All About Gardening and Gardening Q & A by Pernell Gerver

Bookmark this page or add it to your favorites now!
(Reload or refresh each time you visit to get the current week's columns.)

 Tell a friend about Pernell Gerver's Official Web Site 

"The Best Summer-Blooming Perennials"

Summer has arrived and with it come summer-blooming perennials. They're beginning to take center stage in the garden now and extend the bloom in the garden from spring. I have a lot of favorite summer-blooming perennials, but some I consider to be the best and I grow those in prominent positions in my flower beds. Click on a plant name below to order it from Pernell Gerver's Online Store.

Blue is a color I'm always recommending be added to the garden and one of the best blue-flowered summer-blooming perennials is Campanula 'Sarastro.' This is a brand-new perennial that has many nice attributes. It bears clusters of large, three-inch-long, blue bells that dangle down from 18-inch-tall flower stems. Unlike other varieties of campanula, 'Sarastro' needs no staking. It forms a handsome clump less than two feet tall and blooms continuously from early summer to fall.

Tall garden phlox is a summer-blooming perennial that bears large clusters of flowers. The variety 'Nora Leigh' is one of my favorites. It bears white flowers with a deep pink eye. Its leaves are edged with a band of creamy yellow. Its variegated foliage adds interest to the garden even when it's not in bloom. In my garden, powdery mildew has not been a problem on this phlox!

The best summer-blooming perennial for shade is Ligularia 'The Rocket.' It grows in the deepest, darkest shade there is. In my own garden, it's growing on the north side of my potting shed under the shade of tall trees. It never sees sun, but it's thriving and blooming. It forms a two-foot-wide mound of interesting, triangular leaves. The leaves have deeply-serrated edges, giving them a prehistoric look. In summer, five-foot-tall deep purple flower stems rise through the foliage and bear bright-yellow flowers.

Coreopsis 'Sweet Dreams' is a summer-blooming perennial for the opposite conditions - hot and sunny. It's a color breakthrough in threadleaf coreopsis. It bears masses of bicolored flowers that are white with deep pink surrounding the center of each daisy-like flower. Flowers are held atop finely-divided, thread-like foliage. It grows to 18 inches tall and blooms from spring to fall.

Parcandana 'Dazzler' is a summer-blooming perennial with attractive foliage and eye-catching flowers. The foliage of this interesting perennial resembles iris or gladiolus. In midsummer it bears dozens of star-shaped flowers on slender flower spikes that rise above the foliage. Flower colors include a mix of bright red, orange, yellow, purple, and pink - many with freckled blooms.

August lily is a type of hosta I grow more for its flowers than for its foliage. In bloom in August, it bears long, large 4-6" fragrant, waxy-white flowers on tall flower spikes. The sweet fragrance resembles freesia. Its foliage is chartreuse and it grows well in both shade and sun.

Pernell Gerver's Gardening Q & Aby Pernell Gerver

"Milky Spore Powder Safely Controls Grubs"

Q. I need to treat both my lawn and vegetable garden for grubs. I also compost my grass clippings and use the compost in my vegetable garden. What products do you recommend to eliminate the grub population both for a quick fix and for a long-term fix? Thank you.

A. Because you will be using the grass clippings to make compost for use in your vegetable garden you will need to use a safe and natural organic grub control. I highly recommend Milky Spore Powder Grub Control. It is safe for humans, animals, and beneficial insects.

Milky Spore Powder Grub Control is a naturally-occurring bacteria that infects only grubs. It's used on lawns and in the garden to control grubs and the beetles they turn into (Neem Oil can be used to control the adult beetles). It's effective on over 40 different white grubs including Japanese beetle grubs. It also eliminates the food source (grubs) of animals that tear up the lawn such as moles, skunks, and birds and the animals go somewhere else to feed.

Once applied, the bacteria quickly spreads throughout the colony of grubs. What's more, just one application lasts 15 to 20 years or more and it pays for itself in only two years of conventional grub control and the grubs do not get resistant to it. I'm an organic gardener myself and I applied Milky Spore Powder Grub Control to my entire lawn and garden about 20 years ago and I don't have a problem with grubs. I heard from a gentleman that applied it 60 years ago and also has no problem with grubs.

Milky Spore Powder Grub Control comes in a can and each can treats 2,500 square feet. It is easy to apply - you just walk through your lawn and garden and drop a teaspoon of the powder every four feet, making a grid pattern throughout your property. Put it down before it rains or water it in for about 10 minutes.

Milky Spore Powder Grub Control is safe for people, pets, and wildlife and you can use your lawn after treatment as well as use the grass clippings in your vegetable garden or in compost.

Click here to order Milky Spore Powder Grub Control from Pernell Gerver's Online Store.

Click here to submit gardening questions for Pernell Gerver's online Q & A column.

Click here to read previous online columns in the archives.

Pernell Gerver's Home page Pernell Gerver's Gardening Workshop Series Biographical profile - Pernell Gerver Pernell Gerver's Online Store Sign the guestbook
Mailing list Pernell Gerver's Plant of the Month Gardening questions for Pernell Gerver Professional inquiries for Pernell Gerver Contact Pernell

© Copyright Pernell Gerver, Horticultural Communication Services All rights reserved.