Conversation Starters

Get your garden party off to a great start with these fun, sun-loving perennials.

By Abby Lapides

“What smells so delicious?”

Bring season long, non-stop color and spicy clove scent to your garden with ‘Georgia Peach Pie’ Pinks, Dianthus. You’ll adore this delight for its peachy-pink frilly blossoms with fascinating darker center halos of raspberry and apricot. They burst open from distinctive plump buds on stiff stems just above the compact, shiny blue-green foliage in spring with flowering repeating into fall. Compared to other Dianthus, its flowers continue on and on, are larger than others, and are held high. Its long stems and sweet perfume makes ‘Georiga Peach Pie’ ideal for fresh posies and arrangements. Try planting a few by the back door where its heady scent will delight all passing by. Ideal for containers, mass plantings, cottage gardens, or anywhere you want continuous color and sensational scent. Long-lived sun perennial. Pictured top.

“Wow, those flowers are huge!”

A fantastic improvement over older varieties, ‘Sensational!’ Lavender’s huge flowers can be 4″ wide, massive compared to older varieties. Its exceptional vigor and showy thick, silver foliage add more outstanding attributes. The wonderfully scented flowers of intense purple appear on densely flowered spikes for months all summer into fall. Sun perennial. Pictured bottom left.

“It’s blooming already!?!?”

With its flowers appearing in early summer, considerably earlier than other Cardinal Flowers, ‘Starship’ Cardinal Flower, Lobelia, takes center stage in gardens for months. A robust, vigorous grower, with well-branched stems, it brings stunning color and fantastic architectural interest to the garden. It produces more blooms over a longer period of time than other varieties. Its vibrant colors include red, burgundy, deep rose, and even blue. Fantastic perennial. Pictured bottom right.

See these and more perennials at Sugar Creek Gardens in Kirkwood, or on the website www.sugarcreekgardens.com