Perennials beautify our gardens and landscapes season after season, year after year. Imagine amazing hellebores that bloom in shady spots during late winter and early spring, followed by bleeding hearts, Virginia bluebells, false forget-me-nots, epimediums, and pulmonarias. Hostas and ferns appear in the late spring shade garden and continue to delight until fall.
The early summer garden is the perfect showcase for the amazing flowers of tree and herbaceous peonies. Let’s not forget about roses – hybrid teas, grandifloras and shrub-types – that add charm and romance in sunny spaces. Summer sun-loving perennials – crocosmias, hollyhocks, coreopsis, echinacaeas and more - attract butterflies and hummingbirds!
And just when you think the gardening season is about to end, fall perennials kick-in. Ornamental grasses, Japanese anemones, plumbago, and fall blooming clematis continue to delight until frost.
Sun or shade, wet or dry soils – there are perennials for every location in the garden or landscape. Spring, summer or fall bloomers, you can enjoy seasons of color and interest with perennials. Not sure what blooms when, how to choose, or care for your perennials? Our perennial experts are happy to assist you with selection, planting and care.
Eupatorium maculatum, commonly referred to as Joe Pye Weed (JPW), is not a weed at all. (Those darn common names can sometimes be so cruel!) This hardy perennial, a northeast native, continues to charm gardeners and butterflies wherever it’s planted!
Here’s the dirt on JPW: this sun to part shade loving perennial enjoys moist, fertile humusy soil. Spend a little time preparing the soil before you plant and you will be rewarded. The addition of compost or composted manure will improve the quality of existing soil. A word to the wise: provide ample soil moisture for Joe Pye weed to grow and thrive. Avoid dry soils that can lead to leaf scorch (marginal burn of the leaves).
Why plant Eupatorium? They’re wonderful as cut flowers for informal bouquets. Persistent seed heads (after the flowers) can add interest to the winter garden; some gardeners claim that goldfinches love them. Plants can be cut back to the ground in late winter to prepare for spring growth. And if you garden in deer country, Eupatorium is reported to be deer resistant.
Imagine enjoying a hardy perennial begonia in your garden, right here on Long Island.... You can, if you grow Begonia grandis, hardy in zones 6-9 (we’re zone 7).
This late summer into fall bloomer (actually it should bloom until frost) may be slow to appear in the spring, but be patient. You’ll be rewarded with green heart-shaped leaves and pink or white flowers that will offer a slight fragrance in the garden at a time when other perennials have finished flowering. Helpful hint: Good gardeners plant it where the morning sun can streak through its red-veined leaves!
Begonia grandis grows best in shady locations that offer organically-rich, well-drained soils. Properly prepared soils – think compost or composted manure – are needed. Adequate watering is important. A word of warning – never let this plant suffer from drought.
Hardy begonias work well with hostas and ferns in the garden. We have a nice selection of flowering Begonia grandis at Viette’s that are perfect for fall planting in your garden.
Did you know that fall is a great time to plant iris rhizomes in the garden? Planting now allows plants to set strong roots going into winter. When next spring arrives, you have established plants that are ready to flower. By the way: a rhizome is a fleshy (but not mushy) horizontal stem that grows above, below or at the soil surface. The rhizome sends out roots that ultimately anchor the plant in the ground. When planting iris, you want to bury only the bottom half of the rhizome; the top half should be exposed. Always plant in bright sunny locations that provide well-drained soil conditions. Beautiful colors of bearded iris rhizomes have arrived with enticing names like ‘Fatal Attraction’! Look for them in our fall market at Martin Viette
Ready, get set, go! September’s the month to divide overcrowded peonies. Here's how: Use a garden fork to lift the clump out of the ground, then rinse off the excess soil so you can see the crown of the peony. Look for the 'eye', a plump bud located at the crown. When you divide, you want to leave several 'eyes' per division. Skimpy divisions could take several years (or more) to flower. Divide with a sharp clean knife or spade.
New divisions should be set in prepared soil in a sunny location. Use a spade (or rototiller if you have one) and loosen the soil to a depth of 8-12 inches. Add any compost at this time. Peonies prefer a soil pH of 5.5 - 6.5. Don’t guess, soil test! If you don’t know the pH of your soil, we’ll test it for free at Martin Viette Nurseries! And if you need lime, we will tell you.
Here's the important planting step: place the new division in the hole with the eyes 2 inches below the soil surface. Too deep and they will not flower for years; too shallow and they could heave with fluctuating winter temperatures. Remember to water after planting.
Roses, roses and more roses…. Imagine sprays of beautiful shrub roses blooming in your garden this summer with little effort!
Shrub roses are better than ever, thanks to the brilliant work of rose hybridizers in recent years. And what makes the Knock-Out and Flower Carpet roses better? For starters, you’ll enjoy longer seasons of bloom, with many blooming from June through frost!
Thankfully, not all roses require a lot of care and attention. Knock-Out and Flower Carpet, roses are considered by many to be low maintenance roses. Imagine no more diseased leaves to detract from the beauty of your garden. And there’s no need to ‘deadhead’ old blooms. Plus you’ll enjoy their beautiful blossoms for months outdoors or indoors as cut flowers.
Flower Carpet Roses are prized for their vigorous, spreading habit and continual wash of flowers. Useful in borders and planters, they are available in a wide array of colors, heights and scents. These improved shrub roses, completely hardy on Long Island, are an absolute ‘must’ for all gardens. A big plus – no need for constant spraying and deadheading.
Knock Out Roses, true to their name for their beautiful flowers, add months of carefree color and enjoyment in the garden – in beds and planters! A timesaving benefit - there’s no need to deadhead old, faded flowers.
A few suggestions to keep these low-maintenance roses happy in the garden:
-provide at least 6 hours of sunlight each day
-use a soaker hose to water
-fertilize every 6 weeks with Rose-tone during the growing season
Is this the year you make these beautiful shrub roses part of your landscape? Go ahead, you really can have it all when it comes to these low maintenance shrub roses with their carefree habit and continual bloom.
Vines… they twine, curl and twirl their way into our gardening hearts. Vines endear us with their beautiful flowers – some are fragrant, some are tropical, many display brilliant fall color, some are excellent for screening and much, much more. Small, intimate gardens or large sprawling landscapes can enjoy the beauty and versatility of vines
Uses of Vines
Vines are functional and versatile. Before you buy and plant, determine your expectations of what you want the vine to
do. Will the vine: be a permanent addition to a landscape setting; provide tropical seasonal colo
r and interest in patio or deck pots and planters; screen a chain link fence; or add vertical interest to a flat
Vines will do better with some support and obelisks, trellises, arbors, fences, or gazebos make ideal candidates. Think about the space you have, and then find a support that fits! Obelisks or trellises add vertical interest to what could otherwise be flat space. These supports can be considered seasonal or semi-permanent in the garden. Tropical beauties like Mandevilla, passionflower, and Bougainvillea do well on wrought iron obelisks and trellises placed in pots or planters or in the ground. Old favorites like morning glories and moonflowers can easily transform a dull chain link fence to a flowering fence during the growing season. Perennial vines like clematis are naturals on pergolas, gazebos and arbors! Think long term…Wisteria and climbing hydrangea need sturdy supports that will be there for years to come. Heavy-duty trellises made from northern cedar are tough enough to withstand years of exposure to the elements. So many trellises, obelisks and arbors to choose from and they’re all here at Martin Viette.
Window boxes and hanging baskets provide a different kind of support for vining plants. Instead of being uprights, the plants become trailers. Dipladenia, black-eyed Susan vine, Bougainvillea are good candidates to consider.
Right plant, right place
Once you know how the vine will be used, it’s time to talk about plant selection. Consider: exposure, soil conditions, and hardiness of perennial vines before you fall in love with any plant. The horticultural saying ‘right plant, right place’ is critical for the successful use and establishment of any plant. Not sure where to begin? Let the NYS Certified Nursery Landscape Professionals at Martin Viette assist you with plant selection.
Perennial Vines for Season after Season Interest
Perennial vines are just that; they return year after year to the garden. In addition to flowering, some will provide attractive fall color, dried seed heads and other interests. Here are few of our perennial favorites:
Annual Vines for Seasonal Color and Interest
Annual vines are quick growing, providing flowers and interest for you to enjoy all summer and into fall. Some attract butterflies and hummingbirds, too! There are so many to choose from; here are a few of our favorites:
Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia)
So, if your garden has been vining for attention, visit us at Martin Viette. We have a great selection of perennial and tropical vines for you to choose from, along with obelisks and trellises to create beautiful interest for you to enjoy.