Monday, February 4, 2013

Top Perennials Part 3 (of many)

The next two flowers I'd like to present constitute good "fillers". Neither one is exceptional by itself but within a border, they both add an interesting element and blend well with the showy ones.

Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata) is a tall plant, growing 2-3 feet tall. Its flowers grow in elegant flowering spikes. It's great in a perennial border or beside a water feature.
It is in no way related to Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, an invasive plant that everyone attempted to eradicate in the 90's.

I have 2 areas where Yellow Loosestrife has spread nicely. Above you see it with red Serviceberries but I also like it with the annual bright red Maltese Cross (Lychnis chalcedonica)

Yellow Loosestrife is best left in the border. I have tried cutting it for bouquets but is short lived, lasting only a day or two.

Ladies Mantle Alchemilla mollis is more chartreuse than yellow. Its flowers are quite insignificant but the plant grows into huge large mounds (2 - 2 1/2') with wonderful fuzzy cupped leaves that hold water droplets after a rain.

It blends will into foreground or background and makes plants beside it look fabulous.

If you have never tried either of these plants, please do. I hope you won't be disappointed. Both are very low maintenance and tolerated last summer's heat and drought very well.


Nadezda said...

Ladies Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) is my favorite plant too, Astrid! I grow it near my pond and it's nice to see the leaves reflection in water. Only I cut the flowers, I don't like them.

Alistair said...

Astrid - Such a beautiful picture of the Alchemilla and Hosta. Although I see by searching that the Yellow Lysimachia is also commonly known as Loosestrife, I was not aware of this.

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
I like the flowers when they are fresh and newly bloomed but they turn brown later. That's when I have to cut them off and that's a big job. So in that respect, A. mollis is not low maintenance.

Hi Alistair
There's purple loosestrife - that's the really bad invasive one near water. But within the Lysimachia family there's also L. clethroides which is known as Gooseneck Loosestrife and L. nummelaria (Creeping Jenny). Both are spreaders but Jenny is a nice ground cover. I will feature it later.

HELENE said...

I use to have Lysimachia punctata, a variegated one called 'Alexander', thought it was a bit fun to have since my son is called Alexander! But the plant didn't like the location I gave it, too shady I think, so after a few years it was not looking very nice and went in the compost bin.

Those dark red coleous of yours look fantastic! Do they have a name?

Love these posts of yours, great to get an update on plants, always new ideas to get :-)

Jennifer said...

Hi Astrid, I got your message about the deleted comment. I understand completely that it was removed by accident and certainly take no offence. I have Lady's Mantle in a few locations. I find it resents deep shade, but does very well in part shade. I inherited a small patch of Yellow Loosestrife from the gardener who lived here previous to us, but it got crowded out by things I added when we moved in. I really must replace it! Yellow Loosestrife is such a happy looking flower.

Astrid said...

Hi Helene
Thanks! I have learned a lot about different plants from your blog too. That's what makes this blogging experience so much fun. I have seen the 'Alexander' and it's really quite interesting. Maybe I should add that to my garden.

Hi Jennifer
Both areas that I have L. punctata get quite a bit of sun. And yes, they are a "happy" plant, now that you mention it. I guess because the yellow is so sunny.

Astrid said...

I forgot to answer your question. The 2 coleus I had in the front were Colorblaze Kingswood Torch (red one) and Colorblaze Lifelime (lime green one).

Stiletto said...

I'm so impressed with your garden. It's so lush and soothing to the eyes. You must have wonderful green fingers!

Astrid said...

Welcome Stiletto! Glad you enjoyed my garden. Your website is great. So is the corresponding food blog. I may try out a few of your Malaysian recipes.