Like what you See? Well you too can have a yard full of color that blooms year after year after year. This photo was taken 2 weeks ago just before the official opening of summer, June 21st. The highlights of this photo are the flowering bush in the center, Little Henry, and the perennials book ending this front yard garden, golden yellow Daylilies and purple Geraniums.
LITTLE HENRY – The little bush with a large attitude.
Like the popular ‘Henry’s Garnet’ Virginia Sweetspire, , Little Henry has mildly fragrant white blooms in early summer (here in Illinois). The bonus is the red to orange leaf color in fall. Virginia Sweetspire is native to our Southern neighbors, but the Little Henry is adapted perfectly for our zone, not to mention it’s wetter and more humid here every year. Little Henry grows to just 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, making it perfect for smaller garden spaces, like my front yard. Imagine this beauty mass planted in a larger garden. It would be stunning!! Side note – I gave an off-shoot of the same bush to my neighbor a few years ago who put it in a shade/part-sun (dappled sun only) area next to her garage. We weren’t sure how well it would do in such little sun. It blooms every June. It’s quite a hardy bugger.
CRANESBILL GERANIUM, the popular perky purple perennial 🙂
There are more than 300 species of the Perennial Geranium, so there’s one out there just for you. This variety, Cranesbill, grows from 6 inches to 6 feet, so read that tag carefully before you purchase. It comes in pink, purple, blue and white and will grow in pretty much any condition, including dry as it is heat tolerant. I planted this over 10 years ago. Over the years it has produced pink and lavender babies in the front and back yard, sun and shade, wet and dry soil. Perennial Geraniums make good ground covers, are perfect for edging the garden bed, circling the base of a tree, or as supporting player in a larger bed. I have planted ours between red Knockout Roses and a mid-summer blooming Hydrangea. It will bloom until the end of June. Once the blooms are spent, cut them off and you’ll have a mound of feathery green foilage that will turn a gorgeous ruby red color in the fall.
DAY LILIES – A fresh bloom every morning.
Most people will recognize the bright golden bloom of this Day Lily. It’s a drought tolerant reliable burst of color every single year! AND now the Day Lily comes in so many other colors besides bright yellow. It has been cultivated to produce colors from the softest yellow, Buttercup, to the deepest purple, and every shade in between. You can now get Day Lilies with fringed petals, with two and three different colors in a single flower, and in different sizes, from mini to 3 feet tall. You can buy Day Lilies that bloom in different times of the summer as well so that you can stagger the blooms from June to August. They grow in a variety of soils (clay, sandy, and perfect). They’re a sunny perennial that will still give up a plenty of blooms in dappled shade. This perennial is easy to divide and share. You don’t have to dig up the entire plant to divide it. Simply put your shovel right through the middle, digging up just the portion you want to move. Dividing the Day Lily every 5 years gives you more blooms on the plant left behind while giving you some brownie points with whomever you choose to share. They’ll think you dug it up just for them. It’s a Win Win.
Adding these plants to your garden will make your space look great, inside and out. Who doesn’t feel good when they see this?