AND THE WINNER IS… 2017 PERENNIAL OF THE YEAR
The Perfect Perennial for Lakes Region Gardens
Asclepias tuberosa – butterfly weed
With all the ”buzz” about bees and butterflies, BUTTERFLY WEED is an excellent plant choice for the 2017 Perennial of the Year. Known for its ability to support insects and birds and serve as the primary caterpillar food for the beloved North American native Monarch butterfly, it puts out 3 months of tangerine/orange blooms on perfect little upright shrubs 24” tall and wide.
Hummingbirds, bees, beneficial insects, and other butterflies also love the flowers, which are laden with pollen and nectar. They grow best in full sun, are deer resistant, and tolerant of wet or dry soils. They are hardy to zones 3-9, and native throughout almost all of the Eastern states.
Since Asclepias tuberosa is a native prairie plant, butterfly weed is quite comfortable in meadow gardens, native plantings and wildlife sanctuaries but is finding its way into more formal to semi-formal urban gardens. Plant it in large masses, for an unrivaled display of eye-popping orange. Butterfly weed pairs well with summer blooming Phlox, Hemerocallis, Liatris, Echinacea, Salvia, and most of June/July sun-loving perennials.
The Perennial Plant of the Year showcases a perennial that is a standout among its competitors. Perennials chosen are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free. If you are looking for an excellent perennial for your next landscape project or something reliable for your gardens, make sure to check out the Perennial Plant of the Year™ archive list. At Miracle Farms we often chose plants on the list of past Perennial of the Year winners to be reliable bloomers year after year.
Here is the list we often choose from:
Previous PPA Perennial Plant of the Year winners:
- 2016 Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ (windflower)
- 2015 Geranium ‘Biokova’ (dwarf cranesbill, hardy geranium)
- 2014 Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ (tall switch grass)
- 2013 Polygonatum odoratum variegatum (Solomon’s seal)
- 2012 Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian bugloss)
- 2011 Amsonia hubrichtii (blue star)
- 2010 Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)
- 2009 Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ (Japanese forest grass)
- 2008 Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (cranesbill, hardy geranium)
- 2007 Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (catmint)
- 2006 Dianthus ‘Feuerhexe’ (aka ‘Firewitch’) (cheddar pink)
- 2005 Helleborus x hybridus (hellebore, Lenten rose)
- 2004 Athyrium niponicum pictum (Japanese painted fern)
- 2003 Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’ (shasta daisy)
- 2002 Phlox paniculata ‘David’ (garden phlox)
- 2001 Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (feather reed grass)
- 2000 Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ (pincushion flower)
- 1999 Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ (black-eyed Susan)
- 1998 Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ (purple coneflower)
- 1997 Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (aka ‘May Night’ ) (wood sage)
- 1996 Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (beardtongue)
- 1995 Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage)
- 1994 Astilbe ‘Sprite’ (dwarf astilbe)
- 1993 Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ (speedwell)
- 1992 Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ (threadleaf coreopsis)
- 1991 Heuchera micrantha diversifolia ‘Palace Purple’ (coral bells)
- 1990 Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox)
We want to tell you again how much we like the recent landscaping you did on our waterfront property. Your crew changed a mediocre back yard to one of exquisite beauty as well as being functional. It’s absolutely beautiful and beyond our expectations.
Your men (Marcelino and Louis) did a fantastic job . We were impressed with their professionalism and their work ethic. Please extend to them our sincere thanks.
If you and your company ever need a reference please feel free to ask us.
We would highly recommend you .
Again thank you for making our home just that much more beautiful.
P.S. Horst also agrees, your guys did a fantastic job!
Carol and Horst G.
We’ve all been enjoying the spectacular colors of fall for a couple of weeks here in the Lakes Region, but we know what’s right around the corner… even before the first snow fall… the dreaded fall cleanup! Although it is tempting to rake them into piles and jump in a few times, a proper cleanup requires a bit more work. Leaf clean-up is just a small piece of the big job that will leave your yard looking its best next spring. A complete fall clean-up is the key to preparing your entire landscape for winter and giving it a boost for spring.
Here are some tips for a last minute fall clean-up:
Leaving the leaves creates several problems for your lawn. It will deprive the grass of needed sunlight and cause brown patches. Leaves can also suffocate the lawn by depriving a flow of oxygen and they trap moisture potentially creating fungus issues.
Give your lawn a last mow, a little shorter than normal. Prune any dead wood. Lifeless limbs can fall victim to snowfall and wind endangering you and your home.
Perennials should be dead-headed to promote healthy spring growth. Trim spent foliage down to the ground; this sends energy to the roots, for next season. Every three years, divide crowded tuberous plants, like irises and daylilies: More space means more flowers.
The time and expense of a proper fall clean-up will not only pay off come spring with a beautiful and healthy yard but will also create a perfect backdrop Christmas lights and decorations.
Any heavy raking of lawn areas should be done now and not the in spring when lawns are more tender. Although it’s too late in the Lakes Region now to over-seed, we do recommend a core aeration and topdressing with a layer of compost, especially areas that were thin or trampled.
Protect any pots or containers that are vulnerable to cold weather. Soil will expand inside pots as temperatures drop below freezing causing cracks. Move them undercover and tip them upside down to prevent water from collecting inside.
It’s not too late to get bulbs into the ground for a spectacular spring show. You may even get more for your money at end of year sales if you still have the energy to plant!
If this is just too much work for you to think about, then call Miracle Farms and let us help you put your Lakes Region landscape to bed for the winter.
Happy 4th of July from The Lakes Region!
Looking for some last minute ways to spice up your Fourth of July garden party? Here are a couple of quick and easy tricks to do just that!
Decorative Lawn Stars:
- Find a flat piece of cardboard and cut out a star to the perfect size.
- Pick up some red, white & blue spray paint.
- Take your star stencil out to the yard and go crazy spraying stars on the grass and create your own milky way! (The grass grows out and it will be gone in a couple of lawn cuts.)
Handkerchief Pillow Cases:
- Go to your local Dollar store and buy 2 red, white or blue, handkerchiefs and some festive colored ribbon.
- Take a pillow that is about an inch smaller than the handkerchief all the way around.
- Place one handkerchief on the bottom of the pillow and a different color on the top
- Tie the corners with your colored ribbon and you are finished!
- Take 10 of your recycled fruit and vegetable tin cans and remove the paper label
- Use your left over spray paint from the lawn stars to paint the cans in festive patterns and wait for them to dry
- Set them up in a stacked pyramid, grab an old softball or baseball and bowl your first strike!
And the winner is! This bright and beautiful perennial is covered in delicate blush pinkish-white flowers in late spring with foliage that turns a lovely shade of reddish-orange in your fall garden. It is lightly scented and grows best in sun to partial shade in well-drained soil. Biokovo is hardy in zones 4 to 8, and relatively deer and rabbit resistant which makes it a perfect selection for the Lakes Region in New Hampshire. It makes a beautiful ground cover and is a great addition to the front of a border garden. Biokovo pairs nicely in a planting with Japanese painted ferns, and late spring blooming penstemons.
The Perennial Plant of the Year™ (POY™) program began in 1990 to showcase a perennial that is a standout among its competitors. Perennials chosen are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free. If you are looking for an excellent perennial for your next landscape project or something reliable for your gardens, make sure to check out the Perennial Plant of the Year™ archive list.
At Miracle Farms we often rely on the list of past Perennial of the Year winners to be reliable bloomers year after year.
Here are some of our favorites:
Salvia ‘may night’
Nepeta ‘walker’s low’
Brunerra ‘jack frost’