Experts: NH natives, perennials your best garden choices
Several national gardening organizations are highlighting fragrance gardens for 2013. Tracy Brown of Fuller Gardens suggests diathus for gardeners looking for an easy-to-care-for perennial with a sweet smell. (BARBARA TAORMINA PHOTO)
Henniker's StoneFalls Gardens has Solomon's seal (genus Polygonatum) listed as the 2013 perennial of the year on its website, but Theresa Pearson, who heads up sales and design for the nursery, said gardeners should be a little cautious when they come across those titles and declarations.
And while Solomon's seal is a tried and true plant in a lot of local gardens, not every hot perennial will be a good choice for local gardeners who need to consider our highly acidic soil and long, rough winters when they make choices about what to add to their flower beds.
"Native plants are easy to care for. They are meant to be here," said Dave Dylewski, a master gardener who works at North Hampton's Fuller Gardens, which held its annual plant sale last weekend.
"People want to come home for work and enjoy their gardens," she said. "They don't want to work a couple more hours every day."
Purple coneflowers were all the rage during the '90s, and Judy Siemonsma, president of the Candia Garden Club, said they are now a staple of many New Hampshire gardens. This year, there are more varieties and colors including yellows, pinks and oranges that look almost tropical.
One Saturday, May 18, the Candia Garden Club will hold its annual sale at the Masonic Hall, and Siemonsma expects the hanging baskets of lofus to sell out quickly.
For something different, Siemonsma suggested that gardeners check out a money plant, a biennial plant that produces purple flowers in the spring, and silver coin-shaped seed pods in the fall.
Colen said gardeners typically try to stretch information on plants tags. If a tag says full sun, that's not negotiable - the plant won't do well in partial shade.
"We've been so disconnected from nature, but that's starting to change," he said.