by Ruth Clausen( May 31, 2011)
Perennials Part 2
LADY’S MANTLE (Alchemilla mollis) This plant has a softly hairy scalloped leaf which looks good all season.The hairy leaves deter the deer.Lady’s Mantle thrives in part sun or light shade and tolerate heat if kept moist.It enhances plants like grape hyacinths, daffodils and other deer resistant spring bulbs. The sprays of yellowish green flowers are good fillers for garden arrangements and can also be used later for dried arrangements.
LENTEN ROSE(Helleborus orientalis) Part of the popularity of this plant is due to its deer resistance but also because of its enchanting early blooms which make long lasting cut flowers.The flowers are cup shaped in white, pink or purple.It is great with spring bulbs like narcissus, snowdrops and the white Mt. Hood daffodil. Plant helleborus in light shade about 15-18 inches apart in humus rich, slightly acid soil and keep well watered.The plants bulk up but do not spread.They are greedy feeders so in the fall mulch with decomposed leaves or compost.
LONGSPUR BARRENWORT(Epimedium grandiflorum) Barrenwort or Bishops hat was used medicinally and contain some anthocyanins as the related berberis have so the deer do not touch it.They do best in acid humus rich soil in shaded woodlands but theycan be colonized under the shade of deciduous trees and shrubs..It only grows 8-15 inches high.
PEONY (paeonia officinalis) These plants are very tough and easy to grow when given full sun and lots of moisture retaining organic material. The cultivars abound in all colors except blue and have different bloom time flower shapes and sizes. Plant the crowns 2-3 feet apart and no more than 2 inches below the soil surface since deep planting inhibits blooming. They are usually planted bare- root in the fall.
SIBERIAN BUGLOSS (Brunnera macrophylla) This plant also known as perennial forget me not comes from Siberia and is perfect for gardens exposed to cold winters It has airy sprays of blue forget me not flowers which fade in the summer and then the heart shaped emerald leaves become 6-8- wide and thrive in light shade with moist soils. It grows to 1-2 feet tall and as wide. The deer do not like its rough texture.
YARROW (Achillea millefolium) Yarrow has many cultivars with butterfly attracting flowers in shades of pink. crimson ,lilac, orange, yellow, and red. Deer find the acrid aroma of the foliage distasteful. Yarrow does best in poor soil with good drainage. ( spreads)
SWEET BOX (Sarcococca hookeriana humilis) Native to China this evergreen shrub thrives in the shade. Low growing about 1-2 feet high, it has dark green narrow pointed leaves with tiny fragrant white flowers in the spring followed by glossy blue-black fruit. It is an easy care plant that spreads by underground runners to 8 feet or more.
By Mary Ann Wallace and Gena Goddard