Perennial Flowers and Plants to Make Any Yard Beautiful

Perennial Flowers and Plants to Make Any Yard Beautiful

Before you get to planting, it is important to understand what perennials even are. These flowers live for more than two years. Most bloom each spring and summer, die in the autumn and winter, and return in the spring (though there are some exceptions). And of course, just because you want a lush-looking garden come summer does not mean perennials are the way to go: The classic daylily, for instance, only blooms for one day.

Perennials are an excellent idea for just about any beginning gardener to become familiar with (they are also great for some types of vertical gardens).

Evergold

This more compact yellow striped ornamental grass does not turn brown in the winter. It’s a great choice for year-round color or using as a spiky texture contrast for round flowers, and is also short enough to use in the front of a bed.

Zones 5-8; partial shade; blooms in May

Hosta

Hosta could be an ideal choice for a small garden or even a container garden, particularly if you choose a more compact or dwarf variety (consider hosta “Mouse Ears,” for instance). Alternatively, you can use these flowers for big, splashy summer displays that will come back year after year.

Zones 3-9; needs minimal sun; blooms summer to fall

Hellebores

These winter-blooming perennials thrive even in dry shade, and they are both deer and slug resistant. New varieties come in a rainbow of beautiful colors. Some even have double flowers that look more like roses than hellebores.

Zones 6-9; partial shade ideal; blooms between December and April

Lavender

Drought-resistant lavender will be the star of your bed! Hotter summers and less rain mean these are a great plant to consider for any garden. There is even a new variety of lavender called “Platinum Blonde” that features fun yellow stripes in the foliage.

Zones 5-9; full sun; blooms late spring to early summer

Aster

While most perennials will bloom during the summer months, these will add beauty to your yard throughout the fall. You can find them in a variety of hues to add just the right pop of color to your garden.

Zones 3-8; full sun; blooms mid-summer to fall

Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea)

Native to North America, these classic flowers will produce beautiful blooms starting in early June and lasting until the first frost in your area. You will love the variety of other colors they come in, in addition to their durability and longevity.

Zones 3-8; full sun/partial shade; blooms summer

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Nicknamed the “sure bet” and “perfect perennial,” these colorful flowers are perfect for beginners because they can survive through almost anything and require little maintenance. While the buds will only bloom for one day, each stem typically grows several blooms that will flourish at different times.

Zones 2-9; full sun/partial shade; blooms early- to mid-summer

Delphinium

Grow these blue and purple blooms in your yard and you will see them soar to new heights every year. Once they have bloomed, cut them and bring inside to display in a vase, and you’ll see new petals in no time.

Zones 3-9; full sun; blooms early- to mid-summer

Hydrangea

These colorful perennial shrubs will grow back fuller and larger each year, so be sure to plant them in an area with plenty of space to flourish and grow.

Zones 5-9; partial shade/full shade; blooms mid-summer to fall

Peony

These stunning flowers are incredibly fragrant, full, and fluffy. They can last for decades in the right conditions. While pink tends to be the most popular, white, lavender, and coral hues are just as gorgeous.

Zones 3-8; full sun; blooms spring to early summer

Phlox

If a statement is what you are after, opt for these summer flowers, which come in bold shades of pink, purple, red, and crisp white.

Zones 4-8; full sun; blooms early summer to fall

Sedum

These autumnal beauties are easy to grow, don’t require much maintenance, and are drought resistant making them a durable and long-lasting addition to your landscape.

Zones 3-9; full sun; blooms mid-summer to early fall

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum)

These cute flowers bloom in early spring, but if you cut them back in time, you can expect more blooms to crop up in early autumn. (The marguerite daisy—or “Paris daisy”—is another option.)

Zones 3-8; full sun/partial shade; blooms summer

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

If you need to fill up a space fast, yarrow will help your garden or yard feel full rather quickly. And since they come in so many different colors—pink, red, yellow, white, purple, peach, and orange—you can choose the best shades to complement your home’s palette.

Zones 3-8; full sun; blooms summer

Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)

Also known as White Wings, this plant’s silver-spotted leaves create a distinct foundation for bell-shaped white flowers that reach heights of up to a foot.

Zones 3-9; partial shade; blooms early- to mid-spring

Speedwell (Veronica umbrosa)

Just six or so inches tall, this diminutive variety also known as Georgia Blue boasts loose clusters of electric blue blooms that last until summer.

Zones 4-9; full sun; blooms early- to mid-spring

Pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus)

The itty-bitty pink blossoms on this low-growing plant emit a delightful clove scent.

Zones 3-9; full sun; blooms late spring to early summer

Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum)

This 12- to 18-inch-tall geranium also known as Alpenglow produces magenta flowers and velvety foliage that turns crimson in fall.

Zones 4-8; partial shade; blooms late spring to early summer

 

 

 

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Annual Flowers to Plant In Your Yard

Annual Flowers to Plant In Your Yard

Annual Flowers to Plant In Your Yard

While the best perennial flowers and plants last more than two years, they tend to be more expensive than annuals, which only last a single season.  Annual Flowers are often relatively inexpensive, that will make it all the more fun to try new varieties whether those that need full sun, part sun, or part shade—that will flourish with pretty petals all spring, summer, or fall.

Angelonia
These heat- and drought-tolerant flowers are perfect for gardeners down south. Even the hottest, sunniest days won’t ruin these beauties. In warmer regions, they will continue to flourish through the fall.
Full sun; blooms summer

Begonia
These dainty flowers, which bloom in shades of white, pink, and red, require very little maintenance and upkeep (no deadheading or pruning required!). When fall arrives, you can move them indoors or dig up their tubers to reuse for the following year.
Full sun/partial shade/full shade; blooms summer

Celosia
These colorful beauties come in a variety of shapes (brains, fans, and plumes) and a range of colors (pink, red, orange, and yellow). Plus, they grow fast and are incredibly easy to care for.
Full sun; blooms summer

Chrysanthemum
If you’re looking to add some fresh blooms to your fall landscape, chrysanthemums (or simply, mums) are a must-have. Pick them up at your local nursery and add them to planters, or grow them from seeds starting in the spring.
Full sun; blooms late summer/fall

Cosmos
These cute and feminine flowers grow taller the more you cut them (and faster, too), meaning you’ll have pretty petals (in shades of pink, white, or purple) in your garden all summer long.
Full sun; blooms summer

Dahlias
These stunning flowers will make your garden beds look oh-so-lush. From honeycomb-like shapes to fluffy peony-esque varieties, there are endless options. They’re incredibly easy to grow and with proper care, you can dig up and reuse the tubers year after year.
Full sun; blooms summer

Geraniums
Dress up your walkway, porch, or front yard with these perky and petite blooms. Once grown or potted, these fuss-free flowers will flourish for months.
Full sun/partial shade; blooms spring/summer

Impatiens
These small flowers with soft and delicate petals are ideal for darker areas of your yard that aren’t suitable for plants or flowers that need lots of sun. Plant them in your favorite shady spot, and you’ll have beautiful blooms to enjoy all summer.
Partial shade/full shade; blooms summer

Larkspur
This blue and purple petaled plant is easy to care for and ideal for colder climates. Plant them in the fall (their seeds can survive freezes) and you’ll have beautiful blooms to enjoy all spring.
Full sun/partial sun; blooms spring/early summer

Marigold
Looking to get a lot of bang for your buck? These fast-growing, vibrant orange and yellow flowers produce a hardy amount of blooms each summer. You can expect around 15+ flowers per plant.
Full sun; blooms summer

Pansies
If you’re after bold color, frost-resistant pansies are the way to go. You can find them in almost every color of the rainbow (and several multi-color options). And since they can tolerate frost, they’re the perfect bloom for your garden come early spring.
Full sun/partial shade; blooms spring

Petunias
You can’t go wrong with these fuss-free flowers that are perfect for containers, pots, window boxes, hanging baskets, and garden beds. You can find them in pretty pinks, reds, whites, yellows, and purples.
Full sun; blooms spring/summer/fall

Ranunculuses
You’ll want to prep and plant these fragrant flowers in the fall for the best blooms come spring. While you can use the tubers year after year, they tend to grow best with fresh corms each year. These colorful flowers (think pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, and whites) will look stunning as part of your landscape or cut and arranged in vases.
Full sun; blooms spring

Snapdragons
Easily add height, dimension, and bold color to your garden with these tall, easy-to-grow flowers.
Full sun, blooms summer

Sunflowers
While you can opt to grow sunflowers in their classic golden hue, you can also find other varieties in shades of red, white, orange, and even pink. These tall flowers can grow several feet high, so you may need to stake them to give them the proper support they need to flourish.
Full sun; blooms summer/early fall

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© 2020 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Difference Between Annuals and Perennials

Difference Between Annuals and Perennials

Spring is HERE and it’s time to start making your yard beautiful!  If you are a novice, or just need a quick reminder we thought perhaps we could offer some information on the difference between Annuals and Perennials plantings.

Annuals: Plants that flower and die in one season are annuals although some drop seeds that grow new plants in the spring. Annuals typically bloom all season until frost, so you get consistent color and showy blooms. These plants can go in the ground any time, even in midsummer, to refresh your beds.

Perennials: Perennials, come back for many seasons. While the top portion of a perennial dies back in winter, new growth appears the following spring from the same root system. Most perennials have less flashy flowers and bloom for a shorter period, usually two to six weeks. Perennials do best when planted in fall or spring, no later than six weeks before the ground freezes (about mid-November for most of the country).

Mix it up. A variety of plant types not only adds long-lasting beauty and bloom times, but also provides habitat for many different pollinators and other garden visitors.

Give them some help getting established. Water all plants deeply after planting, especially during dry spells. Mulch to preserve moisture and keep down weeds, which compete for water and nutrients. Feed with a slow-release general purpose fertilizer. Follow the label, and do not go overboard. Too much fertilizer can cause weak growth that is susceptible to pests and diseases.

Pick the right spot. Read the plant label before deciding where you are putting your new plants. In general, full sun is considered six to eight hours per day. Part shade means roughly three to six hours of sun. Full shade is about three to four hours a day. Do not try to cheat. While some plants tolerate less-than-ideal conditions, it does not make sense to set your plants up for failure.

Be patient. Most perennials are not going to “wow” you the first season. “Crawl, walk, run” often is the phrase you will hear about perennials. They seem to poke along the first year and then grow a little more convincingly the second, finally taking off in the third growing season.

Some perennials need to be divided every three to five years. If they get too big for the space, have a lackluster bloom, or stop flowering in the center of the clump, dig a chunk off the edge and replant elsewhere in your garden. Try to do it in early spring, but do not panic if you must divide them later in the season. Most perennials are tougher than you think.

 

 

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815.786.6654 Fax

 

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© 2020 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

Outdoor Lighting Solutions

Outdoor Lighting Solutions

 

Define the Purpose for Landscape Lighting
When considering adding landscape lighting think about what your purposes are for wanting illumination in your backyard. Perhaps you want to set a soft, romantic mood during the evening hours. Maybe you have a bench or a shadowy garden corner you need to illuminate for security reasons. A path leading through the garden may require landscape lighting to mark its boundaries. You might want to highlight some features of your backyard like a water fountain or pond.

Decide Where Landscape Lighting Should Go
Match the reason for lighting to specific locations in your backyard. You may want to illuminate a bench along the path with a pole-type lamp placed behind it. A soft mood can be achieved by hiding landscape lighting under shrubs. A path may require a series of short stake lights along its border on one side or on both sides. A water fountain can be enhanced with a spotlight, and a pond can have soft lighting around its perimeter.

Set Up the Lighting
If you wish to highlight a single item in your garden like a statue, gazing ball or fountain, you should consider using a few landscape lighting fixtures with lower intensity bulbs. Place these at various angles and distances. A single bright light shining directly on the object will create harsh shadows. Landscape lights that make soft spots of light are good for garden paths. Space the lights at equal distances along the path you want illuminated. Blue tinted lights allow for a moonlight-type mood in your garden landscape.
Since many people work or play till long after the sun goes down, they often don’t have time to enjoy their backyard until the evening hours. Add outdoor lighting, and your garden is immediately transformed into usable space. Good lighting can bring Zen-like qualities to any setting. You can rediscover the perimeter of your property, make it fun to entertain and highlight points of interest, such as sculptures or fountains.

If you have questions, give us a call at 815.786.7647

 

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© 2020 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Who doesn’t LIKE butterflies?  Many butterflies live only a week or two, so help them make the most of their days. Plants with large, single daisy-type blossoms, such as black-eyed Susans and Mexican sunflowers, let butterflies gather nectar in one spot, which saves them time and energy.

Turn your backyard into a flying circus with annuals and perennials that butterflies can’t resist. Butterflies zero in on large beds. A hummingbird stops by for sugar water. Butterflies need liquid, too, so provide a shallow dish of wet sand where they can get salt and nutrients not found in nectar.

Keep an eye out for butterflies-to-be. Chrysalides (pupa stage, enclosed in a cocoon, before turning into a butterfly or moth) hide on outdoor structures, pots and chairs. And be prudent with pesticides. Many products kill all kinds of caterpillars, destructive or not.

Butterfly gardens attract the birds and bees, too.  Most gardeners have realized these winged beauties not only play an important role in pollinating other plants, but they are fun to watch and attract! It is also incredibly peaceful and enjoyable to sit in the garden and watch vibrantly colored butterflies flutter around.

These vibrant flowers and plants provide nectar for butterflies and create a bold border for your yard. (source).

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Butterfly bushes (Buddleia or Buddleja) are large, fast-growing shrubs whose flowers are irresistible to butterflies. Buddleias are easy-care plants, but they’re invasive in some areas. Look for sterile cultivars which don’t set seed and therefore don’t run wild.

Phlox
Phlox is a low-growing, spreading plant that forms a blanket of blooms all summer. Perennial varieties are great for a year-round groundcover.
Coneflower (Echinacea)
Coneflower is one of the best flowers for attracting butterflies. It adds a flashy touch of color to the late summer landscape. Plant echinacea among a low growing perennial bed where showy flowers will stand above the rest.

Lantana
Lantana produces profuse color, showing off clusters of tiny, eye-catching blooms in a variety of hues. Typically grown as an annual, it’s an excellent low hedge or accent shrub that you can also train as a standard. It attracts butterflies and tolerates heat.

Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii)
Blue star is a perennial that can reach two to three feet in height. It gets its name after its blue, star-shaped blooms that open up in spring.Use in masses or as a specimen plant, or in a mixed perennial border in the middle to back of the border or in a rock garden. Blue star performs best in partial shade in a moist, loamy, well-drained soil, and also tolerates full sun if provided with enough moisture.

Pot Marigolds
Pot marigolds’ blooms last up to eight weeks in the summer and are a quick-to-grow plan

Black-Eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan is one of the great wildflowers of North America and was one of the first to become a domesticated garden flower. Its showy golden yellow flower head with black centers are a visual delight.

Blazing Star Flowers (Liatris spicata)
The blazing star is an interesting perennial which produces 1 to 3 foot-tall spikes of bright purplish-pink or white flowers in late June to early fall. It is an ideal plant to grow in a butterfly garden.

Heliotrope
Heliotrope has a sweet, pungent scent that some liken to the smell of cherry pie. ‘Dwarf Marine’ features a royal purple color. It is large flowered yet compact and has attractive, dark green foliage and a bushy habit.

Lavender
Lavender is a perennial favorite for gardeners and butterflies alike, producing tall, fragrant spikes of purple blooms. Hailing from the Mediterranean, it’s drought-resistant and can take the heat.

Swamp Milkweed
The only food source of Monarch caterpillars and a preferred source of nectar for many butterfly species, including the adult Monarch, there are over 100 varieties of milkweeds in North America. Hardy Swamp Milkweed, shown here, is a good choice for Zones 3-8 but prefers moist conditions till well established.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
A type of milkweed, drought-tolerant butterfly weed isn’t picky about growing conditions. Give it a sunny spot, and you’ll be on your way to a flowery summer. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators can’t resist these bright orange blooms. This perennial pushes through soil in late spring, well after other plants are up and at ‘em. It’s a good idea to mark clumps with a stake to avoid early season digging in that spot. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Flossflower (Ageratum)
Flossflower is an annual that is a member of the aster family. The plants grow easily from seed and with enough water and a little shade, will bloom from midsummer to frost.

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus)
This delightful cosmos boasts dark maroon flowers that—as you might guess—are chocolate-scented.

Agapanthus
Agapanthus comes to life in late summer. It features large, elegant, deep blue bell-shaped blooms that are clustered together on tall, sturdy stems. These showy flower heads stand well above the plant’s foliage.

Aster
Aster is an herbaceous perennial that comes in a wide variety of colors. Its daisy-like flowers bloom in late summer and autumn in a sunny site.

Salvia
Salvia produces fragrant foliage and tall spikes of flowers, usually in shades of purple or white. Its nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Sea Holly (Eryngium tripartitum)
Sea holly has blue green stems with masses of small, metallic blue flower heads on tall, 4-foot stems. Sea holly is a delight to butterflies a tough plant that is very tolerant of drought.

Hollyhocks
Hollyhocks a favorite for cottage gardens because of their loose, carefree look and beautiful, large blooms that attract bees and butterflies.

Sunflowers
Cheerful, colorful sunflowers attract both bees and butterflies to the garden.

Sedum
Sedum has thick, succulent leaves that withstand drought and rainy weather. The flower buds form early and remain attractive well into winter. Low-growing types are perfect for rock gardens, while taller varieties thrive in perennial borders.

Goldenrod
Goldenrod is a perennial with bright yellow flowers that add color to a late summer garden.

Local Spots to find Butterfly Gardens:

Butterfly Garden:  E 9th St & S Washington St, Lockport, IL 60441

Peck Butterfly House – 4038 Kaneville Rd, Geneva, IL 60134

The NENA Butterfly Garden – 166 Ann St, Elgin, IL 60120

Chicago Botanic Garden – 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022

Lyman Woods Nature Center – 901 31st Street Downers Grove, IL 60515

North Park Village Nature Center – 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago, IL 60646

Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

Powderhorn Marsh and Prairie – Burnham, IL 60633

Montrose Point – Lincoln Park

Rainbow Beach – 3111 East 77th St. Chicago, IL 60649

 

Sources: 

https://www.midwestliving.com/garden/ideas/how-to-attract-butterflies-to-your-garden/

https://news.wttw.com/2019/06/11/10-prime-spots-see-butterflies-chicago

Aztech Transparent logo

885 Piper Way 

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

 

unilock logo

icpi logo

 

© 2020 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions