The Labor Day holiday comes at the perfect time for busy gardeners! Bearded Irises should be divided every 2 to 3 years, and Daylilies need division every 3 to 5 years. Late summer is the best time to do this, so make a morning of it and do both at once!
Bearded Iris is very easy to dig up, because the rhizome sits at soil level. Carefully dig it up, keeping as many roots as possible, and wash it off. Then check the rhizome carefully for soft areas and small holes. Remove all of these undesirable areas with a sharp knife, then divide the remaining rhizome at its natural joints (shown at right with a red arrow). Trim the foliage back to about 6 inches, and re-plant the new rhizomes.
Like everything else about Daylilies, division is very simple! Just dig up the plant, taking care to keep as many of the roots intact as possible. Then plunge two garden forks back-to-back through the center of the plant and gently pull them apart, dividing the plant in two. Repeat until you have smaller clumps. Trim the foliage back to about 12 inches and re-plant the new clumps, hilling up the soil and fanning at the roots.
Now that you have many more new Bearded Iris and Daylily plants, you might consider creating an accent planting of just these two perennials. They both appreciate sunshine and good drainage, and bloom successively, with the Daylilies often encoring to keep the Irises company! This way you can dig up and divide the entire planting every 3 years, and keep your garden growing in beauty.
Asters are full sun perennials that can provide a good bit of late-season color. The playful, daisy-like blooms in bright springy colors start popping up in late summer, keeping your garden bright right up to the first frost of winter. Asters are very easy to care for, making them a real asset in the garden.
Aster 'Alert' is a bright pink flowering New York Aster that blooms from summer to winter. It's resistant to deer, and super easy to care for. This plant blooms very densely, creating a low blanket of beautiful bright blooms.
Aster 'October Skies' is a medium-height Aster that will form a thick ground cover for your perennial sun garden. It gets it's name from the deep color of the blooms that resembles the New England sky. 'October Skies' blooms through the mid fall.
If you live in a drier part of the country, sometimes it can be
pretty difficult to plan a garden, because there are a limited number
of plants than can tolerate severe climates. Here in South Carolina the
springs and summers have been very dry for the last two years. If you
are looking to conserve water but you would still like to have a
beautiful, colorful garden, you should check out some of Wayside Gardens' drought-tolerant plants. These hardy plants will tolerate hot,
dry conditions, and you will still have a landscape overflowing with
brilliant colors, fascinating textures, and unique forms.
Watering your plants properly will also help you conserve water and
save your garden during a drought. Water deeply to ensure that your
roots grow deep into the ground – light waterings lead to shallow roots
which tend to lose moisture to evaporation during dry spells. Also try
to skip a few days between waterings unless your plant is in danger of
scorching – this time will force your plants to seek moisture deeper
under the ground, promoting strong root growth.
This is one of my favorite images from our catalogs and websites. It is Coreopsis ‘Snowberry,’ and it’s an amazing perennial that will tirelessly produce mounds of these arresting soft, creamy blooms, lending a real touch of elegance to your sunny garden throughout the entire summer. Even better, the foliage is evergreen, so it is attractive even when it isn’t in bloom. ‘Snowberry’ is a sterile sport of C. ‘Nana,’ so it won’t invest energy into seed production rather than making more flowers. This allows it to rebloom more quickly than many other Coreopsis, especially if you deadhead it regularly.
‘Siesta‘ is one must-see sun perennial!
For the average gardener, there would be no garden without full sun perennials. They provide most of the colors, textures, and fragrances the serve to give a garden it’s basic structure. From spring to fall, these are your staples– just fill in along the way with a few annuals, tropicals, and short bloomers.
That being said, full sun perennials will also require the bulk of your attention. Full sun perennials will respond positively to regular maintenance. You will need to prune in late winter and spring, deadhead your blooms, and divide your plants when the growth becomes to dense. They also love soils with high organic matter content and good mulch.
Caring for full sun perennials may be taxing, but you will apprecial your garden when the work is done. Check out all the sun perennials from Wayside!
Wayside Gardens Voice
That’s x Pardancanda, if you please — it’s an intergeneric cross of Belamcanda chinensis x Pardanthopsis dichotoma. The name is taken from part of each genus name: Pardan + canda. I have wondered if they knew they were going to call it “Candy Lily” when they came up with the new genus, because the “canda” bit does fit in nicely. (And if you’ve never heard of Pardanthopsis, it used to be called Iris dichotoma. It’s one of the beardless Irises, and has the lovely common name of Vesper Iris — presumably because the blooms opened at the hour for Vespers?)
Anyway, x Pardancanda was introduced by our own Doc Alston in the early ’70’s, but Doc will tell you that all the breeding was done by Sam Norris, who purchased the original plants from Park Seed. The species is named for him, but Mr. Norris never released any varieties onto the market, so Doc redid the crosses and came up with the mix that Park Seed has been selling so successfully for 40 years. Doc claims he played around with selecting individual colors but was never satisfied with the results, which does sound just like him — too modest by half! At any rate, there have been other selections, but I believe ‘Sangria’ is the first individual color. The flowers are larger and the season of interest even longer. Candy Lilies have those big, shiny, blackberry-like seedpods that people are keen to use in indoor arrangements, so after the blooms pass in late summer or early fall, the performance continues with a new look.