bright-colored native perennials are finally putting on a show. All the plants in this perennial bed are relatively short (3′ or less). The brilliant red is Silene virginica, or fire pink, although it’s definitely red, very bright red. This plant likes dry, sandy or rocky soil and full sun. It grows less than 2′ high and is a very short-lived perennial, although it self-seeds easily. I planted it quite a few years ago, and new plants keep popping up.
The brilliant pink is western spiderwort, Tradescantia occidentalis, although it occurs naturally here in the East. Like all spiderworts, this is an easy plant to grow in sun or part shade, although the rabbits do love to eat it, so sometimes I have trouble establishing new plants. It’s very easy to divide. It disappears in early summer, so be sure to plant summer or fall bloomers or grasses in the same spot.
The tiny blue flowers are Campanula rotundifolia, harebell. These plants are less than 1′ high. They bloom for most of the summer, take a short rest, and bloom again in the fall. The foliage is threadlike; often the flowers look like they’re floating on air.
Also planted in this same area are lanceleaf coreopsis, orange butterflyweed, and several grasses, including purple lovegrass (my favorite). Come back for more pictures later in the season.