May 17, 1997

Perennials Take On New Popularity

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Many people have been taking a greater interest in perennial flowers, which grow and bloom year after year.

“A lot of people feel they aren’t a lot of work, but that’s not true,” said Sydney McCrea of the Master Gardener’s program at the Spokane County Extension Service.

Perennials need to be weeded, and when they get large, dug up and divided into smaller plants. Their flower heads should be cut back after they bloom.

One of the hottest perennials now is the “hosta,” of which there are hundreds of varieties. Many of them produce large leaves, and are elegant in shady backdrops.

Also hot in landscaping now are native shrubs and grasses. They tend to require less care and frequently can tolerate the climatic extremes of the Inland Northwest.

Blue fescue is a handsome ornamental grass. Creeping phlox makes a brilliant ground cover when it blooms. Yellow and red twig dogwood shrubs provide nice winter color. Verbena and Oregon grape are early bloomers.

, DataTimes

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