Perennials are plants that come back every year. Be it for flowers or foliage, a perennial is a plant that will keep on giving in your garden year after year, making them an excellent investment in your landscape. All of the listed perennials are hardy in our local zone (zone 7 here on Long Island), and many are hardy to much colder zones as well.
Below are some regularly stocked perennials at Olsen’s Nurseries. Many other, less common varieties and plants are also available. Please call for current availability. All photographs property of Olsen’s Discount Nurseries.
Common Names - Yarrow, Soldier’s Woundwort, Milfoil
Full Sun. Drought Tolerant. Deer and Rabbit Resistant.
Achillea is a long blooming, sun loving perennial that is very drought tolerant once established. With soft, ferny foliage, Achillea bear masses of flat topped flower clusters in shades of yellow, red, pink, white or orange, starting in mid spring. A second and even third flush of flowers will appear if the first set of blooms is cut back after flowering. A clump forming perennial, Achillea typically ranges from 18” to 24” tall.
Common Names – Anise Hyssop
Full Sun. Drought Tolerant. Deer and Rabbit Resistant.
In the mint family, Agastache is a long blooming summer perennial. Tall, upright spikes of purple flowers fill a perennial bed from midsummer onward with vibrant colour that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. As a native plant, it is very disease resistant and drought tolerant once established. The foliage has a pleasant scent of licorice when bruised. A spreading perennial, Agastache varieties range from 1 to 3 feet tall.
Common Names – Bugleweed, Carpet Bugleweed
Part Sun to Full Shade. Deer and Rabbit Resistant.
A low growing groundcover, great for places growing grass is a challenge. Ajuga blooms are born in short spikes of bluish purple, appearing mid to late spring, and sometimes again in autumn. The foliage is semi-evergreen, forming a low, dense mat of attractive colours and textures. Though the flowers are stunning in spring, especially planted en mass, the low maintenance, year round foliage is its primary feature. Most varieties have purplish to bronze tinted foliage, while some, like ‘Burgundy Glow’, come in shades of green, white and purple. A low growing, mat forming perennial, Ajuga ranges from 3” to 6” high.
Common Names – Hollyhock
A cottage garden classic, Alcea are true stunners in the garden. Blooming mid to late summer, they come in a wide range of colours, double and single blossoms, on tall stalks. Flowers are large and showy, attracting butterflies to your yard. Growing up to 5 feet tall, they can be easily grown against a fence or wall for added support, or staked if grown in a windy site.
Common Names – Lady’s Mantle
Partial Shade. Deer and Rabbit Resistant.
Alchemilla is a slow spreading, clump forming ground cover, excellent for partial shade. It has soft, fuzzy green leaves that gather dew in the morning for an enchanting start to the day. It blooms from late spring to early summer with masses of dainty, yellow green, star shaped flowers. It tolerates poor soils, attracting butterflies along the way. At only 15″ tall, Alchemilla makes an excellent filler, softening a formal garden or rambling in a cottage landscape.
Common Names – Blue Star.
Full Sun to Partial Shade. Deer resistant.
Blooming from late spring to early summer, Amsonia is a graceful addition to the garden. Flower buds begin a blueish-purple, opening up to a paler, icy shade of periwinkle. Bright green foliage occurs in well behaved clumps, offering bright gold shades for autumn interest. Once established, Amsonia is low maintanence and largely pest free. They prefer slightly moister soils, but thrive so long as they are not subjected to prolonged drought. Amsonia reach 12″ to 16″ high.
Common Names – Columbine
Full Sun to Part Shade. Deer and Rabbit Resistant.
With so many colours to choose from (white, pink, red, yellow, blue, purple), it’s no wonder these are a classic favorite. Aquilegia bloom from mid spring to early summer, with different varieties have slightly staggered bloom times. Unique, nodding flowers rise above bright, attractive foliage and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. These compact perennials are ideal for wildflower beds, as well as more formal plantings. Varieties range from as small as 6” up to 18” tall.
Common Names – Common thrift, Sea thrift.
Full Sun to Part Shade.
Native to North American coasts, Armeria is a sweet, well behaved perennial. Small pom-pom flowers in pinks, whites and red hover above blade-like, grassy foliage in neat little clumps. Blooming from mid spring to early summer, dead-heading spent flowers can prolong your bloom time. Armeria are tolerant of salt, and can be planted in tough locations many other plants will not thrive in. They are ideal for next to roads and sidewalks or in rock gardens. Armeria rarely grow more than 6″ to 8″ tall.
Common Names – Astilbe, False Spirea
Full Sun to Full Shade. Deer and Rabbit Resistant.
Astilbe are tough, beautiful, long flowering summer perennials that prefer a moist location, regardless of sun. Though they will grow just about anywhere that isn’t too dry, they flower best in partial sun. A versatile and varied group of plants, each variety blooms at staggered times, making it easy to have flowers all summer long. With little to no special care needed, Astilbe offer masses of flowers with little fuss. Varieties range in colours, including white, pink, red, purple and salmon, flowering in airy spikes above dark, glossy foliage. They also range in size, with dwarf varieties like ‘Sprite’ as small as 8”-12” tall, while others can have blossoms up to three feet tall. Most common varieties, however, range from 18” to 24” tall. This clump forming perennial is easy to care for and well behaved in the garden.