If you’re like me, you’ve probably gone through a lot of trial and error (and money) trying to find flowers and shrubs that grow well around your house.
I thought I’d make a few posts about the flowers and shrubs that have worked well in my yard and hopefully others will share what’s worked well for them.
I’ll start with a couple of flowers–begonias and coreopsis.
I thought begonias were shade loving plants, but I noticed some in the neighborhood last summer that were out in the hot sun and did very well. I decided to try them this year. I checked at the nursery and the bronze wax begonias with red/pink flowers can withstand our hot sunny days as long as the soil is kept moist and drains well.
I planted them in a slightly elevated bed I created with topsoil and mushroom compost. I completely removed the builder’s sand. I fertilized (only at the initial planting as they don’t need a lot of fertilizer) and set up my drip irrigation to water them on a M-W-F schedule.
I haven’t touched them since I planted them in April and they’re doing great. I’ve read that they should be deadheaded and pinched back from time to time, but mine don’t yet appear to need this sort of care.
In recent years, I’ve grown a bit tired of the ritual of planting spring and fall annuals. I’ve started looking for perennials to replace some of the annuals in my yard. The problem with perennials is that they don’t typically bloom as long as annuals. Well, that’s not the case with coreopsis.
Last summer, I planted some coreopsis in a bed that gets torched with full sun all day. To my surprise, they bloomed all summer with just an occasional sheering off of all the blooms.
To prepare the bed, I created a mixture of topsoil, mushroom compost, and the native soil in my hard. I fertilized them at planting time and then a couple of more times throughout the summer. Each time I used a liquid fertilizer attached to the hose (I prefer Peters Special). It took the plants most of last year to get well-established. I thought I was going to lose one at several points last summer due to the heat. Each time I gave it a little extra water, it perked back up.
This spring, I was delighted to see that they’re beginning to multiply–a sign they’re doing well–and they look even better than last summer. They have not shown any signs of stress this year, even with the intense heat we’ve had this week.
As I discovered (and confirmed on the web), if you deadhead coreopsis, they’ll bloom all summer. I’ve found the best way to do this is to wait for a bunch of the blooms to play out and then sheer everything back down to the foliage. They’ll soon sprout new blooms and you’ll have a repeat showing of beautiful flowers without a lot of work.
Now it’s your turn. 🙂 If you’ve had good luck with some flowers or shrubs, please share them with us in the comments section.