Late Summer Perennials at the Old
By Carl Wilson, Extension Horticulturist, Denver County
The Old Stone House is an open space gem. Located in Southwest Denver, the cottage boasts
a small lawn and several large perennial borders. Beyond are grassland, ponds and Bear
An August visit to the perennial gardens debunks the myth that perennial flowers are
May-June wonders. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated plantsmen and women, the selection of
perennials available today assures gardeners of bloom throughout the growing season. This
is not to say that annual flowers dont have a place. They do. Many new annuals such
as Callibrachoa, Bacopa, Ipomea, Evolvulus and Helichryssum are
appearing at garden centers to add to the diet of petunias and geraniums gardeners have
enjoyed for years.
Among the new perennials for western gardens planted at Old Stone House, the Agastache
(hyssop) and Penstemon (beardstongue) stand out. Stone House features several of
the best including Agastache aurantiaca Coronado and Penstemon
Red Rocks and P. Pikes Peak Purple. The gardens are
anchored by the summer standbys: Echinacea (purple coneflower), Rudbeckia
(black eyed susan) and Centranthus (Jupiters beard). Also of interest are
the various Verbascum (mullein), Malva (mallow), Amorpha
(leadplant), Gaura (Whirling butterflies), Achillea (yarrow), Solidago
(goldenrod) and Knautia.
The ornamental grasses are also coming into their prime including Calamogrostis
(feather reed grass), Miscanthus (maiden grass), Erianthus (ravenna
grass) and the steely blue Panicum virgatum Heavy Metal
Due to the diligence of Chris and other Lakewood Parks personnel, the quality of
maintenance for this public garden is high. Timely deadheading has brought about rebloom
of the Delphinium, Salvia x sylvestris and Veronica spicata
Goodness Grows. Promises of next years renewal of the north shade bed
will be watched with interest.
I invite you to take a photo tour of the summer gardens at Stone House. Then, consider
trying some of these plants in your own garden.
Just click on the sign below to take the photo tour.
Confused about when to divide your perennials? See: The
Timing of Dividing Perennials
Interested in learning more about perennials? See: References
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