Printer Friendly

Chapter 16: flower gardening.


annual bedding plant biennial border deadheading floriculture forcing island bed monocarp perennial

The modern American garden is replete with improved cultivars of hundreds of flower species, many of which have been developed just in the past 5 to 15 years. Development is ongoing in many species, and improved new cultivars are available each year. That is great news for flower gardeners, because selection is almost limitless, from the sweet alyssum to the colorful zinnia, from the blues of forget-me-nots and greens of bells of Ireland to the flaming reds of scarlet salvia and purple New England asters, to the sunny yellows and oranges of marigolds and African daisies. Colors, shapes, and sizes, seasons of bloom, and variegated foliage, all are available in bountiful variety to suit the tastes and garden designs of all (Figs. 16-1 and 16-2).

The science and practice of cultivating flowers is floriculture, and those who specialize in flower production are called floriculturists. Flower breeders and seed companies are largely responsible for the multitude of choices available to flower gardeners. As a greenhouse crop, garden flowers are grouped into the category of bedding plants, and, as such, represent the largest segment of greenhouse-produced crops (Figs. 16-3 to 16-5). Flower seed production operates on an international scale (see box).

Flowers provide color, texture, fragrance, and even motion. They are the harbingers of spring yet remain through fall, with hardy chrysanthemums, and even into winter, with ornamental cabbage, or kale (Fig. 16-6, see page 383). And what would Christmas be without the popular poinsettia (Fig. 16-7, see page 383) (see box, page 384) or Valentine's Day without roses? Flowers not only beautify our world, they provide emotional uplift and are used to celebrate birthdays and holidays, to console in times of loss and difficulty, and to express love and friendship.




Fortunately for flower gardeners, flower beds can occupy a diverse range of areas. Important considerations are the same as those for growing any other plants: what is the exposure and what is the soil like? There are flowering plants that work well on sloped areas, in deep shade, in full sun, and in hot and dry as well as cool and moist areas (Fig. 16-8). Some of the herbaceous plants that may be incorporated in areas with flowers--or in place of them--include ornamental grasses, ferns, and even mosses.







When selecting the site for a flower garden, be mindful of planting under trees. This practice often leads to detrimental effects on the tree, even leading to tree death. The problem arises when rototilling in preparation for planting kills surface roots of the tree. Some trees are shallow rooters or produce many feeder roots close to the surface. Before planting, be sure the tree you want to plant under will not be damaged in this way, or you may be very sorry later. If you must plant flowers under a tree, dig individual holes for the plants and keep the planting to a minimum. Alternatively, you may plant a tree in a mixed border, and, while it is still small, plant perennial flowers around it. If you plant far enough away from the tree to avoid digging roots, then the flowers will become established by the time the tree roots grow into that area. This could be a safe way to establish a groundcover under the tree before the chance of disturbing the root system is a problem. You could establish English ivy, wintercreeper, or vinca in this way.

If you use flowering plants under the tree, be sure to consider the sun and shade requirements of the flowers first and consider how long the tree will require to reach mature size and whether shade from the tree will eventually exceed the desired amount. Keep in mind, too, that flower gardening can be a continual process that is never really finished. Therefore, you may be able to grow sun-loving perennials in that location for a few years until the tree is established and then remove them as they become shaded out. During the first few years you may begin to establish a perennial groundcover that will eventually fill in the entire area.


Flowers are categorized according to the amount of sunlight they require on a daily basis. Full sun is 6 or more hours of direct sun each day. Partial sun/partial shade is 3 to 6 hours of sun per day, and shade is less than 3 hours of sun per day. Many flowering plants prefer full sun, and, as a matter of fact, these plants represent the largest group of garden flowers. For those that will tolerate some shade, it may mean a delay in flowering or fewer or even smaller flowers. There are plants that require shade, though, and, if exposed to sun, they may exhibit leaf scorch. Some shade-loving plants do fine in direct sun for a few hours each day, and some will do better in full sun if the soil is kept moist or if temperatures remain cool. Shade-loving plants have often evolved in cool, moist, shady areas. These plants will not do well in a dry, shady location unless special remedies are applied, such as moisture-retention strategies. Even then, if temperatures are too hot, some shade-loving plants will suffer. Be mindful of the shade on your site, as some shade is quite dense rather than dappled, and such areas should only be planted with the most shade-loving species available.

The plants in our gardens have originated from places all over North America and the world. The more you can learn about the soil and climate conditions in a plant's place of origin, the better able you will be to make a decision about whether to use it in your garden, and, if so, in what location it will grow best. Table 16-1 provides a listing of plants for special situations found in the landscape.


Flowering plants typically require well-drained, neutral soil. However, plants that have evolved in arid regions of the West often prefer alkaline soil. Those that evolved in shady areas often prefer moist soil that is slightly acid.

If the soil is poorly draining, it is advisable to use raised beds. Raised beds have several advantages: they raise the height of the flower bed for better viewing; they improve drainage, and they allow the soil to warm up better than flat areas. Raised beds may be made simply of mounded soil, or they may consist of structures built with cinder blocks, landscape timbers, or even boards. If you find it necessary to use raised beds, bring in topsoil and amend it with compost, aged manure, peat moss, grass clippings, or other organic materials. Clay soils and sandy soils should both be amended with organic matter to improve structure, aeration, and drainage.


Soil preparation for a flower bed is similar to that for a vegetable garden (see chapter 13). The area should be cleared of existing vegetation, turf, and weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide may be applied if transplants are going to be used. It is not necessarily advisable to lay landscape fabric down if you wish the flowers to spread and fill in an area, as the fabric will deter or even prevent this from happening. Also, it is very difficult to grow annuals in a bed covered with landscape fabric because of the close spacing required for filling in an area. You may begin soil preparation in the fall by applying a nonselective herbicide over the area to rid it of plants.

You may use an alternative to killing everything with an herbicide. The following methods have been used with success: the layer method, the solarization method, and newspapers. These methods are described in chapters 5 and 10.

Any soil that you plant into should be adjusted for pH as necessary, as determined by a soil test before planting. Fertilizer may be worked into the soil before planting, as well, if soil test results indicate that it is needed. General purpose balanced fertilizer (13-13-13 or 15-15-15) is recommended.


There are several qualities of plants that you need to be familiar with during the plant selection process. The wrong plant in the wrong place results in wasted time and effort, wasted money, and poor garden design. There are many reference materials you can check to find the requirements for a particular plant. You can also read labels on plants that are sold at your nursery or garden center. Read books on garden design and flower beds before you get started. If you have never grown flowers before, you may want to copy something you have seen in someone else's yard or in a book. There are even preplanned flower bed designs readily available at no charge at many nurseries and garden centers. As you become more experienced, you may want to experiment with your own ideas. A good rule of thumb is to work with your site and seek flowers that will perform well in the conditions you can easily provide rather than going to Herculean efforts to change your site to suit the species you decide to grow. Another good rule of thumb is to combine plants with similar requirements. The site will usually determine this, whether it is moist and shady, or dry and alkaline, and so on.

Good flower bed design incorporates some basic design principles, such as color, texture, plant size, and plant shape. Keep these in mind as you plan your garden and you will have a satisfying and appealing design. These principles are discussed in more detail below.



Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in 1 year. Seeds are planted, the plant grows, flowers, set seed, and dies. Many annuals do not even last a full year, but complete this life cycle in as little as 1 month. Most garden annuals last for a full growing season and die when temperatures become too cold.

Annuals are used in flower beds for their color. Many annuals have relatively large, showy flowers that last for long periods of time. Many favorite annuals will bloom throughout the growing season. They are used as border plants either alone or in combination with perennials and even trees and shrubs (Fig. 16-9).

There are warm-season and cold-season annuals, but the bulk of flowering annuals are warm-season plants (Table 16-2). These should be started by seed indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost and planted outside as soon as the danger of frost has passed. You may purchase transplants of a wide variety of annuals. Herbaceous flowers and particularly annuals comprise a large part of the category of plants known as bedding plants, representing the largest segment of greenhouse production. Cool-season plants grow and bloom well in late winter to early spring and fall to early winter, depending on local temperatures. They generally do not do well in the heat of summer and may go dormant or die.


Perennials are plants that come back every year. There are woody and herbaceous perennials. Woody perennials include trees, shrubs, some vines, and groundcovers. Herbaceous perennials include many flowers and ornamental grasses. Flowering herbaceous perennial plants may be started from seed but do not always bloom in the first year. However, after the above-ground portion dies back in winter, new growth emerges in spring as temperatures warm and days lengthen. They will then bloom in their second year and set seed. Although this completes the biological life cycle and the above-ground portions die back every winter, new growth emerges every spring (Fig. 16-10). Some perennials are short-lived and may only regrow for 3 or 4 years. However, many will continue to regrow for many years. Each year their root mass increases to the extent that they can crowd out other plants in the bed. Then it is necessary to divide the crown to reduce plant size. Perennials that are overly aggressive in this way are labeled invasive. Some perennials are also invasive because they set a lot of seed, and the seeds germinate readily. Such plants seem to pop up all over the garden and even in other beds.


Each year the Perennial Plant Association designates a Perennial Plant of the Year. The most important criterion is good performance in various geographic locations grown under varying climatic conditions. Some winners include Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum'), Phlox 'David' Paniculata Group, and lenten rose (Helleborus x hybridus). 'Becky' Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum 'Becky') won because of its bright white flowers, sturdy stems that resist lodging, and long season of bloom, in addition to its great performance across the country.

In the garden, perennials are used for color and texture. They often provide more height and fullness than many annuals. Perennials bloom over varied periods of time. Some bloom all summer long from late spring until frost, whereas other bloom for a 2- to 4-week period only. Table 16-3 shows the bloom seasons for select perennials.


Biennials and Monocarps

In addition to the life cycles represented by annuals and perennials, there are two other types of life cycles flowering plants exhibit. Biennials require two seasons of growth to complete their life cycle. In the first season the seed germinates and grows only vegetatively, and then the above-ground portion of the plant dies back during winter. The following season shoots emerge, the plant grows and blooms, sets seed, and dies. Foxglove is a biennial. Monocarps live for several to many years, growing vegetatively. When they eventually mature, they bloom and set seed, and then the entire plant dies.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses work well in a mix of grasses or to complement the perennial border. They offer textures beyond the range available from flowers alone. One attraction of ornamental grasses is the aesthetics they provide in fall and throughout winter. By allowing the foliage to dry down and remain in place, they provide beiges and tans in fall and add winter interest to the landscape. Ornamental grasses often add a touch of elegance to the winter garden when they are covered with ice or snow. They add a variety of color other than green to your summer garden also. From the green-blues of blue fescue to the white and yellow variegation of maiden grass, ribbon grass, and others, ornamental grasses bring a palette of colors to the perennial border. They range in size from 6 inches to more than 9 feet tall. Some are upright and spreading, whereas others are clump-forming with a mounded shape (Fig. 16-11, see page 396).

Ornamental grasses generally require full sun for best performance; however, there are some that tolerate or require shade (Table 16-4, see page 397). Some ornamental grasses can be invasive, so familiarize yourself with the details of a grass before adding it to your garden. If you desire a plant that will take over a low-maintenance area, then an ornamental grass may be your remedy.


Chapter 2 presents a discussion of specialized organs on flowering plants. These include true bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers, and tuberous roots. Many of the plants grown from specialized plant organs bloom in spring before trees have leafed out. These include tulips, daffodils, crocuses, anemones, and snowdrops (Fig. 16-12). Such plants benefit from nearly full sun because of the lack of leaves. Other plants may not bloom until late spring to late fall, and most of them require full sun. They will not perform well in the shade under trees or elsewhere. Alliums, dahlias, gladiolus, iris, and Asiatic and Oriental lilies all bloom in late spring to summer. Autumn crocus and resurrection lily bloom in late summer to early fall. The earliest blooming bulb plants are snowdrops and crocuses. Table 16-5 (see page 399) lists common bulbs and other specialized plant organs.

Bulbs that are planted in the fall usually require a cold treatment for complete flower development. In the South and areas of the West, such bulbs may require a cold treatment before planting. This is similar to forcing of bulbs to get them to bloom indoors in late winter and early spring (see chapter 12 for details on how to force bulbs).


Ferns provide a lush appearance with their leafy foliage (Fig. 16-13, see page 402). Botanically, ferns are not flowering plants but rather are pteridophytes. They often work quite well in shady moist locations; however, some ferns tolerate drier conditions and even partial sun (Fig. 16-14, see page 402). The latter include Athyrium and Osmunda species and cultivars. Ferns may be evergreen in warmer climates, but work quite well as perennials in temperate climates where they are hardy (Table 16-6, see page 403). Ferns may be used in combination with one another and also work well with other foliage plants, such as hostas. They can be used quite successfully as a groundcover. Once established, some ferns will fill in a space and benefit from crown division every 3 years.



Vines may be herbaceous or woody, and the herbaceous ones may be annual or perennial. Plants that grow as a vine are useful in covering vertical surfaces. Vertical surfaces covered with a vine or liana can substitute for a wall while providing interest, and vines take up less space than a hedge or shrub screen. Vines may be used for their showy flowers, such as morning glory and clematis, or they may be used for their foliage, such as English ivy and wintercreeper (Fig. 16-15, see page 404). The latter are commonly used as a groundcover, but they can grow vertically if they are provided the proper surface. Wisteria grows as a liana and is often used to cover pergolas, providing shade for a seating area, as well as showy flowers in spring. Vines have a variety of ways for attaching themselves to walls or posts. One way is suction cups, a second way is twining, and a third way is by tendrils. Table 16-7 (see page 405) lists popular vines and their hardiness and habit.

For a touch of spring in your house, you can also bring in branches from your favorite spring-blooming trees or shrubs to bloom indoors (see box, page 406).


Designing a garden requires an integration of several different factors, notably, color, texture, and height. However, these are only basic considerations; another consideration is whether you want to use annuals or perennials alone or in a mix. In addition to what goes in a garden, you should consider the surroundings as well: will the garden be surrounded by a sea of green turf, criss-crossed with informal stepping stones, or bordered by a low wall? Bringing all these components together leads one into garden design and landscaping. Themes are often central to good garden design. Some theme gardens pictured here include a desert garden, a rose garden, and a prairie garden (Figs. 16-16 through 16-18, see pages 406-407). Garden design has been influenced by designers with specific ideas about what kinds of plants belong in a garden and specific ways to use plants. Their ideas are influenced by aesthetics as well as concern for--or lack of concern for--whether plants should be native to be included in a good garden design. Two of the many notable garden designers include Gertrude Jekyll and Jens Jensen (see boxes, page 408). Other ideas include cottage gardens, period gardens, and cut-flower gardens.

Color in Garden Design

Color is really what flowers are all about. Bright colors attract attention and for many that is why flower beds are so rewarding. But the artistic eye recognizes that color combinations can be aesthetic or chaotic. For eye-pleasing color combinations, the rules for color mixing are similar to those in art. Garden designers can use the color wheel to mix and match flower colors (Fig. 16-19, see page 409). Colors adjacent on the wheel blend harmonically, whereas those opposite each other on the wheel are highly contrasting. Both combinations can be useful in garden design. Gertrude Jekyll, the pioneer of the modern perennial border, said, "a bed of blue flowers can be absolutely ruined by the lack of yellow" (see box, page 408). A color scheme with three colors works well, especially when two are harmonic and the other is contrasting. Two examples are purple, blue, and orange and lime green, yellow, and pink.


Colors can be broken into two groups: cool colors and warm colors. Cool colors include red, blue, and purple. They tend to recede and fade, especially when viewed from a distance. Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow. Notice that red is in both groups. That is because there are cool reds and warm reds. Green foliage is generally used as a neutral, background color. But do not overlook the off-greens, such as the silvery green of Dusty Miller. Silver, blue, and white are attractive together. Yellow-green is a warm color, and blue-green is a cool color.

Pay attention to white. It is sometimes creamy and other times pure. Creamy white goes well with yellow and orange, whereas pure white looks good with blue, red, and purple. As a matter of fact, many colors can have tinges of adjacent colors on the wheel. For example, blues may be greenish or purplish, purples may be more bluish or reddish, and reds may be bluish or orangeish. The variations away from the pure color will affect how well the colors combine--or how much they clash--with other colors. Shades of colors are achieved in painting by adding black. This creates a more earthy shade. Shades of colors exist in flowers as well. Tints are achieved by adding white. This leads to pale and pastel colors. As in art, combining shades or tints is more pleasing to the eye than mixing them together.



Some flowers come tantalizingly close to black, although they are usually a very dark burgundy or purple. Some examples of black flowers are pansy 'Accord Black Beauty,' trillium 'Eco Black Magic,' bearded iris 'Superstition,' clematis 'Romantika,' dahlia 'Arabian Night,' and daylily 'Starling.' The ornamental sweet potato cultivars, 'Ace of Spades,' 'Black Heart,' and 'Blackie,' provide dark purple to black foliage, as does 'Nigrescens' black-leaved lily turf. In Table 16-8 (see page 410) many common garden plants are grouped into color categories.

Texture in Garden Design

Large, bold leaves and tiny, delicate leaves represent the extremes of leaf texture: course and fine. Bold leaves should be used with caution, as they can dominate a scene and overpower plants that are less bold. Bold foliage is often associated with a tropical feel and can impart one. Tropical plants such as canna lilies (Canna spp.) elephant ear (Colocasia spp.), and Bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae) can be used to achieve such a desired look. On the other hand, fine-textured ferns (Adiantum spp.) or forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) can get lost in the presence of other, bolder species. Many species are fairly neutral with respect to texture and combine well with either bold- or fine-leaved species. Texture is perhaps the most difficult aspect of flower garden design to really master. Observe other gardens with a critical eye to texture, and you will soon learn what is appealing and what is simply garish, confusing, or ineffectual.

Height in Garden Design

Annuals range in height from a few inches to a few feet or more, in the case of sunflowers that may grow taller than 10 feet. Tables 16-9 and 16-10 (see pages 413 and 415) provide heights of annual and perennial flowers. Height is an important consideration when deciding the type of bed to make. There are two basic types of beds: those that are to be viewed primarily from one side, and those that are to be viewed from all sides. When beds are to be viewed primarily from one side, they are referred to as borders (Fig. 16-20, see page 417), and when they are to be viewed from all sides, they are island beds. Borders may have a backdrop, such as a wall or fence, but this is not necessary. For example, borders may be used with a driveway or sidewalk. Some borders are built up on berms to increase their visibility and are often done this way to visually separate two areas. Island beds may be round or rectangular or just about any shape. In an island bed, tall plants are placed in the center of the bed, with plants in decreasing size as you come to the perimeter of the bed. With borders, tall plants are in back, with increasingly shorter plants in the front. Although these ideas seem obvious, if the height of the plants is overlooked during the design stage, the result will be wasted time and money or the need to rearrange plants.



As many garden designers know, a flower bed will not maintain its beauty and form without regular maintenance. Some plants fail to thrive for more than a few years, whereas others become invasive. Still others are introduced into the bed by birds, wind, squirrels, or other means. Therefore, weed control, pruning, division of overgrown plants, and other maintenance techniques must be practiced to keep the flower bed looking its most aesthetic.


Weed Control

Flower beds that are well mulched should have very little incidence of weeds in them. But the mulching process is ongoing, and mulch must be maintained at a certain depth, usually about 4 inches, to ensure that weed seeds lying dormant in the soil do not receive adequate light for germination. Unfortunately, birds and wind can deposit weed seeds on top of mulch. The germinated seeds may not develop deep roots, especially if a landscape fabric is installed first, but, nevertheless, they can become quite extensive. Some tree species set prolific amounts of seeds, and germination rates are remarkably high. Squirrels often bury seeds in flower beds, too. Consistent and regular monitoring is important, as is regular removal. If mulch alone does not do an adequate job of preventing weeds, then a fabric landscape barrier may be a suitable alternative. These are porous materials that allow water to flow through. When landscape fabric is used, only 2 inches of mulch are required.



Plants should be placed as close together as possible to crowd out potential weeds. Be careful with herbicides in flower beds. Some herbicides will harm your flowers, even if they do not contact the foliage directly. Examples include herbicides that have residual activity in the soil or those that can move through the soil, especially if the flower bed is sloped. Other examples are herbicides that volatilize to produce vapors that can harm your desirable plants. You should only use a preemergent herbicide on a flower bed if you know for certain you will not be planting flower seeds there in the following months. Selective herbicides that kill grasses may also be harmful to your monocot garden plants such as lilies, daylilies and hostas, in addition to ornamental grasses.


Deer and the Garden

See chapters 8 and 9 for a more thorough discussion of diseases and pests. Weed management is discussed in chapter 10.

Deer can be a problem in your garden. They seemingly eat everything in sight, although they do have their favorites. There is no guaranteed method for keeping deer out of the suburban or country garden, but there are some plants that they prefer not to eat. Some of these are listed in Table 16-11 (see page 418). Try to avoid plants they really like, and plant more of what they prefer to avoid.

Putting the Garden to Bed

In the fall, after frost in temperate regions, is the time to perform some flower bed maintenance activities. Autumn is an ideal time to apply mulch in the form of wood chips or shredded leaves. Wait until after a few frosts have occurred to reduce the incidence of small rodents taking cover in the garden when cold weather sets in. The mulch will help reduce frost-heaving in the flower beds during winter.

It may be desirable to remove spent flower heads, but one should consider their aesthetics in winter. Many plant species have quite attractive seed heads that remain on the plant, often throughout the winter. In addition to their natural beauty, developing seed heads can provide food for a variety of birds. Flower foliage also provides a safe haven for over-wintering or pupating butterflies. Ornamental grasses can be quite useful for their aesthetic appeal throughout winter. If you do remove spent flower heads, be sure to add them to the compost pile so that you can eventually return the nutrients to the garden bed. Consider leaving spent foliage in the garden bed, too, for it can decompose in place to some extent during winter without detracting from the appearance of the bed, especially if snow cover is common in your location. Removal of last year's growth can be performed in spring just before new growth begins to appear.

If disease has been a problem, spent foliage should be removed. Other cases for which foliage clean-up is necessary include unsightly beds, rotting plant material, or plants that have fallen into a pathway, driveway, or other area outside the flower bed. Tall stems that have a tendency to fall apart from the center of a clump or simply to fall over should be cut back before winter when the weight of snow or ice would render them even more unsightly. Plants that serve as over-wintering hosts for garden pests should also be removed. When cutting plants back, leave 2 to 3 inches above the ground so as not to damage buds at the crown that will provide next year's growth.

Moving Plants Around

There are a variety of reasons that it might be desirable to move perennials from their current location. Perhaps they have outgrown their space and require dividing. Or perhaps they once occupied a sunny spot near a shade tree that has since grown to cast too much shade for healthy growth or flowering. Sometimes, perennials need to be moved because of redesign of a bed or even remodeling of a home. Fortunately for the perennial gardener, perennials can be moved with a little effort and planning. Ideally, perennials should be moved at the same time of year they can be divided. Summer- and autumn-flowering plants can be moved in spring. Plants with woody roots or taproots should be divided when they are dormant, but the ground is not frozen. Plants should be kept shaded and their root balls intact during moving.


Prepare the planting hole before digging up the plant, and water-in well after moving it. Make a small berm around the plant that will hold water for the first few days. Then break down the berm after the plant appears to be growing-in. If you want to thin out a plant that is overgrown in its current place, you can dig into the crown of the plant and remove a section. The remaining plant will fill in the area, and the section you have removed can be safely moved to a new location. It will survive as long as you have included some root and some shoot material. Before planting, remove any plant tissue that has become separated, such as parts of leaves or roots. Place the new plant in the hole, make a berm, and water-in as described before.


Pre-planting fertilizer applications should be based on soil tests. If organic matter or amendments are adequate, no additional fertilizer may be necessary. Organic or inorganic fertilizers may be used, if soil tests determine a need. For plants that grow better in an acid environment, addition of organic matter can achieve the two goals of lowering pH while adding nutrients to the soil. Starter fertilizers are added during planting. These can be worked into the soil surrounding the plant or added to the irrigation water and applied when watering-in.

Most perennials will bloom in response to a combination of factors, including the age of the plant and photoperiod. However, special fertilizer with an elevated level of phosphorus may be applied to encourage blooming. These fertilizers are readily available and are usually sold as bloom fertilizer.

Pruning Perennials

Deadheading is the removal of flowers after they have finished blooming. Removing them sometimes results in formation of new flowers. This is thought to be due to a response in flowering plants to produce offspring. In a sense, it tricks them into forming additional flowers after already having produced some. There is possibly another explanation for this phenomenon. It may be that the plant has enough resources either to produce more flowers or to develop seeds. It is known that seed production requires a lot of carbohydrates and energy. By removing flower heads before plants put those resources into seed production, more flower production is possible.

Pruning perennials is a matter different from deadheading, although the desired results are also increased flowering. Not all perennials will respond favorably to pruning (Table 16-12). For those that do, the largest increase in flowering is obtained with the earliest pruning. The later pruning is performed, the closer the plant already is to producing flowers, and the less the effect achieved.


Because their root systems increase from year to year, many herbaceous perennials and most ornamental grasses tend to have an increasing number of shoots each year. Within a matter of a few years, they fill in an area and may even outgrow the spot they are in. When that happens, you may dig them up and divide them into smaller clumps. This technique is explained in chapter 4. Division can be performed on plants whenever they are bigger than you want them to be. It can be done at any time, but the best time is early spring before they get too large to handle. Planting the divisions at this time will allow the greatest period of growth before frost, allowing the new plants to become established.


Flowers provide beauty and often fragrance to the home landscape. They are typically grown in beds or containers in full sun to full shade. Flower plantings can be designed to include blooms throughout the growing season using both cool and warm season plants in temperate climates. Annuals, perennials, biennials and monocarps, ornamental grasses, and bulbs provide a full palette across the seasons and in the different areas of the yard. Ferns add luxuriant foliage, whereas vines can provide groundcover or cover a vertical space. Flower heights, shapes, colors, and textures all add to the aesthetics in the flower garden. The use of a color scheme can add a sense of design aesthetics, whereas garden styles vary according to taste, historical influence, and creative talent.

Routine maintenance for flower gardening includes fertilizing, deadheading, fall clean-up, weed and pest management, and division of perennials. Flower gardening can be low or high maintenance, depending on the preferences of the gardener. For the best results, select appropriate plants, plan for weed management in advance, and plan for regular tending of the garden to minimize the tasks involved. With these criteria in mind, flower gardening can be the most creative and fun type of gardening to do.


* Design a flower bed using a color scheme or to provide color throughout the growing season.

* Design three different types of flower beds using different themes, e.g., Colonial America, English cottage garden, American prairie, desert natives, woodland shade garden, alpine rock garden, and children's garden. Investigate the appropriate species and colors.

* Write an essay or present a talk about some period of time and the flower-gardening practices used.


1. Those who specialize in flower production are called--.

2. Which region did impatiens originate in?

3. Explain the effects of rototilling under trees to make flower beds.

4. Full sun means how many hours per day of full sun? Partial shade/sun? Shade?

5. List two advantages of growing flowers in raised beds.

6. Distinguish between warm- and cool-season annuals.

7. Compare and contrast the life cycles of annuals and perennials.

8. Compare and contrast the practices of pruning perennials and deadheading them.

9. What are the qualities of warm colors? Cool colors?

10. Compare and contrast beds and borders.


Austin. S. (1990). Color in garden design. Newtown, CT: Taunton Press.

Bisgrove, R. (1992). The gardens of Gertrude Jekyll. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

The Clearing Folk School. Retrieved October 3, 2005, from

Noland, D., & Bolin, K. (2000). Perennials for the landscape. Danville, IL: Interstate.

Phillips, E., & Burrell, C. C. (2004). Rodale's illustrated encyclopedia of perennials. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.

Roth, S. A. (1995). Better Homes and Gardens complete guide to flower gardening. Des Moines, IA: Meredith Books.

Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine. (Eds.). (1997). Sunset national garden book. Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Books.

Richard Craig and Claude Hope: Leaders in Flower Breeding

Dr. Richard Craig

Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) are one of the top five bedding plants in the United States, and they have been for many years. But what many people today do not realize is that in the early 1960s the use of geraniums as a bedding plant was failing because of transmission of bacterial blight (Xanthomonas) during vegetative propagation. Growers lost entire geranium crops, representing a monetary loss of significant proportions. Simply put, geraniums were on their way out of greenhouse production.

However, and not a moment too late, in 1963 Dr. Richard Craig made a lasting contribution to the floriculture and bedding plant industry when he introduced the first seed-propagated geranium, 'Nittany Lion Red,' with professor of plant breeding Darrell Walker. This remarkable accomplishment stimulated the commercial development of hundreds of improved geranium cultivars. Since then, Craig, often with the help of students in his plant-breeding program at the Pennsylvania State University, has developed 24 patented cultivars of geraniums and regal pelargoniums. He has also been awarded a process patent for the year-round production of regal pelargoniums.

Craig describes his work as "creating a more beautiful world," which he has done by "developing new flowers and motivating students." He taught horticulture classes at Penn State for 40 years, supervised 40 graduate students, and directed more than 200 undergraduate research projects. One of the leading discoveries made in his research program was the existence of pest resistance in the garden geranium. Through years of study, Craig's team eventually unraveled the molecular, morphological, and genetic mystery of this pest resistance and actually isolated and cloned a gene that codes for the pest resistance enzyme.

Craig has received many honors throughout his career, including a Bronze Medal for Research for outstanding contributions to the genetics of African violets, Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, the Alex Laurie Award for Floricultural Research, and the American Horticulture Society's Luther Burbank Award. He was inducted into the Society of American Florists' Floricultural Hall of Fame in 1991.

Claude Hope

Claude Hope has been called the 20th century's most important flower breeder. Why is that? His great plant breeding accomplishment was to bring the humble yet ubiquitous shade-loving impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) to the forefront of bedding plant production. Another moniker he has been given is "the father of the impatiens." It was not easy--many years of traditional plant breeding eventually led to the breakthrough development of the Elfin series in 1968. These new cultivars were free-flowering plants with a compact habit that came in eight colors.

Although Hope conducted his project in Costa Rica, the flower originated in East Africa and was called Sultana for the sultan of Zanzibar. But when Hope was stationed in Costa Rica during World War II to run a quinine production facility, he saw the little flower growing along roadsides and in gardens and coming up through cracks in sidewalks. He thought there was potential in the plant because he observed them "in all colors except white and purple" with sizes ranging from a few inches to a few feet tall. He established a farm, Linda Vista, in Dulce Nombre, and a company, Pan-American Seed Company, to conduct his work and sell his product. Nowadays, impatiens are one of the top five bedding plants, and one of the very few annuals that tolerate as much shade as you have. They thrive in shady, moist conditions, and offer many bright colors to any shady garden spot: 15 solid colors, white star patterns, and picotee bicolors. Linda Vista covers 400 acres today and produces a majority of the world's hand-pollinated [F.sub.1]-hybrid impatiens seeds.

Made in Mexico: The Poinsettia

How did the ever-popular poinsettia become so strongly associated with Christmas in the United States? To understand this, one must first understand where the poinsettia came from. In the 1820s President Andrew Jackson sent Joel Poinsett to Mexico to serve as our first ambassador to that country. Poinsett had a great interest in plants and introduced the American elm to Mexico while he served there. He also searched the land for interesting new plants. In 1828 he discovered the red poinsettia growing alongside the road. What many take as the large red petals of the flowers are actually bracts, or modified leaves. The flowers are enclosed in tiny yellow structures located at the center of the colorful bracts. The floral structures are called cyathia. Poinsettias are a short-day plant, and their wintertime blooming makes them a natural for Christmas traditions. This is true not only in the United States but also in Mexico and Central American countries. Its natural habit is to become woody and grow like a large shrub to small tree. To get the poinsettia plant to grow and bloom in a small pot, rooted cuttings are grown from larger stock plants. A combination of plant growth hormones and pinching may be used to keep the plants small and encourage branching for a full, bushy plant. Flowers are initiated by exposure to short days. Much genetic work has been done with poinsettias so that nowadays, in addition to the traditional red color, various shades of pink and creamy white and various forms of speckled and spotted cultivars are available. The Ecke Ranch in southern California grows most of the poinsettias sold throughout the United States.

Forcing Woody Flowering Branches

If you want to bring spring indoors, one way to do this is to simply bring your favorite spring-blooming trees and shrubs inside. Of course, you cannot move entire trees or shrubs indoors, only to move them back out again in summer. But you can bring in branches a week or more earlier than they would normally bloom outside and enjoy their blooms inside. This is possible because the flower buds have already received their winter chilling during the winter. The technique is similar to forcing, except it is not necessary to provide the cold temperature treatment as you need to do when forcing bulbs indoors. Some flowering woody plants that respond well to this treatment are forsythia, crabapple, star magnolia, peach, flowering almond, cherry, pear, plum, and quince. When these woody plants are placed into a container of water, it is necessary to re-cut the stems under water.

Gertrude Jekyll: Garden Designer for Our Time

Gertrude Jekyll lived from 1843 to 1932, so how could she be called a garden designer for our time? Many of her ideas can be readily seen in the modern perennial garden and in the use of arbors and pergolas. The ideas of Jekyll work well in American landscape design for at least one reason: the somewhat informal nature of perennial borders and beds. This semi-informality is popular in American culture and complements the use of native species in the garden. Ms. Jekyll was a master of combining color, texture, and form.

Gertrude Jekyll wrote about her gardening and landscaping ideas in Country Life, The Garden, and Gardening Illustrated. She also wrote 13 books. She collaborated with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens by designing gardens for many estates he designed. They worked closely together, as they shared ideals about beauty and design. She ran a garden center. She was also a plant breeder in her own right and developed many new cultivars of plants.

Jens Jensen: Prairie Style

Jens Jensen was a Swedish immigrant who came to America in 1884, at age 4. He spent much of his adult life in Chicago, Illinois, and Wisconsin. In 1886 he began working for the Chicago West Parks District. Beginning at that time and continuing throughout his life, he studied the native plants of the area and developed his horticultural skills. He was a lover of nature and enjoyed the out-of-doors, and he came to abhor what he perceived as rampant consumerism. He wished instead to emphasize the simple gifts of beauty that are available to all, regardless of income level. He was influential in establishing the Illinois State Parks System and the Cook County Forest Preserves. He founded Friends of Our Native Landscape with the aim of preserving important natural areas throughout the Midwest.

Some of Jensen's major contributions that can still be seen today are the Lincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield, Illinois, The Shakespeare Garden at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Later in life, Jensen dreamed of establishing a high school based on the folk schools that sprung up during his youth in Sweden. He established an educational center called The Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin. His idea was to have a school where "the wilderness and the cultivated meet, so youth can be free to cultivate and nourish its inherent abilities and wisdom, free from the shackles of intellectual decay." Classes were taught in ecology, soil studies, floriculture, landscape design, drafting, and construction, entomology, sculpture, music, and architecture. Open areas and communing with nature were emphasized there, as was a love of learning. He wanted students to come there for the love of learning above all else.

Jensen wanted to bring people together with nature and believed in designing the landscape to accommodate this coming together. He wished his imprint on nature to be as natural as possible. He ultimately felt that the American garden depended on the natural forms of native American plants.

Dr. Marietta Loehrlein currently teaches horticulture classes at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. She earned both her bachelor's degree in Agronomy and her master's degree in Plant Genetics at The University of Arizona. Her master's research project was concerned with germination problems associated with triploid seeds, from which seedless watermelons grow. Following that she worked for 5 years in a breeding and research program for Sunworld, International near Bakersfield, California. She worked with peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and cherries. Then she returned to school to earn her Ph.D. in Horticultural Genetics at The Pennsylvania State University. Her Ph.D. research focused on flowering processes in regal pelargonium (also called Martha Washington geraniums). While at The Pennsylvania State University, she bred a new cultivar of regal pelargonium, "Camelot." At Western Illinois University, Dr. Loehrlein teaches nine courses: Greenhouse and Nursery Management, Introductory Horticulture, Landscape Design, Landscape Management, Home Horticulture, Plant Propagation, Turf Management, and two courses in Plant Identification.
TABLE 16-1
Annuals and Perennials for Special Situations


Shade        Begonia, browallia, coleus, impatiens,
               Forget-me-not (Myosostis sylvatica),
               lobelia, pansy, periwinkle, torenia

Moist        Ageratum, browallia, calendula, columbine,
               flowering kale, impatiens, lobelia,
               nicotiana, ornamental pepper, salvia,
               stock, sweet alyssum, pansy, torenia

Dry          Amaranth, African daisy, celosia, cleome,
               gazania, Dusty Miller, strawflower,
               zinnia, petunia, portulaca, blue salvia


Shade        Ajuga, astilbe, hosta, bleeding heart, ferns,
               lungwort, Virginia bluebells

Moist        Monkshood, astilbe, arisaema, goat's
               beard, swamp milkweed, English
               painted fern, black snakeroot, Joe Pye
               weed, filipendula species, sweet
               woodruff, Geum rivale, swamp
               sunflower, yellow flag iris, rose
               mallow, bluets, Siberian iris, blue flag
               iris, Southern blue flag, mint, cardinal
               flower, forget-me-not (Myosotis),
               purple moor grass, bamboo
               (Phyllostachys), beebalm, primula,
               bloodroot, globeflower, vernonia,
               calla, water forget-me-not

Dry          Yarrow, lily-of-the-Nile, Agave, Aloe,
               amaryllis, artemesia, false wild indigo,
               butterfly milkweed, coreopsis, blue
               fescue, gaillardia, bearded iris, red-hot
               poker, liatris, linum, oenethera,
               fountain grass, Russian sage, salvia
               species, sedum, lamb's ears, Mexican
               sunflower, verbena, yucca, zinnia

TABLE 16-2
Warm-Season and Cool-Season Annuals

COMMON NAME         SPECIES                   SEASON

Ageratum            Ageratum houstonianum     Cool

Alyssum             Lobularia maritima        Cool

Amaranth            Amaranthus caudatus       Warm

Argyranthemum       Argyranthemum             Cool

Cabbage/kale,       Brassica spp.             Cool

Calibrachoa         Calibrachoa spp.          Warm or cool

Carnation           Dianthus caryophyllus     Cool

Celosia             Celosia argenteas         Warm

Cleome, spider      Cleome hasselrana         Warm

Cosmos              Cosmos bipinnatus         Warm

Cuphea              Cuphea spp.               Warm

Dusty Miller        Senecio cineraria         Warm or cool

Gaillardia          Gaillardia spp.           Warm

Gazania             Gazania spp.              Warm

Geranium            Pelargonium   hortorum    Warm

Globe amaranth      Gomphrena globosa         Warm

Gypsophila          Gypsophila elegans        Warm

Heliotrope          Heliotrope arborescens    Warm

Hollyhock           Alcea rosea               Warm

Impatiens           Impatiens wallerana       Warm

Impatiens, New      Impatiens   hawkeri       Warm

Lobelia             Lobelia erinus            Cool

Marigold            Tagetes spp.              Warm

Mealy-cup sage      Salvia farinacea          Warm

Morning glory       Ipomoea purpurea          Warm

Nasturtium          Tropaeolum majus          Warm

Nemesia             Nemesia spp.              Cool

Nicotiana           Nicotiana spp.            Warm

Pansy               Viola x wittrockiana      Cool

Pentas              Pentas lanceolata         Warm

Periwinkle          Catharanthus roseus       Warm

Petunia             Petunia x hybrida         Warm or cool

Pinks, Sweet        Dianthus species          Cool

Pot marigold        Calendula officinalis     Warm

Sage, scarlet       Salvia spp.               Warm

Snapdragon          Antirrhinum major         Cool

Sunflower           Helianthus annuus         Warm

Sweet pea           Lathyrum odoratum         Cool

Verbena             Verbena spp.              Warm

Zinnia              Zinnia spp.               Warm

TABLE 16-3
Bloom Times of Selected Perennials

SEASON OF                                                 HARDINESS
BLOOM       COMMON NAME            SPECIES                ZONE

Early       Basket-of-gold         Aurinia saxatilis      3-7
            Bethlehem sage,        Pulmonaria             3-8
              lungwort               saccharata

            Christmas rose         Helleborus niger       3-9

            Creeping phlox         Phlox stolonifera      2-8

            Cushion or spurge      Euphorbia              3-9
              euphorbia              polychroma

            Evergreen candytuft    Iberis                 3-9

            Heartleaf bergenia     Bergenia               3-8

            Lenten rose            Helleborus             4-9
                                     Helleborus x

            Moss phlox             Phlox subulata         3-9

            Myrtle euphorbia       Euphorbia              5-10

            Polyantha primrose     Primula x              3-8

            Purple rockcress       Aubrieta               4-8

            Wall rockcress         Arabis caucasica       4-7

Late        Ajuga, bugleweed       Ajuga reptans          4-8
            Alpine aster           Aster alpinus          4-9

            Barren strawberry      Waldsteinia            4-7

            Bearded iris           Iris x germanica       3-10

            Bleeding heart         Dicentra               3-9

            Bloodred cranesbill,   Geranium               3-8
              hardy geranium         sanguineum

            Blue false indigo      Baptisia australis     3-9

            Blue stars             Amsonia tabernae-      3-9

            Carolina lupine        Thermopsis villosa     3-8

            Columbine              Aquilegia hybrids      3-9

            Dead nettle            Lamium maculatum       3-8

            European wild ginger   Asarum europaeum       4-7

            Foam flower            Tairella cordifolia    3-8

            Globeflower            Trollius europaeus     3-8

            Green and gold,        Chrysogonum            5-9
              goldenstar             virginianum

            Jacob's ladder         Polemonium             3-7

            Lady's mantle          Alchemilla mollis      4-7

            Leopard's bane         Doronicum orientale    4-7

            Maiden pink            Dianthus deltoides     4-9

            Mountain bluet         Centaurea montana      3-9

            Oriental poppy         Papaver orientale      3-8

            Peony                  Paeonia lactiflora     3-8

            Sea pink, thrift       Armeria maritima       4-8

            Siberian bugloss,      Brunnera               3-8
              perennial forget-      macrophylla

            Snow-in summer         Cerastium              3-7

            Spiderwort             Tradescantia           4-9

            Tree peony             Paeonia                3-8

            Water forget-me-not    Myosotis scorpiodes    3-10

            Wild geranium          Gernium maculatum      3-8

            Yellow archangel       Lamiastrum             4-9

            Yellow flag            Iris pseudoacorus      5-9

Early       Adam's needle,         Yucca filamentosa      5-10
  summer      Spanish bayonet,

            Astilbe, false         Astilbe   arendsii     4-9

            Baby's breath          Gypsophila             3-9

            Bee balm, bergamot,    Monarda didyma         4-8
              Oswego tea

            Black-eyed Susan       Rudbeckia fulgida      3-9

            Blanket flower         Gaillardia x           4-9

            Blue lilyturf          Liriope muscari        6-9

            Carpathian             Campanula carpatica    3-8

            Catmint                Nepeta faasenii        3-8

            Clematis               Clematis hybrids       4-9

            Coral bells            Heuchera sanguinea     3-8

            Daylily                Hemerocallis spp.      3-9

            Delphinium             Delphinium elatum      3-7

            Fernleaf yarrow        Achillea filipendula   3-8

            Fire pink              Silene virginica       4-8

            Fleabane               Erigeron hybrids       3-8

            Foxglove penstemon,    Penstemon digitalis    4-8

            Gas plant              Dictamus albus         2-9

            Goat's beard           Aruncus dioicus        3-7

            Jupiter's beard,       Centranthus ruber      4-8
              keys of heaven,
              red valerian

            Lance-leaved           Coreopsis lanceolata   4-9

            Lupine                 Lupinus hybrids        4-6

            Maltese cross          Lychnis chalcedonica   3-9

            Milfoil                Achillea millefolium   3-9

            Missouri primrose,     Oenothera missouri-    4-8
              Ozark sundrops         ensis (macrocarpa)

            Painter daisy,         Tanacetum coccineum,   3-7
              pyrethrum daisy        Chrysanthemum

            Peach-leaved           Campanula              3-7
              bellflower             persicifolia

            Perennial flax         Linum perenne          4-8

            Pincushion flower      Scabiosa caucasica     3-7

            Pink coreopsis         Coreopsis rosea        3-8

            Salvia                 Salvia x sylvestris    3-8

            Salvia                 Salvia nemorosa        3-8

            Shasta daisy           Leucanthemum x         5-9

            Siberian iris          Iris siberica          3-9

            Sneezewort yarrow,     Achillea ptarmica      3-9
              white tansy

            Soapwort               Saponaria ocymoides    3-7

            Spiny bear's-          Acanthus spinosus      7-10

            Stokes' aster          Stokesia laevis        5-9

            Summer forget-me-      Anchusa azurea         3-8
              not, Italian

            Threadleaf tickseed    Coreopsis              3-8

            Tickseed, coreopsis    Coreopsis              4-9

            White gaura            Gaura lindheimeri      5-9

            Woolly yarrow          Achillea tomentosa     3-7

Late        Balloon flower         Platycodon             3-9
  Summer                             grandiflorus

            Blackberry lily        Belamcanda chinensis   5-10

            Boltonia               Boltonia asteroides    3-9

            Butterfly milkweed     Asclepias tuberosa     4-9

            Cardinal flower        Lobelia cardinalis     2-9

            Creeping lily          Liriope spicata        4-9

            Cupid's dart           Catananche caerulea    4-9

            Fall anemone           Anemone   hybrida      4-8

            False sunflower        Heliopsis              3-9

            Fascicled ironweed     Vernonia fasciculata   3-8

            Garden mum, hardy      Dendranthema           5-9
              chrysanthemum          grandiflorum

            Garden phlox           Phlox paniculata       4-8

            Globe centaurea        Centaurea              3-9

            Goldenrod              Solidago cultivars     4-9

            Great blue lobelia     Lobelia siphilitica    4-8

            Hollyhock              Alcea rosea            2-8

            Hosta, plantain lily   Hosta species          3-8

            Joe Pye weed           Eupatorium maculatum   3-8

            Lamb's ears            Stachys byzantina      4-8

            Monkshood              Aconitum napellus      3-8

            New England aster      Aster nova-angliae     3-8

            New York aster,        Aster novi-belgii      3-8
              Michaelmas daisy

            New York ironweed      Vernonia novabor-      4-9

            Obedient plant,        Physostegia            3-9
              false dragonhead       virginiana

            Pearly everlasting     Anaphalis              3-8

            Plumbago, leadwort     Ceratostigma           5-9

            Purple coneflower      Echinacea purpurea     4-8

            Russian sage           Perovskia atripli-     5-9

            Sea lavender           Limonium latifolium    3-9

            Showy sedum            Sedum spectabile       3-9

            Silvermound            Artemesia              3-8
              artemesia,             schmidtiana

            Sneezeweed             Helenium autumnale     3-8

            Spike gayfeather,      Liatris spicata        3-9

            Torch lily, red-hot    Kniphofia hybrids      5-9

            Turtlehead             Chelone lyonii         3-8

            Veronica, spike        Veronica spicata       3-9

USDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

TABLE 16-4

Ornamental Grasses for Sun and Shade

COMMON                   SPECIES               SUN OR SHADE

Blue fescue              Festuca glauca        Sun

Blue oat grass           Helictotrichon        Sun

Bottle-brush grass       Elymus hystrix        Shade

Fairy wand grass,        Deschampsia           Sun or shade
  tufted hair grass        cespitosa

Feather reed grass       Calamigrostis         Sun to part
                           acutifolia            shade

Fountain grass           Pennisetum            Sun to part
                           alopecuroides         shade

Golden wood millet       Milium effusum        Shade

Hakone grass             Hakonechloa macra     Shade

Korean feather reed      Calamagrostis         Part shade or full
  grass                    brachytricha          sun if plenty

Maiden grass             Miscanthus            Sun

Prairie dropseed         Sporobolus            Sun to part
                           heterolepis           shade

River oats               Chasmanthium          Shade or sun if
                           latifolium            plenty moist

Siberian graybeard       Spodiopogon           Shade

COMMON                   HEIGHT                ZONES

Blue fescue              1 ft.                 4

Blue oat grass           2-3 ft.               4-8

Bottle-brush grass       3 ft.                 4-8

Fairy wand grass,        1-2 ft.               5-9
  tufted hair grass

Feather reed grass       3-6 ft.               4

Fountain grass           1-2 ft.               5

Golden wood millet       18 in.                6-9

Hakone grass             1-3 ft.               5-9

Korean feather reed      2 ft.                 5-9

Maiden grass             5-8 ft.               5

Prairie dropseed         15-30 in.             4

River oats               2-4 ft.               5-9

Siberian graybeard       To 4 ft.              4-9

TABLE 16-5

Flowering Bulbs and Other Specialized Plant Organs for Gardens

COMMON                  SPECIES                 HEIGHT

Armenian grape          Muscari                 6-9 in.
  hyacinth                armeniacum

Crocus                  Crocus                  4-6 in.

Daffodil                Narcissus spp.          3-24 in.
  (12 divisions)

Dutch hyacinth          Hyacinthus              8-12 in.

Glory-of-the-           Chionodoxa              4-6 in.
  snow                    luciliae

Grecian                 Anemone                 3-6 in.
  windflower,             blanda

Lily-of-the-            Convallaria             4-6 in.
  valley                  majallis

Pasque flower           Anemone                 12 in.

Reticulated iris        Iris reticulata         4-6 in.

Siberian squill         Scilla siberica         4-6 in.

Snow crocus,            Crocus                  4-6 in.
  golden                  chrysanthus

Snowdrops               Galanthus               4-6 in.

Snowflake               Leucojum                10-12
                          aestivum                in.

Striped squill          Puschkinia              6 in.

Tulip (forms and        Tulipa species          4-28 in.
  bloom times

Winter aconite          Eranthis                3-6 in.

Crown imperial          Fritillaria

Giant allium            Allium                  4-5 ft.

Lily leek, golden       Allium moly             8-12 in.

Lily, Oriental and      Lilium species          2-6 ft.

Autumn crocus           Colchicum               6-10 in.

Fall crocus             Crocus speciosus        2-4 in.

Resurrection lily,      Lycoris                 15-24
  magic lily,             squamigera              in.
  surprise lily

COMMON                  DEPTH                   SPACING

                        Early Spring

Armenian grape          3 in.                   3 in.

Crocus                  2-3 in.                 2-4 in.

Daffodil                6 in. (large) 3 in.     6-8 in. 3 in.
  (12 divisions)          (miniatures)            (miniatures)

Dutch hyacinth          6 in.                   6 in.

Glory-of-the-           3 in.                   3 in.

Grecian                 3 in.                   3 in.

Lily-of-the-            3 in.                   6-8 in.

Pasque flower           2 in.                   12 in.

                        Early Spring

Reticulated iris        3 in.                   3 in.

Siberian squill         3 in.                   3 in.

Snow crocus,            3 in.                   3 in.

Snowdrops               3 in.                   3 in.

Snowflake               3 in.                   4 in.

Striped squill          3 in.                   3 in.

Tulip (forms and        4-6 in.                 4-6 in.
  bloom times

Winter aconite          2-3 in.                 3 in.

Crown imperial

Giant allium            6 in.                   12 in.

Lily leek, golden       4 in.                   4-6 in.

Lily, Oriental and      6 in.                   6 in.

                        Late Summer

Autumn crocus           5 in.                   4-6 in.

Fall crocus             3-5 in.                 3-9 in.

Resurrection lily,      6 in.                   6 in.
  magic lily,
  surprise lily

COMMON                  ZONES                   OTHER

Armenian grape          3-8                     Blue-violet

Crocus                  3-8                     Yellow,

Daffodil                4-8                     White,
  (12 divisions)                                  yellow,

Dutch hyacinth          4-8                     White, blue,

Glory-of-the-           3-9                     Violet to
  snow                                            blue,

Grecian                 5-9                     Blue, white,
  windflower,                                     pink

Lily-of-the-            3-8                     White, pink

Pasque flower           5-8                     Purple, red,

Reticulated iris        4-8                     Blue to
                                                  on each

Siberian squill         3-9                     Blue, with

Snow crocus,            3-8                     Yellow,
  golden                                          white,
  crocus                                          lavender,

Snowdrops               3-9                     White

Snowflake               4-9                     White

Striped squill          3-10                    Whitish blue

Tulip (forms and        5-8                     All except
  bloom times                                     true blue

Winter aconite          3-7                     Yellow

Crown imperial                                  Red-orange,

Giant allium            5-8                     Lavender

Lily leek, golden       4-8                     Yellow

Lily, Oriental and      4-8                     Cream,
  Asiatic                                         white,

Autumn crocus           5-9                     Pink, lilac,

Fall crocus             4-8                     White,

Resurrection lily,      5-9                     Pink
  magic lily,
  surprise lily

TABLE 16-6

Select Ferns and Their Hardiness

COMMON NAME         SPECIES                        ZONE

Autumn fern         Dryopteris erythrosora         5-9

Christmas fern      Polystichum                    3-9

Cinnamon fern       Osmunda cinnamomea             3-10

Clayton's fern      Osmunda claytoniana            3-8

Five-finger         Adiantum aleuticum             4-9

Fortune's holly     Cyrtomium fortunei             6-11

Golden-scaled       Dryopteris affinis             4-8
  male fern

Hart's tongue       Asplenium                      6-8
  fern                scolopendrium

Himalayan           Adiantum venustum              4-8

Holly fern          Cyrtomium falcatum             7-11

Japanese painted    Athyrium niponicum             3-8

Lady fern           Athyrium filix-femina          3-8

Leather wood        Dryopteris marginalis          4-8

Makino's holly      Polystichum makinoi            5-8

Ostrich fern        Matteuccia struthiopteris      2-8

Royal fern          Osmunda regalis                3-10

Soft shield fern    Polystichum setiferum          4-9

Southern            Adiantum capillus-             6-9
  maidenhair          veneris

Western sword       Polystichum munitum            5-9

TABLE 16-7

Vines and Their Growth Habit and Hardiness Zone

NAME               NAME                    HABIT

Bittersweet        Celastrus scandens      Woody vine with
                                             small, decorative
                                             orange fruits

Black-eyed         Thunbergia alata        Vining 6-10 ft.
  Susan vine                                 plant with orange
                                             -yellow flowers

Boston ivy         Parthenocissus          Primarily sun-loving,
                     tricuspidata            three-lobed leaves
                                             with grasping

Clematis           Clematis spp.           Vine with early or
                                             late summer

Climbing           Hydrangea               Flat-topped clusters
  hydrangea          anomala var.            of white flowers
                     petiolaris              in spring; climbs
                                             walls; exfoliating
                                             bark, large,

Honeysuckle,       Lonicera x              Bright, fragrant,
  goldflame          heckrottii              orange-red tubular

Morning glory      Ipomoea tricolor        Summer bloomer
                                             with white, pink
                                             or blue flowers

Scarlet clematis   Clematis texensis       Bright crimson,
                                             um-shaped flowers
                                             on spreading
                                             shrubby groundcover

Trumpet vine,      Campsis                 Woody, deciduous
  trumpet            grandiflora,            vine; vigorous
  creeper            Campsos                 grower that
                     radicans                may become

Virginia           Parthenocissus          Vigorous shade- and
  creeper            quinquefolia            sun-tolerant vine;
                                             grasping tendrils
                                             that attach to
                                             solid surfaces;
                                             palmate compound

Wintercreeper      Euonymus fortunei       Creeping groundcover
                                             or bushy plant
                                             with slender stems
                                             that require
                                             support to climb;
                                             leaf variegations

Wisteria           Wisteria spp.           Showy vine for arbors,
                                             pergolas; purple
                                             or white flower
                                             clusters in late

NAME               ZONE

Bittersweet        3-8

Black-eyed         Annual
  Susan vine

Boston ivy         4-8

Clematis           4-8

Climbing           5-7

Honeysuckle,       5-9

Morning glory      Annual

Scarlet clematis   4-8

Trumpet vine,      4-10

Virginia           4-9

Wintercreeper      5-8

Wisteria           5-9

TABLE 16-8
Colors and Cultivars

COLOR       COMMON NAME              SPECIES                   (A) OR
                                                               NIAL (P)

Red         Geranium                 Pelargonium x              A

            New Guinea impatiens     Impatiens x hawkeri        A

            Petunia                  Petunia x hybrida          A

            Canna lily               Canna indica               A

            Salvia                   Salvia splendens           A

            Crocosmia                Crocosmia                  A

            Blanket flower           Gaillardia x               A

            Lobelia                  Lobelia cardinalis         A

            Beebalm                  Monarda didyma             P

White       Flowering tobacco        Nicotiana spp.             A

            Shasta daisy             Leucanthemum x             P

            Chrysanthemum, mums      Dendranthema x             P, A

            Lily-of-the-valley       Convallaria majalis        P

            White gaura              Gaura lindheimeri          P

            Garden geranium          Pelargonium x              A

            Hardy geranium           Geranium spp.              P

            Oriental and Asiatic     Lilium spp.                P

            Penstemon,               Penstemon digitalis        P

            Phlox                    Phlox spp.                 P

            Salvia                   Salvia spp.                P, A

            Foam flowers             Tiarella spp.              P

            Verbena                  Verbena spp.               A

            Flowering chives         Allium tuberosum           P

            Pearly everlasting       Anaphalis                  P

Blue        Sky blue aster           Aster azureus              P

            Forget-me-not            Myosotis sylvatica         A

            Perennial forget         Myosotis scorpiodes        P

            Siberian bugloss         Brunnera macrophyla        P

            Summer forget-me-not     Anchusa azurea             A

            Iris                     Iris spp.                  P

            Blue salvia              Salvia spp.                P

            Flax                     Linum spp.                 P

            Delphinium               Delphinium elatum          P

            Lobelia                  Lobelia erinus             P

Yellow      Marigold                 Tagetes spp.               A

            Daylily                  Hemerocallis spp.          P

            Iris                     Iris pseudacorus           P

            Sunflower                Helianthus annuus          A

            Zinnia                   Zinnia angustifolia        A

            Yarrow                   Achillea spp.              P

            Basket-of-gold           Aurinia saxatilis          P

            Chrysanthemum            Dendranthema x             P

            Coreopsis                Coreopsis spp.             P

            Leopard's bane           Doronicum orientale        P

            Foxtail lily             Eremurus stenophyllus      P

            Evening primroses        Oenothera spp.             P

            Black-eyed Susan         Rudbeckia fulgida          P

            Goldenrod                Solidago spp.              P

            Golden marguerite        Anthemis tinctoria         P

Orange      Mexican sunflower        Tithonia rotundifolia      A

            Chilean avens            Geum chiloense             P

            'Tango' New Guinea       Impatiens wallerana        A

            Butterfly milkweed       Asclepias tuberosa         P

            Zinnia                   Zinnia angustifolia        A

            Poppy                    Papaver spp.               P

            Daylily                  Hemerocallis spp.          P

Purple      Butterfly bush           Buddleia davidii           P

            Geranium                 Geranium maculatum         P

            Spipke gayfeather        Liatris spicata            P

            Petunia                  Petunia x hybrida          A

            Heliotrope               Heliotrope arborescens     A

            Stoke's aster            Stokesia laevis            P

            Bellflower species       Campanula spp.             P

Pink        Impatiens                Impatiens wallerana        A

            Astilbe                  Astilbe x arendsii         P

            Hollyhock                Alcea rosea                P

            Dianthus, pinks          Dianthus spp.              P

            Bleeding heart           Dicentra spectabilis       P

Green-      Lamb's ears              Stachys byzantina          P

            Dusty Miller             Senecio cineraria          A

            Artemesia, wormwood      Artemesia schmidtiana      P

TABLE 16-9
Flower Heights of Selected Annuals

HEIGHT              COMMON NAME                  SPECIES

Short ([greater     Ageratum                     Ageratum
than or equal
to] 6 in.)          Alyssum                      Alyssum

                    Portulaca                    Portulaca

                    Viola                        Viola

Medium-short        Cabbage/kale (ornamental)    Brassica
(6-12 in.)
                    Calendula, pot marigold      Calendula

                    Calibrachoa                  Calibrochoa

                    Celosia                      Celosia

                    Impatiens                    Impatiens wallerana

                    Lobelia                      Lobelia

                    Marigold, French             Tagetes

                    Nasturtium                   Nasturtium

                    Pansy                        Viola

                    Periwinkle                   Catharanthus

                    Petunia                      Petunia x hybrida

                    Primrose                     Primula

                    Verbena                      Verbena

                    Viola                        Viola Xwittrockiana

Medium              Argyranthemum                Argyranthemum
(12-18 in.)
                    Cuphea                       Cuphea

                    Gazania                      Gazania

                    Geranium                     Pelargonium

                    Gomphrena, globe amaranth    Gomphrena

                    Gypsophila                   Gypsophila

                    Impatiens, New Guinea        Impatiens x hawkeri

                    Pentas                       Pentas lanceolata

                    Salvia, mealy-cup            Salvia

                    Snapdragons                  Antirrhinum

                    Stock                        Matthiola incana

Medium tall         Carnation                    Dianthus
(18-24 in.)
                    Celosia                      Celosia

                    Dusty Miller                 Senecio cineraria

                    Gaillardia                   Gaillardia

                    Heliotrope                   Heliotropium

                    Marigold, African            Tagetes erecta

                    Nemesia                      Nemesia

                    Pentas                       Pentas lanceolata

                    Black-eyed Susan             Rudbeckia

                    Sage, scarlet                Salvia coccinea

                    Zinnia                       Zinnia elegans

Tall (>24 in.)      Amaranth                     Amaranthus

                    Cleome, spider flower        Cleome hasslerana

                    Hollyhock                    Alcea rosea

                    Morning glory (vine)         Ipomoea

                    Nicotiana                    Nicotiana

                    Sunflower                    Helianthus

                    Sweet pea (vine)             Lathyrus latifolius

TABLE 16-10
Heights of Selected Perennials

HEIGHT          COMMON NAME          SPECIES                  ZONE

Low-growing:    Basket-of-gold       Aurinia saxatilis        3-7
  12 in. and
  under         Bishop's weed        Aegopodium podagaria     4-8

                Bugleweed            Ajuga reptans            4-9

                Carpathian           Campanula carpatica      3-8

                False rockcress      Aubrieta deltoidea       4-8

                Maiden pink          Dianthus deltoides       4-9

                Red barrenwort       Epimedium   rubrum       4-8

                Rockcress            Arabis caucasica         4-7

                Snow-in-summer       Cerastium tomentosum     3-7

Medium:         Bleeding heart       Dicentra spectabilis     4-9
  12-24 in.
                Columbine            Aquilegia hybrids        3-9

                Everlasting          Anaphalis                3-8

                Heartleaf            Bergenia cordifolius     3-8

                Lady's mantle        Alchemilla mollis        4-7

                Lilyleaf             Adenophorum              4-8
                  ladybell             liliifolia

                Mountain bluet       Centaurea montana        3-8

                Needle-leaf          Coreopsis                3-9
                  tickseed,            verticillata

                Pink coreopsis,      Coreopsis rosea          3-9
                  pink tickseed

                Siberian bugloss     Brunnera macrophylla     3-8

                Silvermound          Artemisia schmidtiana    3-7
                  artemesia            'Nana'

                Sweet William        Dianthus barbatus        3-9

Medium tall:    Anemone              Anemone x hybrida        4-8
  24-48 in.
                Astilbe              Astilbe x arendsii       3-8

                Blackberry lily      Belamcanda chinensis     5-10

                Blanket flower       Gaillardia x             3-10

                Blue wild indigo     Baptisia australis       3-9

                Butterflyweed        Asclepias tuberosa       3-9

                Chrysanthemum,       Dendranthema x           5-9
                  Mum                  morifolium

                Golden Marguerite    Anthemis tinctoria       3-7

                Hardy begonia        Begonia grandis          6-9

                Jupiter's beard      Centranthus ruber        5-8

                Michaelmas daisy,    Aster nova-belgii        4-8
                  New York aster

                New England aster    Aster nova-angliae       4-8

                Peach-leaved         Campanula                3-7
                  bellflower           persicifolia

                Pink turtlehead      Chelone lyonii           3-8

                Purple coneflower    Echinacea purpurea       3-8

                Spiny bear's         Acanthus spinosus        5-10

                Ticksseed            Coreopsis grandiflora    4-9

                White gaura          Gaura lindheimeri        5-9

                Willow amsonia       Amsonia                  3-9

                Yarrow, achillea     Achillea spp.            4-8

Tall: >48 in.   Boltonia             Boltonia asteroides      4-9

                Delphinium           Delphinium elatum        3-7

                Goat's beard         Aruncus dioicus          3-7

                Hollyhock            Alcea rosea              3-8

                Italian bugloss      Anchusa azurea           3-8

                Monkshood            Aconitum napellus        4-8

TABLE 16-11
Plants Deer Prefer Not to Eat


Yarrow                     Achillea millefolium

Ageratum                   Ageratum houstonianum

Ornamental onion           Allium spp.

Snapdragon                 Antirrhinum majus

Columbine                  Aquilegia hybrids

Astilbe, false spirea      Astilbe x arendsii

Larkspur                   Consolida ambigua

Bleeding heart             Dicentra spectabilis

Purple coneflower          Echinacea purpurea

Sunflower                  Helianthus annuus

Heliotrope                 Heliotropus arborescens

Hellebore, Lenten rose     Helleborus orientalis

Candytuft                  Iberis sempervirens

Iris                       Iris spp.

Lavender                   Lavandula spp.

Flax                       Linum perenne

Lobelia                    Lobelia erinus

Sweet alyssum              Lobularia maritima

Stock                      Matthiola incana

Four-o'clock               Mirabilis jalapa

Daffodils                  Narcissus spp.

Russian sage               Perovskia atriplicifolia

Petunia                    Petunia x hybrida

Lungwort                   Pulmonaria saccharata

Salvia                     Salvia spp.

Marigold                   Tagetes spp.

Nasturtium                 Tropaeolum majus

Periwinkle                 Vinca major

Yucca                      Yucca spp.

TABLE 16-12
Perennials That Respond Well to Pruning

COMMON NAME                      SPECIES                      ZONE

Autumn Joy sedum                 Sedum 'Autumn Joy'           3-9

Beebalm                          Monarda didyma               4-9

Black-eyed Susan                 Rudbeckia fulgida            2-10

Boltonia, false chamomile        Boltonia asteroides          3-8

Campion, catchfly                Lychnis coronaria            2-10

Chrysanthemum, mum               Dendranthema x morifolium

Culver's root                    Veronicastrum virginicum     3-8

False sunflower, ox-eye          Heliopsis helianthoides      4-9

Feverfew, tansy                  Tanacetum parthenium         3-10

Flax                             Linum perenne                2-10

Garden phlox                     Phlox paniculata             3-9

Gaura                            Gaura linheimeri             3-10

Goldenrod                        Solidago spp.                3-9

Helenium, sneezeweed             Helenium autumnale           3-9

Hibiscus, mallow, rose mallow    Hibiscus moscheutos          3-10

Hollyhock                        Alcea rosea                  2-9

Joe-pye weed                     Eupatorium maculatum         3-10

Ladybells, gland bellflower      Adenophorum liliifolia       3-9

Lavender                         Lavandula spp.               5-9

Lobelia                          Lobelia cardinalis           1-10

Mallow, musk mallow              Malva alcea                  3-10

Marguerite daisy                 Anthemis tinctoria           4-9

Meadow phlox                     Phlox maculata               3-8

Michaelmas daisy                 Aster nova-belgii            2-9

Monkshood                        Aconitum napellus            3-8

New England aster                Aster nova-angliae           2-9

New York ironweed                Vernonia novaboracensis      5-9

Obedient plant                   Physostegia virginiana       3-9

Purple coneflower                Echinacea purpurea           3-9

Rock rose, sun rose              Helianthemum nummularium     6-9

Russian sage                     Perovskia atriplicifolia     5-9

St. John's wort                  Hypericum calycinum          5-9

Sunflower                        Helianthus salicifolius      1-10

Wormwood                         Artimisia schmidtiana        2-10

Yarrow, achillea, milfoil        Achillea millefolium         3-10
COPYRIGHT 2008 Delmar Learning
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Loehrlein, Marietta M.
Publication:Home Horticulture: Principles and Practices
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Previous Article:Chapter 15: turfgrass.
Next Article:Chapter 17: ornamental trees, shrubs, and groundcovers.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters