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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Sunday
May022010

Achillea 'Richard Nelson', a New Pink Perennial 

I cannot remember on which site I first saw an image of this pink perennial. However, as soon as I laid eyes on it I knew that I had to share it with my readers. Pink is such an important color in so many peoples’ flowerbeds that gardeners are always on a hunt for new plants in this color. Some of us believe that there can never be too much pink in our gardens.

What makes the arrival of A. Richard Nelson significant is the fact that Achillea perennials are hardy, reliable, and bloom for a long time. For quite some time now, cultivars of this perennial have been supplying flowerbeds with rich colors that resist fading in strong sunlight. Adding pink to this list of attributes makes Richard Nelson important for the gardener.

This new cultivar is a medium height plant that grows 2 feet tall in sun to mostly sun in Zones 3 to 9. It blooms from summer to early fall in almost any type of well-drained soil. New flower buds appear silver, and then open to wine pink and, with time, age to a pale blush. Such a pleasant color range should add depth from a distance, another desired feature for most gardeners. The plant usually blooms for about 4 weeks and removing spent flowers will strengthen that continuous bloom.

Readers who have grown Achillea already know that this deer-resistant perennial attracts butterflies, and provides excellent fresh cut and dried flowers. The plant is tolerant of drought, wind, humidity, and heat; it is also a spreader and a kneeler that needs room to grow. While the original species Achillea is invasive in the garden and difficult to control, the newer cultivars require less effort to keep them in place. Their spread is managed by digging out new growth surrounding the plant or by removing seedlings that tend to grow close to the parent plant. Lifting it out of the ground and dividing it is another way to keep it neat. Although, neat is not a word one usually associates with this plant. It is lush and floriferous. Some gardeners will partially tie up this plant to control its kneeling as it tries to worship the sun but it is better to leave the plant alone. Even gentle staking will partially squash a few flower stems. This prevents air from circulating around the foliage and some unattractive leaf decay will occur.

Achillea Richard Nelson is a newly introduced perennial. That means that I will not be able to find it locally, here in Canada, for another year. However, it is available online in the USA.

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Reader Comments (6)

I have achilea in my lawn. I don't find that very easy to control. Mint is easier to control. The achilea was in a little bed in first and now, it is "moving" on all my backyard... You have to digg very hard to be sure no "root" is in the ground.
but with the new variety, with the color, it is more beautiful than the white one.

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarie-andree

I have a couple Richard Nelson achillea's in my garden and I just love it. It blooms stay without fading and for a very long time. When I do deadhead it it always gives me few more blooms back.

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLona

I've never ventured beyond the yellow cultivars, but am convinced to try this one now. What a great color!

May 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Rainer

I must be a very talented person - I manage to almost murder my achillea several times....and the idea that it might spread - wouldn't that be nice. This is a great colour - was doing a consult this w/e and my client is in love with pinks - would definitely send her in this direction.

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarbarapc

It's gorgeous! I've only seen white...

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnavar

WOW! These plants are beautiful. I am going to have to get a few for my garden. Love the pink color. Thanks for the info

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia McIntyre

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