Perennial Favorites

I've fallen hard for annuals and am learning as much as I can about nurturing and growing them within our New Hampshire season. There is definitely something magical about witnessing the transformation of tiny seeds to bountiful plants in just a few months.

But, perennials have always had my heart. When I as growing up, my parents had some hearty miniature pink rose bushes in our backyard, and there was a little perennial garden that my mom tended lovingly when she could carve out time. I remember the lavender bush and lots of other little plants. They were like small treasures, with all different kinds of textures, and I knew we could count on enjoying them year after year.

Bouquet of perennials from the 2016 growing season

Mom was also captivated by so many beautiful, seasonal self-seeding wildflowers. I remember the rolls of film she'd take on family vacations of flowers wherever we were. And there were drawings, too. Sometimes she made really sweet drawings of wildflowers she admired like columbine or Indian paintbrush in Montana. 

This fall, we spent some time making room for new perennials and hybrids of native flowers to the farm. Because we need dedicated annual growing space that can be tilled and turned over often, we're tucking those plants into little nooks around the barn and house and into separate garden beds where we won't be tempted to disturb them. 

There were a few things we looked for when picking out this year's additions.

1. Flowers with long stems. 

2. Highly productive, "cut and come again varieties."

3. Drought-tolerant plants.

4. Self-seeding flowers that propagate themselves. 

5. Full or part-shade loving plants that could thrive where most annuals couldn't. 

Here are some favorite types and their strengths for planning purposes. 

For the next growing season, we're excited to welcome these new plants to the farm, among others. These, and many other varieties, are available from Swallowtail Garden Seeds (for winter seed starting) and/or Bluestone Perennials (for spring delivery). 

I look forward to sharing our winter seed starting process for both perennials and annuals in the coming months. I hope some of these ideas have been helpful or re-affirming for other new cut flower growers. Are you adding new perennials next season? Which types are on your list?