Northern & Central Midwest
Perennial Garden Companions
Roy Diblik, owner of Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin, has been growing and teaching about perennials for thirty years. His approach to perennial gardening is to create communities of compatible plants that establish quickly into gardens that require minimal care. His book, Small Perennial Gardens: The Know Maintenance Approach (American Nurseryman, 2008; $24.95), gives outlines for 38 different gardens, complete with plant lists, illustrations, and layout. This is a wonderful new approach for those of us who lust after the best of the best perennial gardens.
Favorite or New Plant
Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) is an old-fashioned garden flower, also known as mullein pink. The striking magenta blossoms seem to float about 2 to 3 feet above velvety silver foliage that looks like miniature lamb's ears. It grows best in full sun or light shade in a fertile, well-drained soil. Like so many other silver-leaved plants, it will tolerate drought. It is also a beautiful cut flower, and reseeds itself heartily.