Achillea Millefolium ‘Moonshine’

June 2 2017yellow yarrow again almost blooming

Moonshine Yarrow, Fern Leaf Yarrow

A favorite among herbaceous perennials because of the silver-gray green feathery foliage. This yarrow loves full sun in my garden. It’s my favorite Yarrow because the flower are a pale yellow and blooms on straight stalks about 18″-24″ inches tall. Yarrow forms an 18 to 24 inch wide clumps. The blooms last a long time and I deadhead the flowers all summer to promote more flowering. I also don’t hesitate to cut back the foliage to tidy up the plant. Yarrow is both drought tolerant and needs very little water to thrive. It prefers a somewhat sandy well-drained soil. I have divided it and moved it around in the spring with success. USDA Zone 3 to 8.

Asclepia tuberosa

5 asclepia almost blooming

Butterfly-weed, Butterfly Milkweed

This is a no-brainer herbaceous perennial for Oklahoma gardens! Lovely bushy, 2′ x 2′ , or a bit bigger mound, that blooms clusters of (Americas Brightest)orange flowers. Its called Butterfly Weed because it brings in the butterflies by serving as a host nectar plant for Monarch Butterflies! The leaves are dark-green and pointed. Asclepia wants to be in full sun and is not too fussy about soil, it actually prefers poor well draining sites. It is one of the last perennials to pop up in spring so don’t get too anxious and redig the are for a new spring planting–speaking from experience. Although it is sometimes called Orange Milkweed and every OK State fan needs to plant 5. this species has no milky sap. USDA Zone 3a to 9b.

Echinecea purpurea

lamilum almost blooming

Coneflower, Purple Coneflower

This is a must have herbaceous perennial plant. It is perfect for Oklahoma! It gets 2′-3′ tall and produces beautiful deep pink, large, single flowers above the foliage. The flowers last a long time–true if you cut them too. My advice is to stick to the straight species if you are new to gardening–they will not disappoint. In the last 10 years there have been many cultivars introduced but I have found that they sometimes revert to a mutant form or they just don’t seem to survive after a year or two. I am not opposed to trying them again, its just that in Oklahoma I am more interested in finding plants that are really reliable. USDA Zone 3 to 8.

Stachys byzantina

2 almost vloming cone and lambs ear May 29Stachys byzantina

Lambs Ears

This herbaceous perennial is soft and fuzzy, and silvery grey-green.  It is low-growing 6″ to 8″ inches tall and easy to grow as long as it has well-drained soil. It requires very little maintenance and tolerates a variety of weather and soil conditions. It’s a hardy, sturdy, plant that can be divided every few years. Really it should be divided ever so often as it can crowd itself out!  It’s easy to propagate by dividing the root ball or rooting a stem that is putting out roots.

Lamb’s ear flowers in late spring and early summer. The pale pink, violet or lavender flower spikes rise from 6″ to 10″ above the woolly base and attract bees and other pollinators. I don’t like the bloom and in the spring and early summer I keep them cut off.  By mid summer I let them bloom and the pollinators seem to appreciate it.  USDA Zone 4 to 9.