A few weeks ago, I answered a reader wondering whether there are any plants besides Escallonia langleyensis 'Apple Blossom' that bloom nearly...
A few weeks ago, I answered a reader wondering whether there are any plants besides Escallonia langleyensis ‘Apple Blossom’ that bloom nearly year-round. Not many plants have such energy and resilience; my short list included:
• Wallflowers (Cheiranthus cheiri)
• Daphne x transatlantica ‘Summer Ice’
• Geranium endressii
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• Abelia x grandilfora ‘Edward Goucher’
Since then, I noticed Mexican fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus) in full bloom on an icy December morning, and remembered that the late plantsman Steve Antonow extolled its virtues as a dependably long-bloomer. It’s an adaptable, drought-tolerant, mounding perennial covered with white daisy-like little flowers from March through December.
Thanks to readers who emailed additional suggestions for especially long-flowering shrubs and perennials:
From Tina Wilson in Arlington: “I work at a small nursery in Stanwood (White Picket Gardens), and we sell both ‘Jolly Bee’ and ‘Rozanne’ hardy geraniums. I planted both in my yard to see if one outperformed the other. They are almost identical in color (blue) and habit as far as I can tell but have an incredibly long bloom time. They are the Energizer Bunnies of my garden!”
From Carolyn Herzog: “I have to write in about a plant that qualifies. It’s the Hebe ‘Amy’ — she blooms all year long. In fact my ‘Amy’ is in full bloom now (Dec. 14). I do keep it dead-headed (which is really easy and fun), and she is planted facing south in the front of my home. I have three other kinds of hebes, but this is the only one I’ve found to flower all year long.”
From Bonney Lemkin in North Seattle: “My nomination for a long-flowering plant would be these two members of the Penstemon family [pictured]. After a serious spring haircut, they come on strong, continuously flowering into the winter months. Note this morning’s frost on the purple one!”
Valerie Easton also writes about Plant Life in Sunday’s Pacific Northwest Magazine. Write to her at P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111 or e-mail email@example.com with your questions. Sorry, no personal replies.