Gardens Plus top choices for 2021 in easy-care perennials

By Dawn Golloher owner/operator of Gardens Plus

First I would like to explain what makes these choices easy care and qualifies for our perennial Nursery to carry them. Not all perennials are created equal. Before you consider adding anything to your home gardens or cottage gardens consider their requirements in lighting first then overall needs. The most common error is putting the plant in the wrong amount of sunlight. Partial sun/partial shade are the same 2-6 hours of sun. East facing is a perfect example of this. South without any obstructions is full sun and North full shade. So, you wouldn’t place a Hosta in full sun or a Daylily in no sun for them to show their true colours and thrive.

Others aspects to make them easy-care include;
• not needing to be divided very often (so not invasive)
• tolerant to drought conditions or surviving by a once a week deep watering or rain
• resistance to disease and insects
• do not need to be supported by stakes
• hardy and not needing winter protection * know your zone and make sure the plant tags are made in Canada or you convert the USA zone to ours. In the Peterborough area we are mostly 5b. If was a USA tag would be zone 4b
• long blooming at least 6-8 weeks and maybe even re-bloom

Full sun of course daylilies often said to be the perfect perennial. Not the old fashioned ditch lily – I am talking about the clumping ones, like Proven Winners reblooming ones like; ‘Going Banana’s with creamy yellow 5” blooms and ‘Storm Shelter’ talk about Purple! Wowzers, I could go on and on. How about giving Siberian Iris a try. The foliage is upright like ornamental grass and then viola blooms. Check out ‘Miss Apple’ – makes a great gift for your teachers. If you like hummingbirds as much as us? Newer clumping Bee Balms like again Proven Winners selections the ‘Pardon Me series; ‘Pardon Me Pink, Lavender or Cerise’ and Nepeta ‘Cat’s Pajamas’. Also can not forget the long blooming Echinacea/Coneflowers. They do take their time showing up in the spring out of dormancy but so worth the wait. Check out ‘Double Scoop Cranberry’ or any of the many Sombrero series.

Now for Part sun/shade try; Some of the colourful even eye popping Hosta? Hosta of the Year 2020 the Gold ‘Dancing Queen’, Hosta of the year 2021 ‘Rainbows End’ 10” high This Hans Hansen sport of ‘Obsession’ boasts very thick, glossy, canoe-shaped leaves with bright golden centers, surrounded by a wide, green-black border. Blooms dark lavender on short red-purple spikes. When you see thick leaves keep in mind this also means slug resistance. Also another great blue besides the most common and wonderful ‘Halcyon’ is 14” high ‘Blueberry Muffin’ Large blue rounded leaves are rugose and puckered in unusual patterns. Attractive light mauve speckles appear on the petioles. To add more pops of interest add Coral bells like ‘Toffee Tart’ and ‘Timeless Night’. Ferns are great for adding texture. Like Proven Winners how about their first ever perennial fern added to the line up! Looks similar to Japanese Painted Fern, but the tips of the fronds are double crested ‘Crested Surf’. Taller and faster grower as well. Perfect for the damp and shady spot of the garden. With just a bit more consideration in your choices this season and looking beyond the blooms you can be the envy of your neighborhood this season with way less effort.


Remember to plant when the fear of nightly frosts have passed, plant in the preferred lighting for your selections and if you can plant when overcast. If no weekly rain then first season water deeply once a week and voila!