Thomas Charbonneau gardens in St. Paul, Minnesota, in frigid Zone 4, where winter has abruptly ended this year’s gardening. So today we’re joining him in looking back at the summer garden and anticipating the arrival of spring and tulips!
Cheery sunflowers (Helianthus annuus, annual) are the epitome of summer. And not only does their beauty feed the gardener’s soul, but they make terrific cut flowers, they are a great source of food for bees and other pollinators (as long as you don’t plant the pollenless varieties), and after flowering has finished, the seed heads become natural bird feeders.
An old-fashioned tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium, Zones 3–9). This classic lily is a a great example of a “pass-along plant.” You don’t see it for sale too often, and most people who have one were given bulbs by a friend. It is vigorous, usually easy to grow, and produces loads of bright orange-spotted flowers. Be aware that people use the name of “tiger lily” for a bunch of different plants, so if someone offers you one, it might be this, another lily, or possibly a daylily.
Daylily ‘Wilson Spider’ (Hemerocallis ‘Wilson Spider’, Zones 3–9). This is a classic example of a spider-form daylily. Spider daylilies have long, narrow petals, which often curl and twist in beautiful ways.
Ligularia ‘The Rocket’ (Zones 4–8) mixes its ragged-edged leaves and tall spikes of yellow flowers with hostas and ferns in a shade bed.
Daylilies are real workhorses in the garden, producing a lot of flowers and asking very little in return.
Daylily ‘Red Flag’ (Hemerocallis ‘Red Flag’, Zones 3–9)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus, annual) tumbles down over a stone wall. If you want to recreate this look in your garden, read the variety descriptions carefully. Some varieties of nasturtiums grow long, trailing, or even climbing vines, while others form tight, compact mounds. Both are great; it just depends on what you want from them.
Winter is coming, and the hostas are putting on their fall colors.
Snow is here.
How long until spring arrives?
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