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

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Entries in Liatris (2)


A Perennial Garden in Bloom

Here is a long shot of a July flowerbed, in USDA Zone 4b, that flanks the path to my front door. It took many seasons before I got the combination of plants, bloom times, and colors just right. Since then, the bed has remained untouched and has re-bloomed for many years with precise reliability.

Except for Platycodon that requires staking [because it kneels to the sun] all of the plants are very low maintenance. They are neat, upright, grow in clumps and now at maturity require little or no feeding. Also, they are unaffected by current weather patterns that bring bouts of severe heat and drought followed by torrential rains.Their strong root system, developed over many years in my garden, seems to give them the strength to perform reliably as if they were wild flowers, native to this growing zone. Yet, they are actually foreign plants that have adapted well.

Blue Platycodon is seen in the lower left corner of a shot that captures several varieties of Phlox, a lemon-yellow Hemerocalis that might be either Happy returns or Hyperion, Liatris, Rainbow Knock Out Rose in its white phase, and in the distant right, Rose Bonica in its faded July cycle, one month before it begins its richer pink August re-blooming.


Liatris, a Vertical Perennial

Liatris is a very pretty and care free perennial. Lavender pink flowers cover upward spraying stalks 2 feet high from summer until fall, while narrow ribbon foliage grows fountain-like beneath them in neat clumps. This plant tolerates heat, drought, and clay and grows in sun in zones 3 to 9. It demands very little from the gardener and blooms reliably each season without ever looking messy. Insert it anywhere in the flower bed where a dash of lilac-pink is needed. It is quite majestic if grown free standing as a specimen plant. It is also very effective when repeatedly planted several times in one composition. The only optional attention this plant needs is to have the spent stalks cut back after they have finished blooming. Some gardeners prefer to leave the stalks unharvested to create winter interest. This perennial is also available in white and even this color works equally well when planted repeatedly in a flower bed. Liatris adds elegance to every garden. It is surprising how effective such a modest looking plant can be.