Tag Archives: perennial

Hollyhock

Alcea rosea, the common Hollyhock, originated in Asia and the area around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. These stately beauties belong to the Mallow (Malvaceae) family, which includes 1500 different species. Hollyhocks are hardy between USDA zones 3 and 8 (Sunnyvale). How to Grow Hollyhocks Alcea rosea is variously described as a biennial (having a two-year life cycle), as an annual, …

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Clematis

A clematis vine climbing up a trellis or spilling flowers over a fence is great for making a curtain of color. Most clematis varieties thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11 (which is just fine for our Sunnyvale garden (zone 8a)). Proper soil preparation, ongoing maintenance, pest prevention and pruning properly provide the keys to …

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Armeria maritima ‘Ballerina Lilic’

New for 2019 in our Sunnyvale garden: Armeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’, commonly called thrift or sea pink, is a compact, low-growing plant which forms a dense, mounded tuft of stiff, linear, grass-like, dark green leaves (to 4″ tall). Tufts will spread slowly to 8-12″ wide. Tiny, purple flowers bloom in mid spring in globular clusters (3/4-1″ wide) atop slender, naked stalks …

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Sedum clavatum

Sedum clavatum is an attractive succulent in the Pachysedum group that grows with stout creeping stems terminating in 4 inch wide rosettes of glaucus blue-green succulent leaves and has a compact inflorescence of many pink bell-shaped flowers in mid to late spring (April – May in Sunnyvale) to early summer that take a pink hue with age. The stems lose …

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Mexican Oregano

Mexican Oregano’s taste is more citrusy than Mediterrean oregano, which has mint notes; with subtle hints of lime that really enhance the flavor of chiles and paprikas. It is frequently called for in chili powders, chili con carne, and various spicy/hot dishes, especially the traditional Mexican and Central American moles and rojos. Mexican Oregano is also outstanding in flavoring beans, …

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Dutch Iris

In our Sunnyvale garden, over the years, we have planted Dutch iris in many locations, both in the ground and in containers. The flowers are spectacular and another sign that spring has arrived. The bulbs naturalize so you can reliably anticipate them every spring. The Dutch iris bulb is about 4 inches in diameter and the plant can reach a …

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Spanish Bluebell

Spanish Bluebell is a new flower to our Sunnyvale garden in 2019. We grow it in pots from 6 to 12 inches deep. Hyacinthoides hispanica syn. Endymion hispanicus, syn. Scilla hispanica is the tallest and broadest leaved species with unscented bell shaped flowers scattered along the stem. It is native to Spain and Portugal and to northwest Africa and is often referred to as …

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Crocus vernus

This variety is one of the familiar, and welcome, giant spring Crocus, which are colorful companions for early Daffodils. They are terrific for bedding, rock gardens, shrub borders, and naturalizing in grass. Reserve a few bulbs to pot up and force, and you will soon be the bearer of sweet little gifts that are inexpensive yet rich with the promise …

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Lupines

New to our Sunnyvale garden in 2019 are lupines. They are spectacular in the garden and in the nature. Choose a sunny site with average, well-draining soil. Lupines are legumes and can improve a soil’s fertility over time. Light: Full sun is preferred. Lupine can grow in part shade, but flowering will be lessened. Soil: Lupine needs well-draining soil above …

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Grevillea lanigera

New to our Sunnyvale garden in 2019 is Grevillea lanigera – A low, dense ground cover/shrub to grows to 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide with small, narrow gray-green foliage that is soft and woolly. I have planted ours in a tall container with the hope that the long branches will hang. The cream and pink flower clusters form …

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