It’s May! Summer will soon be in full swing! If you haven’t already, you’re probably wondering what flowers you’d like to add to your garden this year. We’ve got some ideas to help you get started – including some native Washington flowers! And since many of them are perennials, you won’t have to deal with as much flower bed maintenance tearing out dead plants at the end of the season!
Scientific name: Gaillardia aristata
Blanket flowers like full sun and well-drained soil. In ideal conditions, you can expect them to grow about two feet high. They are perennials, so you won’t have to replant them – unless you want more! They’ll also bloom all summer long if you de-head the older flowers as they die off. Blanket flowers have vibrant red centers and red petals that fade to yellow on the tips of the petals. They are hybrids of two native North American wildflowers, so they’re quite hardy and drought tolerant once established. After planting, water frequently until you see buds blooming. This will signal the plant is well-established, and you can begin to water just once a week or so.
Scientific name: Leucanthemum x superbum
Shastas grow in similar conditions to blanket flowers. They, too, like well-drained soil and full sun, though they can also do with partial sun. Expect them to reach a maximum of three feet in height. The simplicity of the yellow center and white petals are iconic and evoke a charming country scene. They’re great for clipping and bringing inside and a favorite with bees and butterflies! Like blanket flowers, if you de-head dead flowers, you can extend its bloom time. Once it’s established, you only need to water infrequently.
Scientific name: Lupinus latifolius. Lupines do well in full or partial sun and prefer slightly acidic soil. Like most of the other plants on this list, they get quite large, about three feet high and a foot wide. They come in cooler shades like blues and purples. It’s perennial and evergreen, so you’ll at least get the greenery year-round, even if the flowers don’t last. It’s actually native to the western coast of the US, so it should have no trouble adapting to life in your flower garden.
Scientific name: Dahlia
Like some of the other plants we’ve discussed, dahlias will turn into small bush proportions if you let them grow. You can expect them to be about three feet high and two feet wide on average. They prefer well-drained, moist soil and full sun. They come in just about any color you could want: yellow, orange, red, pink, white, purple, and even multicolored. While they are considered perennials, they can be quite sensitive to the cold. You should expect to either bring them in during the colder months or replant them in the spring if they don’t survive the winter.
Scientific name: Polystichum munitum
A native to the Pacific Northwest, sword fern loves moist soil and deep or partial shade. It’s an extremely low maintenance plant, which is great if you’re just starting a garden or don’t have the time to devote to gardening every day. Sometimes lawn maintenance takes up most of our time! If you plant a sword fern now, you may get to see it unroll its “fiddleheads,” which house the spores. The tips of the branches will resemble the end of a fiddle, which is how they get their name. They can reach heights of four feet and is fairly drought tolerant. While it does prefer shade, it can handle some sun and drier conditions. That being said, try to keep it damp and well-drained. And the best part: this perennial is an evergreen so that you can enjoy it all year long! Be sure to ask your lawn care technician about mulching around your sword fern, as it like moist conditions, and mulch can help with that.
Whether you’re looking to build new garden beds or give your existing ones an upgrade, the experts at Colonial Lawn & Garden can help! We are a licensed landscaping company with over 30 years of experience. Our landscaping enhancements add rock, bark, or compost to your landscaping beds for a nicer-looking garden. We can also install and repair sprinkler systems, so your new flowery friends stayed watered. To learn more, give us a call at (509) 966-1655 for customers in Yakima or for Richland, call (509) 371-1655. You can also leave us a message online! We’re happy to discuss your gardening goals and available options.