
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, commonly called New England aster, is a native perennial which is most often found in moist prairies in the eastern half of the US.It is hardy to zone 4 and heat tolerant to zone 8, and although it is large and needs some space it is not invasive and does fine in the garden.It grows to 3 to 6 feet and spreads to 2 to 4 feet.Plant more than one for a real show.The size depends on the moisture provided and the strain that you have.Pinching back in July will keep it shorter and delay flowering.Daisy type flowers with purple rays and yellow centers that are about an inch wide, appear in in abundance in late August and September.The plant likes full sun and is loved by bees and butterflies. Cut back to the ground in fall to avoid seedlings. The genus name comes from the Greek symph, meaning coming together, and trich, meaning hair; in possible reference to the flower anthers.
From the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family this European native is hardy to zone 3 but shouldn’t be planted south of zone 6.
It is about 2 feet tall but it will be taller in shade and forms nice mounded clumps from which the long stems arise. They sport 2 inch yellow flowers in May to July, but will often rebloom in fall if they like their spot. The flowers start out globe shaped (hence the name) and then open to a cup shape with cool bright yellow stamens popping out.
They defiantly like a rich moist soil but will do fine in a garden setting. They like cool weather rather than hot and dry and will do well in sun (morning is better) to part shade. Cut them back in mid summer when the foliage starts to spot and new fresh foliage will grow.
They are rabbit and dear tolerant so you can plant these if your hostas are getting eaten and they are nice with ferns and astilbe.
They don’t come any cuter than Standard Dwarf Bearded (SDB) Iris “Boo”. She doesn’t get any taller than 12 inches. An amoena, which means that the standards are white and the falls are colored. In this case there is a crescent shaped purple spot on the falls with detailed veining and penciling near the beards, which are yellow. This cutie won the award of merit in 1976. They are early bloomers and you may want to get down close to smell the sweet fragrance.
Parentage: Elisa Bee X Warburton 72IJ-1: ((Fairy Flax x Blue Denim) x sibling)
I just love the color of this historic Standard Dwarf Bearded (SDB) Iris. It’s a true sky blue, the ruffled falls and standards are the same color but there is noticeable darker blue veining throughout and a yellow beard for accent. This Iris pumila is about 12 inches tall and is great for the rock garden or front of the border.
Parentage: ‘Great Lakes ‘ X ( ‘April Morn’ x unknown)
At three feet, this tall bearded iris is a Dominion seedling. It has perfect form and velvety texture. Lavender standards and rose purple falls accented with yellow beards and white penciling, make this old but really good iris, one to have in your garden. It is well branched and so it blooms for a long period. Zone 3.
When the rest of the garden is winding down, Autumn Joy is just getting started in fall with bright coral/pink flowers that later turn a beautiful rust color for winter interest. This hardy perennial is drought tolerant and not fussy about soil conditions as long as it is not too wet. The plants are just short of 2 feet tall and will form 2 foot wide clumps. The little mounds of foliage are also interesting in spring. All the care that is needed is to remove the old stalks near the ground in early spring before new growth starts. Bees also love this plant and it provides food for them when there isn’t much else. Sedum needs full sun.
This plant has nearly everything going for it including multiple names. It is also called Lungwort or Bethlehem Sage. Pulmonaria has pretty pink bell shaped flowers appearing in April and May, then turn blue as they age. But even after the flowers are gone the leaves bring beauty to the garden. They are fuzzy and green and have white or silver spots. The leaves are semi-evergreen, persisting well after frost. If they start to look ragged just remove them and new ones will fill in. The plant is only about 10 inches tall but spreads to form a patch. This tough plant tolerates sun or shade and very dry or over wet conditions. It also is deer and rabbit resistant. Note: Although this is a super tough plant and does well shipping bare root, you should know that it is one that wilts when it is dug. So, it will arive without foliage and should be planted as soon as possible and watered regularly until established.
Liatris spicata is also known as Gayfeather, Blazing Star or Button Snakeroot
About two feet tall and hardy to zone 3, this native plant is easy, does not require watering, and is attractive to butterflies and pollinators. Its violet flowering stalks are attractive in the summer garden featuring rounded fluffy blooms topping clumps of grassy foliage. The seed heads are also beautiful later in the season. Just cut them if you don’t want seedlings or leave them for the birds if you don’t mind having more.
Otherwise known as “Feather Reed Grass”, this hardy perennial grass is a vertical powerhouse in the garden at 3 to 4 feet tall. It draws they eye upward and breaks up a daylily garden (for example) where everything is the same height and shape. Weather used as a specimen or to naturalize in mass, it does equally well in a boggy area as it does in dry garden soil. It is one of the first to start growing in spring and one of the first to produce seed heads. The seed heads change colors throughout the season and hold through the winter. Karl is one of the best plants for winter interest in the garden. They are sterile so you won’t get seedlings all over the place and they are also great for arrangements. The way it moves in the wind is also spectacular.