Low Maintenenance Perennials for a Beautiful Landscape

Melinda's Seminar on Perennials

Notes from Melinda's seminar on July 7th.

If you missed the Melinda Myer seminar, here are the highlights of 'Low Maintenance Perennials for a Beautiful Landscape.'


Design with Maintenance in Mind

- Less is more (fewer species--more of each)

- Make it Easy to manage the surrounding property. 

- Build and Maintain a Healthy Foundation--amending soil

- Mulch for weed control.

- Spring and Fall Cleanup

- Low maintenance plants: Suited to growing conditions. (Heat and cold, Soil, Light, Wind, Salt)


Design for High Impact

- Use color to your advantage: Warm colors such as red, orange, yellow make area feel warmer, smaller and more energizing. Cool colors such as blues, greens and violet make areas feel cooler, look larger and more calming. Contrasting colors are eye-catching with colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Blending colors are next to each other on color wheel.

-Same for texture: Bold textures grab your attention and creates a focal point. Fine texture adds depth when used in back of the garden. 


High Impact Low Maintenance Bulbs 

Daffodills, Alliums (2016 Year of Allium & Millennium 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year), Squill, Grape Hyacinths, Autumn Crocus


High Impact Perennials for Sun to Partial Shade

Hellebore (Helleborus), Lungwort (Pulmonaria), Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris, Peony (Paeonia), False Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis), Siberian Iris (Iris siberica), Willow Amsonia (Amsonia tabernaemontana), Cranesbill (Geranium spp.), Bellflower (Campanula), Serbian bellflower (C. porscharskyana), 'Octopus'.


Speedwell (Veronica spicata) 'Red Fox', 'Sunny Border Blue', 'Royal Candles'; Betony (Stachys macrantha); Beardstongue (Penstemon); Ornamental Rhubarb (Rheum); Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata); Salvia (Salvia spp.) S. nemerosa, 'Caradonna'; Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii)--'3 x 3' 'Walker's Low', 'Jr. Walker', 'Cat's Meow'; Calamentha (Calamintha nepeta nepeta); Sedum (Sedum); Daylily Hererocallis); Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepsia incarnate), Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra); Garden Phlox (Phox paniculata) mildew resistance (David) or Phlox maculatum; Agastache (Agastache0 'Black Adder'; Bee Balm (Monarda) mildew resistant--'Raspberry WIne', Cambridge Scarlet'


Summer to Fall

Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia), Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseesis); Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea); Gayfeather (Liatris spicata); GOldenrod (Solidago); Russian Sage (Pereovskia atriplicifolia); Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)



Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium or E. fistulosum); Botonia (Boltonia asteroids) 'Snowbank more compact, 'James Crocket' smaller cultivar; Asters (new name-Symphyotrichum); Mammoth Mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)


Ornamental Grasses
Blue Fescue (Festuca) F. amethystine for better clay tolerance; Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens); Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis); Moor Grass (Molinia spp.), Little Blue Stem (Schizachyrium); Maidenhair Grass (Miscanthus sinensis), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)


High Impact Perennials for Shade
Barrenwort (Epimedium), Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla); Solomon;s Seal (Polygonatum), Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) 'Luxuriant', 'King of Hearts'; Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum) 'White Nancy', 'Beacon Silver', 'Pink Chablis'; Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans); Hosta (Hosta plantaginea); Coral Bells (Huechera sanguinea); Bugbane/Snakeroot (Actaea syn. Cimicifuga spp.), A. racemosa & A. simplex (Autumn Snakeroot); Giant Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica); Turtlehead (Chelone)


Mostly Grown for Foliage in Shade
Canadian Ginger (Asarum Canadensis), Ferns--Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum'); Ornamental and Native Sedges (Cares spp.); Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa)