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Poppin' perennials

April 11, 2019

While most of the veggies I grow in my garden are annuals, last fall I added a perennial vegetable, 'Victoria' rhubarb. Over the winter, it entirely died back, but the root must have survived because it's growing new stems and leaves now.

 

 

 

To hide the less-than-attractive iron security cage installed around our window-unit AC, I got a native wisteria vine. The highly-fragrant flowers look like clusters of purple grapes. It's an excellent pollinator plant that also hosts butterfly caterpillars. It's just starting to leaf out now and I'm excited to watch it grow.

 

 

 

All of the perennials that I planted around my birdbath are waking up. This is lanceleaf coreopsis and white penstemon in the photo. Along the other side, I've got purple coneflower and roughleaf goldenrod, which are also just starting to come back. All four of these perennials are recommended by the Xerces Society for our region as well-performing pollinator plants for small gardens.

 

 

 

In my front yard, the mountain mint has become very well-established. That's fine, it has to compete against my neighbor's aggressively spreading sedum (a low-maintenance and low water pollinator plant). I just hope that the mountain mint doesn't overwhelm the other mint-family natives that I've planted in the same bed, anise hyssop and beebalm.

 

 

 

I'm most excited to see my Virginia bluebells bloom. I bought them as root cuttings last spring and they laid dormant in the soil all last year. Now they are starting to send up oval-shaped leaves (two bluebell plants are visible towards the bottom of this photo). Also pictured here are Virginia strawberries and one of my New Jersey tea bushes.

 

 

 

The extended forecast shows warmer temperatures ahead, which should accelerate growth. My veggies are still small and un-photogenic, but that won't be true for very much longer.

 

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