Garden updates: four new perennials in the garden

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[or why I should never buy chicken feed]

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased the chick feed for our flock, to save Chouchou a trip to our local Southern States.  Before I went to buy the feed, though, we had to go in and look at the plant selection – I was looking specifically for phlox.  I explained to Mon Cœur (MC), “We’re going to buy some food for the chicks. First I want to see if they have any phlox.”  

So we went over to the flowers and started looking around.  MC was very much on board with looking for phlox.  While I wandered around looking for the specific flower, MC would bring me various pots of various flowering specimens. And these weren’t tiny little pots, they were the six inch wide, half gallon (ish) pots.  The pride on her face in her smile as she brought each one to me and said, “Mommy, this is phlox!” made me melt.  

Once she brought me a boxwood, and I had to tell her there were no flowers on that one.  She promptly took it back to where she found it.  The others, though, were pretty, perennial, and deer-proof, which are the top three criteria when we are making a purchase.  We want to add beauty (yes, that’s obvious, I know), we want to invest in flowers that will return the following year, and we need flowers that are not attractive to deer. After I grabbed a nearby wagon (um, it was to put Mon Amour, the baby, in – he was getting heavy), MC started filling it up with her choice flowers.

Again…the pride in her face.  Her great big beaming smile.  The, “Mommy, these are beautiful!” as she placed each flower pot in the wagon.  I could not say no.  I justified the purchase based on the criteria – pretty, perennial, and deer proof.  We were also buying local, and I do appreciate the nursery sales woman there.  

We purchased four deer-proof, beautiful perennials: pulmonary, dianthus, columbine and yarrow, and were able to fill in a few more spots in Millie’s garden.

Pulmonaria – “Shrimp on the barbie”

These flowers prefer partial to full shade, and can be used as a cover if planted close together.  Since we are filling in the garden slow and steady, we grabbed three and mirrored them with the azaleas in the central flower bed.  These beauties can grow up to 24 inches wide and 10 inches tall! 

gardenia.net offers information about the “Shrimp on the Barbie” – mature size, how to propagate, and to remove stems immediately after bloom.  The sales associate also informed me about removing the flowers post-bloom, and there is a notable difference in the leaf size for the plants she had cared while at the store.

I am looking forward to watching this plant flower and spread. According to atozflowers.com, pulmonary says, “You are my life,” and represents devotion.

Dianthus – “Romance”

Since we’ve planted this dianthus, it has bloomed non-stop.  They are beautiful for cut flowers, and Mon Cœur even chose a few blooms to cut and prepare a bouquet for Mother’s Day!

The flowers reminded me of a carnation. No surprise as to why – they are carnations!  Oh, the gardening education I am receiving throughout this journey.  I love the color of this particular carnation – it’s a salmon-pink.

I hope that this plant continues to bloom and that as we cut the flowers back, that will continue to encourage more blooms. Pink carnations symbolize gratitude according to ftd.com.

Columbine – “Winky Double Red/White”

I had never heard of this flower before, although I was instantly drawn to it’s clover-like petals and I liked the picture of the flowers that should appear starting late spring. As I researched this flower, I discovered at thespruce.com that the plant is toxic to humans, although the flowers will attract hummingbirds.

This flower reseeds very easily, I’ve heard from friends as well as read online. It will be interesting to see how it establishes its own little area in the garden. I hope that it will spread fairly easily and establish itself in that section of the garden.

According to florgeous.com, Columbine has always been a symbol of love.

Yarrow – Milly Rock™ Rose

Do you ever buy something based on its name? Me, too. I first saw this flower and thought, “Pretty!’ Then I saw the name, and that it

ThePractialHerbalist declares yarrow a symbol of everlasting love. As I continued to read on thepracticalherbalist.com, I read:

Intentional restraint, one of yarrow’s lessons and skills, is about recognizing that wounds, especially deep ones, benefit from slow and carefully protected healing. Yarrow reminds us to give energy to our healing process but not to allow the energy to overwhelm us. Likewise, yarrow reminds us to protect ourselves and our vulnerable places so they can heal.

The Practical Herbalist

And while some of the information may be a little hippy-dippy or a little too magical…The part above spoke to my heart so deeply. We poured a lot of energy into the garden last year, and then even more so keeping the new flowers watered in the summer heat. We are pouring a lot of energy in this year too, although in a different way. We are adding features, mulching and choosing a few flowers to add here and there to bring in more cohesiveness, and really make it look like a butterfly and flower garden.

Liatris and Canna

Last year, we planted canna lilies and liatris, although they never did break ground. I was impressed by Netherland Bulb’s customer service – they had replacements sent out mid-April. They are already planted and breaking ground, and I can’t wait to see the liatris in bloom, since they are supposed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.


Just an ending thought…I really enjoy learning about the symbolism of flowers, and I believe floral bouquets could communicate their own message between sender and recipient based on the flowers chosen. Perhaps more so a long time ago. As I continue to research the various meanings behind the petals, I wonder…is it like a horoscope – generic enough to fit anyone and make them feel like it was meant for them?

Do you believe the symbolism behind the flower?

For previous garden updates, check out the links below:

  • You can read about our butterfly bush propagation experiment here;
  • Maintenance projects in the garden here;
  • Three early spring addition to Millie’s garden here;
  • Early spring updates here;
  • Summer updates here;
  • Spring and summer additions here;
  • Our nursery haul here;
  • December additions here;
  • Fall additions here;
  • The end of week one progress here;
  • Check out the grotto in progress here;
  • Read about the chopping of our cherry tree here;
  • and see what we started with in our before pictures here.

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