Garden renewal


This spring, I did a lot of renovation in my perennial beds. Two very tall and enthusiastic plants, Rudbeckia subtomentosa and Monarda fistulosa, had spread into the fronts of the beds, shading out smaller plants. I dug out and gave away what amounted to hundreds of plants and replanted the fronts of the beds with a variety of lower-growing grasses and perennials. In this post, I’ll show you some of the new plants; most are now in bloom.

The photo above shows a spot that was completely replanted this spring, except for the existing little bluestem grasses that frame it on either side. There are sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa [yellow, left]), orange butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum [white, left]), dotted mint (Monarda punctata [white, right]), and lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata [yellow, right]), and other things that haven’t bloomed yet. Look carefully on the right and you’ll see nodding pink onion (Allium cernuum) full of buds. I’m very pleased with this arrangement of new and established plants.

_DSC6449 Here’s a better view of the dotted mint in a different perennial bed. Behind it you’ll see another new addition, a hoary vervain (Verbena stricta) that’s now showing buds. It will replace the blue/purple of the monarda, which is almost finished blooming.


And in yet another bed, here’s lovely light purple wild petunia (Ruellia humilis), another low-growing lover of dry soil. This is a plant that you have to hide from the rabbits. Some years they find almost all of it; other years, like this one, it blooms for months.

Why is this year different from other years? Look for an upcoming post about short-term changes in the native plant garden.