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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Illuminate Your Garden with Color

If you garden, you tend to collect plants. One herbaceous perennial that has a special spot in my garden is Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'. This is the first plant I ever purchased at a local garden club plant sale. The common name you may hear folks call it is beardtongue. This hardy (Zone 3) perennial has moved from place to place in my garden, never missing a flowering beat. It is transplanted often to another slope or empty pocket of soil and does not require loads of aftercare. As a matter of fact, this is one plant I can put in a clump of loam and come back a few weeks later to see it flowering. Its burgundy tone leaves make this perennial a must for a cold-climate garden. Plant this low-maintenance perennial in full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil.

Its soft delicate white to blush flower and its stunning foliage make this a favorite in my book. Known for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, it is also quite fetching in a vase of cut flowers. There are many Penstemons to choose from; some less hardy and more dainty than the ‘Husker Red,’ which grows 2-3 feet tall. In the UK, many delicate colors and varieties are used throughout the English borders. In colder climates, these less hardy varieties can be planted as annuals.

If this perennial is already in your garden, then share it with a newbie gardener. As an unknown author once said, “Flowers and butterflies drift in color, illuminating spring.” Share your love for the earth. It is Earth Day and the best way to appreciate its beauty is to draw in nature, illuminating your garden with drifts of color. Give a clump or two away of a favorite flower!
Image of Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' from the Internet
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)