And I do not mean Christmas. If you are a gardener, April into the middle of May is perfect here in the Lowcountry. Garden centers are full of annuals and perennials, online nurseries are sending out boxes of their wares, and I am continually washing my clothes to get the dirt off.
What am I planting right now or what is doing well right now?
You cannot go wrong with Salvias – deer resistant, long lived, and long blooming.
And not all Salvias are tall. I am particularly delighted this year by Salvia nemerosa.
I watched a webinar about a planting in Moscow (yes, that Moscow with the Kremlin) and Salvia nermosa provided a long swath of color along the sidewalk.
You also cannot go wrong with Amistad Salvia. Amistad was developed by an Argentinian grower and is also known as “Friendship Sage” since Amistad means friendship in Spanish. It has large dark purple bracts and blooms for a long time.
I am absolutely loving my Baptisia. It is native to the Southeast and I have the Baptisia australis (bluish purple) and Baptisia “Carolina Moonlight” (yellow).
Baptisia is a spring bloomer here and the foliage lasts until July and then fades away. I always forget where I plant it and this year I found that I had placed a bird bath over one plant. It came up from under the bird bath – tough little thing.
If you are interested in native plants, may I recommend Native Plants of the Southeast by Dr. Larry Mellichamp. Great book with lovely photos.
I am trying something new this year that is all the rage in UK—Totally Tangerine Geum. The plants are sterile so they bloom a very long time and deer do not like them. In fact, all of the perennials I will be planting are deer resistant despite my electric fence – why tempt fate?
And last, but not least, a plant that gives and gives – Gaura linderheimeri. It took a year for my plants to really take off, but they are quite large with tons of bee seducing flowers. The dark red stems look good all year long and they bloom forever. I have seen them bloom all winter long.
All of these plants like full sun and do well with an occasional drink of water, but they are not water hogs. I mulch them with mushroom compost which give them nutrients as well as keeps moisture in.
You will find all of these perennials at local garden centers so shop until you drop.
You will be rewarded with flowers and the pollinators will be happy.