In case you missed my recent post, it was part one of easy to grow flowers here in zone 5…at least for me. Currently, the crocus and daffodils have already bloomed, while the tulips, lilacs and bleeding hearts are all blooming here in early May. Just getting ready to strut their stuff is our very short-lived but beautiful alliums. These are sun lovers that don’t take up a lot of space but stand tall and beautiful on their own. They only bloom for a couple of weeks, but they’re so much fun and they’re part of the onion/garlic family so, therefore I love them.
Also, just getting ready to pop is all of our columbine. Columbine spreads, so be warned, but it’s a beautiful perennial that’s available in a wide range of colors. Bonus for me is that they are shade plants, though they do well in partial sun also.Wet, dry, cool, hot…once columbine has started to grow and bloom, it doesn’t seem to care very much about the conditions.
How can you resist their unusual flowers and colors? I sure can’t. My columbine bloom for a month or so but, because I have so many of them, it goes on longer than that, due to varying stages of their plant maturity.
Just a week or two away from blooming is my clematis. I love clematis but ours blooms only briefly due to the fact it gets only afternoon sun. Clematis likes lots of sun and can be a bit of a water hog if it’s quite dry, but its show blooms are worth it. Try and plant yours in a sunny spot and leave it…it’s not partial to being moved around but you’ll reap the rewards when you leave it be and let it do its thing.
All of the above flowers are perennials for me here in zone 5. Some annuals that I love and that are easy here are cosmos and zinnias. Find a sunny spot, loosen up the dirt, toss in a little compost and then sprinkle some seeds around. You barely need to cover them; I sprinkle just enough dirt over them to keep them in their place. Keep damp for 5-7 days and you should see some sprouts. Then, just keep watered enough to keep the sprouts going and before you know it, you have flowers that go on and on and on and on. Trust me on this one.
I love cosmos and zinnias for their long lasting, colorful display…you really can’t go wrong with them.
Of course, for another perennial, coneflowers are beautiful and do well in all sorts of soil and light – I have a lot of luck with them in a few different areas in our yard.
Our irises are just a week or two away from blooming and they’re always a showstopper, especially in flower arrangements.
Irises need to be divided every couple of years, so keep that in mind when planting them. If they become overcrowded, they won’t bloom as prolifically and will often push their bulbs out of the ground, due to crowding.
Our moonbeam coreopsis is another perennial that does really well here in Zone 5. I have some in full sun and some under some pine trees in partial sun and they all do really well. Their bright yellow flowers are a joy to see and they will spread if left in one place long enough.
Back to annuals, my final favorite for now is nasturtium, which is not only beautiful but edible, too. Oh, that’s right. You can eat nasturtium, fresh off the stem. We enjoyed their blooms in salads for their colorful and spicy kick. Just make sure that the nasturtium you pick has been grown in organic conditions and not treated with anything. Here’s a shot of a patch of it we grew last summer:
In case you’re wondering, that’s purple salvia alongside it. I’m not a huge fan of salvia, althought it does well here in Zone 5. My complaint with salvia is that it grows too quickly and too tall, so I’m stuck with a big, broken circle of foliage very early on in the season. It doesn’t make for a very pretty presentation, although I admit the flowers themselves are beautiful. Well, really, what flowers aren’t beautiful?
Tell me your flower and zone stories…I’d love to hear what does well where you live and what doesn’t. Thanks for stopping by and happy planting!