Tag Archives: Perennials

Powerful Perennials by Nedra Secrist

Powerful Perennials: Enduring Flower Gardens That Thrive in Any Climate

By Nedra Secrist

Powerful Perennials: Enduring Flower Gardens that Thrive in Any Climate by Nedra Secrist

Powerful Perennials allows you to focus on your gardening goals, whether that’s fragrance, attracting butterflies, or creating a color-splashed river of the earliest blooms. This book takes into account short growing seasons, elevation and snow pack.

Powerful Perennials: Enduring Flower Gardens that Thrive in Any Climate by Nedra Secrist, has all the information you need to master cold climate gardening. Learning how to invest in the right perennial for the right location will save you time, money and backbreaking work. You will not be one of the suckers impulse buying on the first warm spring day.

More than just dealing with cold climates, Powerful Perennials is a plant-life saving reference for gardeners dealing with dry climates, poor soil quality and ill-mannered wildlife. Plant propagation and division is one of the best money-saving reasons to buy perennials.

Each chapter will help you select the best plants for your garden. For example, start with a handful of Bearded Iris and you will eventually end up with a river of colorful iris. Divide them every few years for healthier, more frequent blooms. Learn how to hybridise and create your own iris variety.

Selecting a variety may be the most difficult decisionwhengrowing Iris.

Selecting a variety may be the most difficult decision when growing Iris. Photo: PBH

Each plant recommendation includes simple and clear information about how well it tolerates droughts, cold seasons, wildlife, and native soils. Choosing the perfect plant doesn’t guarantee success. Powerful Perennials guides you through proper planting, care, and a bit of history.

While this book is written with the most challenging environments in mind, it is not limited to the Rocky Mountain states. Remember the Rocky Mountains stretch through Wyoming’s Zones 3 and 4, Idaho and Colorado’s Zones 4 and 5 and Utah’s wildly varying Zones 4 through 8. When choosing perennials in the Rockies, snow pack, elevation and freeze-thaw fluctuations must be considered.

Living in the South or Midwest, perennials much less complicated. Still, this book is very helpful in making the long-term investment in perennial additions to your home landscape wherever you live. Chapters on choosing the right tools, metal garden art accents, and container gardening are helpful and inspiring.


DooDads Iris, photographed in Dave Niswonger’s home garden. Photo: PBH

About the Author: Nedra Secrist teaches gardening seminars and uses hands-on training courses to help gardeners succeed. Nedra and her husband own Secrist Gardens , a perennial nursery with locations in Brigham City, Utah, and St. Charles, Idaho.

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Teamwork: annuals and perinnials

It would be hard to choose between annuals and perrenials. Either way would be more work and very limiting.  Annuals and perennials make a great team.

Frankly Scarlet daylily. A favorite easy care perennial. 4″ bloom, 24″ tall, Early-Mid Season + rebloom, a 2003 All-American Selection.

Eating locally and eating seasonally help us understand. When I first moved into our new house, the first thing I planted was asparagus. True, we would not benefit from this food source for three years. Every year after that and probably for as long as we lived there, this spring delacy would be ours to enjoy for years to come.

Until those whispy little asparagus ferns get bigger, there is plenty of sunshine in that garden to plant a few strawberry plants. Both asparagus and strawberries are considered perennials in my southeast Missouri USA garden (zone six)

A surprise to many gardeners, tomatoes are really a perennial. Well, not in my back yard. Where they are native, tomatoes are perennials. Most folks here in the U. S. treat them as annuals. At the first hint or suggestion of a frost, tomato plants just cry and die.

See The Hub Pages Report: Which is best? Annuals or Perinnials

I am glad that there are both annuals and perinnials. in my front yard, vegetable patch, patio containers.

Rain, rain go away

Red Volunteer will quickly multiply into swaths of red flowers.

It’s been raining for days. Yesterday we had over 3 inches of rain. So far this month we have had 8.36 of rain and it is still raining. Forecasters say this front isn’t moving for at least 3 more days.

The city’s floodgates are closed. We are safe from the rising waters. There is not a flat surface in my kitchen that isn’t covered with plants.

I am inundated with plants. They need to go into the ground. Boxes of trial plants and packets of cool season seeds are arriving. Plants that are waiting for the soil and sun.


Before the rain, I planted a few daylilies, including red volunteer and dream soufflé™ from American Daylily & Perennials

The daylilies haven’t had time to develop roots and are just treading in waterlogged soil.

American Daylily & Perennials is also where I buy cannas and lantanas. They are waiting for drier days to be planted. I will share more about these floral beauties on a sunnier day.

Red volunteer is going to be 29″-33″ height with huge 7″ flowers.

Dream soufflé™ will grow 24″-30″ tall and has medium pink double blooms with reblooming 5″ flowers.

Dream souffle™ a delightful rebloomer.

Ground-hugging Minus Thyme

Minus Thyme Thymus praecox articus ‘Minor’

Minus Thyme Thymus praecox articus 'Minor'

Minus Thyme is a perennial, hardy in zones 5-9. The evergreen, ground-hugging thyme is covered with pink flowers in late spring. One of the lowest growing thymes, it never exceeds 1”. Minus can take light foot traffic making it a good choice along pathyways and between stepping stones.

I bought a plug pack of 12, two years ago from Richters Herbs. The plants did so well, I ordered another plug pack last spring. Then, I divided the tiny thyme that I had planted between stepping stones. It is growing enthusiastically between stepping stones and is easily divided.

The spaces need weeding until the thyme fills in. This very slow process will take a couple more years to fill all the spaces between the stepping stones. I could speed the process by dividing the thyme clumps more often.

Minus Thyme with Cobra for size comparicon

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