The Power of Perennials and A Garden Party


When we moved into our first house eons ago and I began gardening, all I cared about was flowers. I wanted flowers everywhere in every color. They were great but the kicker is that those flowers don't last and when they are gone you are left with a blank slate. 

It took me awhile to learn that if you've given your garden some structure with trees, bushes, and perennial plants it will look pretty long after those annual flowers have gone.


So today we are taking a walk around my yard to see some of my favorite perennials.  Nothing in our yard is exotic. In fact, some might think they are boring but  I consider these plants to be 
tried and true friends.


Stella de Oro Daylilies never let me down! We have mostly full sun and it's hot here in the summer. They thrive with very little care. I do deadhead mine some but not consistently. 
Split them every few years to keep them blooming.


Lantana loves the heat too. The hotter the better and it takes very little water.
There's a wide variety of lantana available so go to a nurery and you'll find something you like.


In this photo you see Purple Heart and Liriope together. There's also some Bermuda grass invading. Ugh!! I love the Purple Heart because the color is beautiful mixed with all the greens. It is also drought tolerant but is much prettier when it gets some water. The leaves plump up and shine. Purple Heart and Liriope both get small flowers from time to time but they are really valued for their pretty foliage.


Wood fern and Ajuga are mingled together in this photo taken on the side of our house. 
You can also see a few leaves of hyacinth bean vine which is not perennial but is coming up from the seeds that it drops.  The hyacinth bean vine will be covered in flowers soon.

Now let's talk about this mystery plant that I first shared with you a few weeks ago.


This beauty has many names. The scientific name is Datura but it also goes by Angel's Trumpet, Jimsonweed, Moon flower, Hell's Bells, and many others.  Now I have a story about this plant...well really the story is about a boy I knew once. 

Any teachers out there will understand when I tell you that sometimes you can have the cutest kid in your class but you just know that trouble is ahead. I had a student who ingested this hallucinogenic plant and was found with his buddy wandering aimlessly in a field. Somehow the boys had learned about the qualities of the plant and tested it for themselves. This is an extremely dangerous thing to do but when I think of this kid, I can't help but grin a little because I could have predicted such dilemmas in his future.  He's just fine by the way and he's probably the president of some company by now.

Thank you for joining the garden party today. We can't wait to see what's growing for you. :)




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35 comments

thepaintedapron.com said...

Thank you for the garden party Stacey, your yard is beautiful! Your knowledge of flowers and plants is admirable, I truly have a black thumb! I have found that I can grow begonias, so that is my go to flower for color. Cute story about the mischievous child, scary though! Happy week and happy gardening!
Jenna

Susan Duane said...

Thank you for hosting! Love your post!!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

You sure have learned about keepers for your garden, Stacey! Oh dear me, on the kid that was found wandering!! Wouldn't it be nice to know what he is doing now? Thanks for the party and may you have a happy week out by your pond.

Jeanie said...

Hi Stacey, your perennials are fabulous! I need to add some to my garden this year! I'm sharing my Southern Exposure visit (which I had on TOTOH last week) since this is on Share Your Cup and also because I've been too swamped to do much with my yard yet! That's what this week is for. Can't wait to get some good inspiration!

Happy@Home said...

That is so true about perennials being our old faithful friends. It is comforting and exciting to see them come back to life each spring. You have a pretty selection of friends in your garden. All except that darn Bermuda grass. We know that one all too well. Ugh!
Thank you for hosting the Garden Party today. I will be popping in to visit throughout the day.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

In our last home we were short on blooming perennials, but this home is going to have as many as I can force into a space:)
Love yours!

bj said...

Thanks so much for the party...our weather is still a little cloudy and think rain is in the forecast again...needing bright sun for our plants but I'm here at your party, anyway....Have a great week.

Patty Marker said...

Your garden is gorgeous Stacey. I learned the hard way about perennial as well. I love annuals for a fun pop of color but the backbone of my garden is definitely the perennials.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

We are on our second year here at Storybook Cottage where I have set a $100 budget for annuals and $100 perennials. This is so tough because we have such a large yard. (This is why I did up gardens of soon to be demolished homes.:) I think I do need to add more foliage and I like the examples you have shown here.

Yes, that wee shed was here. Just another thing in this home we are trying to salvage. It's tucked in behind the garage and not visible unless you go around the corner. :)

Eilis said...

I was so happy when lots of perennials showed back up during our first spring at this house. I just love them. In fact, it is probably time to move some of them out of our front flower bed since they are spreading a little too much.

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

It's a real learning process isn't it. My backyard garden area has been many years of trying things out and creating things of visual interest. I too love flowers and that's why I always plant annuals so there is always something in bloom but of course the perennials are exciting especially when you see them popping out the ground and then finally blooming. I stick with the "tried and true friends" too. I don't have time to fuss with things that may or may not make it. I love seeing the Stella d'oro's bloom. Mine will are a few weeks away yet before they'll bloom.

Cozy Little House said...

I need to get some purple heart. I love purple in the gardens.
Brenda

Lisa said...

Stacey this is the best hits list of the garden! I love day lilies too and have never seen one die. I recently found out they come in pinks and corals now and I'm definitely going to try them out. Hopefully they are as hardy as the yellow. Your garden is always so lovely and I can truthfully say I count on you for great gardening tips.;-)

Daniela said...

I so love every flower and plant of yours, my dearest Stacey, but the Purple Heart has won my haert so many years ago ... we have to keep such plants at warm inside homes during the Winter and I've lost it, probably it suffered too little light or too little water ... the thing is that here in Northern Italy is quite impossible to find it, alas, so if i have mistaen something, and I did for sure, I cannot have one more chance !

Thank you for sharing such a charm, my lovely, enjoy your garden and all the joy it can give to you, and thanks for the party, as well !

Sending blessings on your week just begun

Dany

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Stacey, your garden filled with perennials is beautiful. You are so right, adding them to the garden gives structure and can be counted on to come back year after year. I have many of the same flowers you have although lantana doesn't seem to grow for me here. I may have to try it again in another spot with more sun.
Thanks for sharing the story. So glad that student survived his curiosity!!
Beautiful garden party. Have a great week. xo

Sonia said...

Stacey your perennial selections are some of my favorites too. It's nice to have plants that come back every year and sure cuts down on planting. I save the annuals for a few spots near entrances rather than trying to put them everywhere. Love garden parties and can't wait to visit all the posts!
Enjoy your beautiful yard and pond! Thanks for hosting!

Kim said...

I'm a huge fan of perennials, Stacey! I love the colors that annuals bring into my yard and the fact that they bloom all summer long, but I don't love the constant planting. I only add annuals to pots now. Perennials are found in all of my beds and watching them sprout and bloom each year is a thrill. I had kids like that, too...you can always spot the adventurous ones...even in kindergarten!

Katie Clooney said...

I miss having flowers 10 months a year. I'm lucky if I get 10 minutes out of my plants in Mass. I'm going to look through my posts and put one on from last year.

My thrift store addiction said...

Love these garden parties, Ladies! Stacey your garden is lovely! Thanks for hosting!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love those beautiful ferns! And this is such a fun party! Enjoy your week. Hugs!

Sunflowers With Smiles said...

Your perennials are GORGEOUS!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Your garden is lovely! My mom has many of the plants you mentioned. I should try some purple heart. Love how it looks with all the green. We have some liriope just like that and some variegated varieties too. Such an easy plant. :)

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Your garden is stunning - I am sure you love spending time out there. Thanks so much for the tour of your garden. I'm off to see the rest of the gardens.

Mary

Botanic Bleu said...

Hi, Stacey,
The tried-and-true perennials are the backbone of a great garden. Your perennials are some of my favorites.

Judith

Laura said...

Stacey- you are so knowledgeable.
You have inspired me to investigate proper plant names.
Your garden is lovely!

Have a great week,
Laura

Art and Sand said...

I have never seen white lantana. I need to find some for my garden.

Rita C. said...

Stacey, I love your tried & true friends in the garden; so much so, I keep inviting some of them into mine, but they claim they can't stay year round. I use Purple Queen and Lantana in my annual flower beds and containers, and this year I am trying to be patient to wait for Moonflower vine to sprout from seed on my trellis (I bought two more Mandevilla plants to fill in in the meantime). I didn't know about the hallucinogenic properties of Moonflower! Hyacinth bean vine is one I wanted this year! However, I couldn't find the seeds around here, so right now I'm [im]patiently waiting on another annual to fill its place. Liriope and Stellas can be grown in my region (7a), but I only use Liriope. My neighbors have Stellas on either side of me. I have no shade, so I don't even try to plant those type.
It's always so enjoyable to read of others' gardens. This party is really nice for all of us to share the dirt. Thanks so much!
Rita

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

By living in a region that flowers bloomed most of the year due to the climate, I had to re-educate myself to annuals and perennials . I try to plant perennials as much as I can. Your flowers are always so beautiful in every season.

designchic said...

Your garden is so beautiful. Great party!

Cecilia Bramhall said...

I don't have the Stella de Oro daylily but I do have the old fashion orange, a double orange, and a very beautiful maroon with a green throat. I love them! They are so hardy. Lantana is a favorite as are the others you mentioned. The only one I don't have is the Datura. I think I have seeds somewhere. Lol. I need to take pictures so I can join the party. Thanks for sharing!

Kelly said...

I really enjoyed the tour of your backyard. you have some very pretty flowers. i recognize many of them as being available here too. I didn't know about that one flower that you mentioned being dangerous.

JG said...

Very attractive, Stacey! I tried growing the Lantana a few years ago, but our soil or climate in MA did not agree with it. This weekend we'll be planting the annuals in spots. :)
~Judy

Ann Bailey said...

Stacey, I love your beautiful site! I'm crazy about Lantana, but I really don't think it's a perennial here in Northern West Virginia....but we'll see! I wrote a post on moon flowers, one of my favorite all-time plants, but it looks like I won't have any this year...(sob), but I'd love if you'd read the post I wrote:
http://thenorthernwestvirginiagardener.blogspot.com/2015/08/moonflower-melodies.html

If you love moon flowers, wait til you see the "Black Datura"! Wow! So, so pretty!

Lady of the Manor said...

Thank you for hosting this fun party! Your Stella de Oros are farther along than mine. Looking forward to all of my lilies blooming soon.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I love seeing what others have in their gardens to get more ideas for mine! I do have mostly perennials but add annuals in pots every year. It's been too cold here for my garden to be ready to show off yet, but hopefully soon!