Perennials

A Trio of Perennials for Months of Bloom

September 2, 2018 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Perennial plants, those that live for more than one growing season, typically have short bloom periods.  They may last a week or two, perhaps up to a month.  The trick is to have a variety of plants in the perennial flower bed so that something is blooming all season long. Here are three plants native […]

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Bee Balm Finds a Home in any Mid-Summer Landscape

July 1, 2018 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Bee balm is a pretty perennial lavender-colored flower native to Wisconsin prairies.  It goes by a few other names including monarda, wild bergamot and Oswego tea.  The Latin name is Monarda fistulosa.  Another native bee balm, Monarda didyma boasts bright scarlet flowers. Lavender bee balm flowers are about three inches across while the scarlet ones […]

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What is an AAS Winner?

March 18, 2018 lawanda Newspaper Columns

        Have you noticed a little blue and red “AAS Winner” logo on some of the flower and vegetable photos in mail order nursery catalogs?  Have you wondered what that means and how a particular plant earns that designation?         AAS stands for All-American Selection.  The AAS designation is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of […]

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Getting to Know Spring Wildflowers

March 15, 2018 lawanda Magazine Columns

Woodlands are magnificent places in early spring as ephemeral wildflowers blanket the forest floor.  Here are just a few of the beauties you might see on your trek through the woods.  Skunk Cabbage Skunk cabbage grows along streams and wetlands and is the first wildflower up in spring, sometimes even pushing through ice and snow.  […]

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Plant a Native Woodland Shade Garden

February 18, 2018 lawanda Newspaper Columns

What are some good plants for shade gardens?  The first answers to that question that come to mind for most people are hostas and ferns, right? There are better answers to the question.  Native woodland plants provide beauty as well as ecological services in the form of food and shelter for insects, birds and larger […]

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Allium ‘Milenium’ Selected Perennial Plant of the Year

January 21, 2018 lawanda Newspaper Columns

The Perennial Plant Association has named Allium ‘Milenium’ its 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year.         Like most alliums, ‘Milenium’ grows upright on a stiff stem topped by a perfectly round sphere of tiny flowers called umbels.  ‘Milenium’s’ are rose-purple and last for up to four weeks, much longer than many perennial plant flowers.  Better […]

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Non-Traditional Tulips

October 1, 2017 lawanda Uncategorized

One of the first flowers children learn to draw are tulips.  A few curved petals, a stem, and two pointy leaves.  There are some beautiful tulips that look just like those simple drawings, but others differ greatly.  Some look like peonies or roses or carnations.  Others look like no flower you’ve seen before. ‘Queensland’ is […]

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Consider Native Turtlehead

July 2, 2017 lawanda Newspaper Columns

The colors of the late summer garden are mostly brilliant purples, reds, oranges and yellows.  Turtlehead is an easy-to-grow perennial plant native to our area whose late summer flowers provide a serene contrast to all that intensity with creamy white blooms. The Latin name for turtlehead is Chelone glabra.  “Chelone” is the Greek word for […]

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Butterfly Weed is 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year

March 19, 2017 lawanda Magazine Columns

The Perennial Plant Association has chosen butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa, as its 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year.  You might wonder at the choice of a plant with “weed” in its name, but this beautiful plant is anything buy weedy.  It is a versatile plant that is at home in both formal landscapes and more […]

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Edelweiss Can Be Grown in Wisconsin

February 5, 2017 lawanda Magazine Columns

Edelweiss, Edelweiss Every morning you greet me. Small and white Clean and bright You look happy to meet me. Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow Bloom and grow forever. Edelweiss, Edelweiss Bless my homeland forever.   Many of us are familiar with the song “Edelweiss” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1965 musical “Sound of […]

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