Many gardeners consider perennials to be the backbone of their garden but they seldom get the interest or hype as do flowering annuals. Unlike annuals which you have to plant every year, these dependable plants will come back year after year.  Our favorite selections come from plants we have grown ourselves, feedback from other gardeners or interesting varieties that we have come across at a gardening show. If you have a favorite perennial, please share it on our Facebook page or leave a comment for us.

We have selected, Orange Staircase Lupine for our number 5 favorite perennial. These tall bloomers will look great in your flowerbeds or wildflower garden. Lupines are low maintenance and will grow in any soil but clay.  They are a great plant for beginners. These flowers will also rebloom all season until nighttime hours go above 72 degrees. If you remove spent flowers you will encourage new buds. Orange is a new color that has been added to this series.  These flowers are hardy to zone 4.

We saw our number 4 selection at several gardening trade shows. It is Madrid Spanish Lavender. This attractive Lavender has pretty little flowers with large bracts. It is available in purple, pink, blue, and white. This Lavender is easy to grow and starts blooming in the spring and throughout the summer. Spanish Lavender also tolerates very cool temperatures (below 10° F for a short period).  Spanish Lavender uses less water than other Lavenders, so if you live in a drought.  Spanish Lavenders are not culinary varieties.

For the number 3 spot, we have chosen Rockin’ Red Dianthus.  If you love the color red, you should consider adding this flower to your garden. Dianthuses are great plants for a flower border and Rockin’ Red will not disappoint! You will have bright, vivid red flowers from spring to fall, plus the flowers are slightly scented. To encourage more buds to grow remove the fading flowers. It reliably overwinters through zone 4b.

In the second spot, we have selected Henryi Clematis.  We love growing Clematis and have previously mentioned this is one plant we think every gardener should try. Henryi has large white flowers that measure from 6 to 8 inches with chocolate brown stamens. It has one of the largest white clematis flowers available.  The plant blooms in May and June and blooms again later in the summer. It is hardy for zones are 4 – 8. Henryi is one of the oldest Clematis vines and also one of the most popular white varieties. It looks great on arbors, trellis or any other garden structure.

Our top perennial made its debut at the RHS Chelsey Flower Show, where it won the title “2014 Chelsea Plant of the Year”. It is the Miss Saori Hydrangea and the shrub made its US debut in 2017. The double flowers start out pink and then soften to white with deep rose on the petal edges. The dark foliage on this hydrangea is also quite attractive and turns burgundy in the spring and fall. It begins flowering in June and will continue to do so for most of the summer. This shrub does best when grown in full sun semi-shade. It is beautiful in containers or as a border.  It also makes a wonderful cut flower. This show-stopping plant is a great addition to any garden.

After reading our top selections, let us know what plants you would put on your top perennial list this year.  You can let us know by posting a comment here or on our Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Jill Mazure, Ball Seed Company, and Growing Colors.

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