Best Landscape Flowers for Tennessee – Family Plot
Best Landscape Flowers for Tennessee – Family Plot

All right, so let’s talk about best plants
for Tennessee. What did I plant for sure? It’s common but an adorable plant, I’m just
gonna start with spring, that seems logical, is our little moss phlox, I love the little
Phlox subulatas, they just do great ground covers, they also serve as a winter interest
because they’re evergreen. They’re highly durable, you can get a range
of colors of different kinds of pinks and blues and purples, even whites, if you decide
that some of the pinks might clash with your coral azaleas. Also I gotta have that, I’ve gotten a little
crazy over columbines, which to me, were not a huge favorite to begin with, they look delicate,
but they’re really not. They’re tough and durable and they reseed
generously and I love that fact. I really fell in love with one at work called
woodside variegated, and it came to us as a golden green variegation with cobalt blue
flowers. And as it reseeds into our mulch, it comes
back both gold, green, and variegated, it’s become now where it’s mostly gold but it still
has the cobalt blue flowers. So I took some of the seeds home and shook
’em around my little woodland area, and this was the first year that they really bloomed
prolifically, and I’m spreadin’ ’em around to other parts of the garden. And our native columbine, which I adore. Because the hummingbirds love it as well,
and they are very, very tough plants. So that spring ephemeral kind of disappears
as it gets hot, so you’re gonna have to go, well then I like to go into successional gardening,
later phlox would be woodland phlox, which can be used in sun or shade, and will give
you a good bloom season to take you on into the hotter days of summer. Course there’s tons of selections for summer. I’m a big fan of the coneflowers and I love
some of the newer ones that have come out. The PowWow Wildberries have been very good. I know, PowWow, kinda stretch your mouth when
you say it. It’s a hard one to forget. They’ve been really good because some of the
new colors, even though they’re exciting, have not been very durable perennials for
us. That’s a very friendly one for wildlife and
those of us who care about the pollinators, of course, are gonna add those. And everybody knows about the Rudbeckia foliage,
you know, the black-eyed susan, there’s a bunch of other good Rudbeckias, the hirtas
are often just annuals, they’ll reseed generously, but why wouldn’t one go get a pack of seeds
of Rudbeckia hirtas, also called gloriosa daisy. The trilobas, there’s a bunch of other Rudbeckias
that I think are valuable additions. I have a big place, not necessarily my house,
got a modest little home, but a big landscape and a lot of acreage, whereas a lot of people
like little plants, I like big, bold plants, I want big impact, lotta bang for the buck. So having been a fan of the tropical look
all my life, I’m going for the Cannas and the elephant ears that have proven to be more
perennial for me. So I have to have Bengal Tiger, that’s my
favorite Canna, with that gorgeous golden striped foliage, ’cause even when it’s not
in bloom it’s so beautiful. And Tropicanna as well has a beautiful foliage. Both have orange blooms, Tropicanna tends
to get a little faded lookin’ later in the summer. And I like to mingle those with the elephant
ears. And the elephant ear that I have found to
be very durable, almost aggressive, is one called Illustris. And Illustris has the black leaf, and most
of the black leaf forms are not perennial, but Illustris has a black leaf with a strong
green vein. It’s not gonna get quite as big and lush as
some of them, but it spreads nicely for me and so I can move it around and put it in
different parts of the garden. And just one more, it’s not a perennial, but
I always grow it every year from seed, would be the castorbean plant, a lot of people are
worried about that, ’cause it does have a poisonous bean. So be aware of that if you’ve got kids or
critters that might eat the poisonous beans, but the big, red form, Carmen or– – Is it stay red all summer? – [Carol] Yes. – The fruit’s kinda interesting with the kinda
spiky, and you probably wouldn’t have moles around it, I guess. – That was the old theory, my grandaddy grew
’em and called ’em mole-killer bushes. – You think it plays out? – I don’t think so, in fact, I don’t even
think the beans are quite as poisonous as rumored to be, from research. You really have to eat a good number of them
to be killed. Used to be you thought if you ate one you
were– – Right. – The Ricillinic acid, I think’s the toxin. – Right, right. But anyway, just want to throw that out there
for people to be cautious, but gosh, again, so much bang for the buck from a few seeds. Getting into fall, I’m really getting into
the asters, asters and the goldenrods that aren’t terribly invasive. Again, that extends the plants for the pollinators,
a lot of those butterflies that are migrating north through that time, excuse me, they’re
migrating south in the fall, and people think of monarchs, but the sulfurs also migrate,
a lot of the salvias that are late blooming, goodness, how did I leave out salvia for summer? I’m a huge salviaphile, love them. And a lot of them show off well in the fall,
like Mexican Bush Sage. And I love the combination of the old Mexican
Bush Sage with the old Autumn Joy Sedum. I know that’s kind of an old plant and there’s
newer colors and exciting foliage, but the Autumn Joy, I love that color, they’re very
sturdy, and I leave them up through the winter, which we’re getting into for winter interest,
with a little cap of snow on them they look really good. So evergreen perennials for winter interest
would include the Sweet Flag, it’s kind of a grassy. I love any of the sedges, evergold, everillo,
is particularly spectacular, a solid gold sedge. And the Hellebores which have become commonplace
and easy to find now, are both evergreen and winter bloomers. So that wraps us back around towards spring,
and who doesn’t love a few daffodils? I don’t like to overdo them because you gotta
look at that foliage for so long, so I do mingle them with the other plants as well
so I can hide the ugly foliage. – You can put ’em in the back of the bed or
back of the yard. – That’s right. And they do well in the woodland setting,
which finally, I do have a shade garden established. Which leads me back to one that’s not as common,
and that is, I forgot to mention, the Japanese anemone, which is a really easy to grow shade
lover that looks very delicate, it looks like a beautiful pink or white poppy in the woodland
landscape. I’m going back again, I meant to mention,
and I know you love natives, the Spigelia, the Spigelia marilandica, sometimes called
Indian pink, I don’t like that name ’cause there’s a lot of other plants called Indian
pink, and Spigelia’s fun and pretty to say. Used to be hard to find, you can find Spigelia
pretty readily now in the landscape.

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