Blue Queens and Dragon’s Blood—Meandering the Spring Garden Rooms by Janine Donoho

Iris glory

Iris glory

The earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peonies grown from seed

Peonies grown from seed

Narcissus joy

Narcissus joy

And more peonies...

And more peonies…

With my edible annuals uncurling their cotyledons toward the sun, it’s time to inhale deeply and appreciate our other garden rooms. As a huge fan of perennials in this high desert environ, I cherish wandering through a decade of xeriscape plantings. Along the way, survivors offer a high-five while I note the vacant places. Perennial doesn’t mean forever, after all.

Before

Before

Then I let my gaze go fuzzy. That’s when textures and colors melt into paintscapes reminiscent of Monet as I plan what edits to make this year. After scribbling a few notes, it’s lovely to settle on one of numerous perches—mostly granite—and absorb both view and birdsong while breathing lush air transformed by plant life.

For your pleasure and because gardeners love to share, I offer a download of my treasured perennial list. Having cultivated an excess of three hundred and fifty plant seeds here—all chosen for zones 1-3, deer- and drought-resistance along with their bountiful exuberance—these mighty ones form the structural backbone. Most of them nourish wildlife ranging from Monarch butterfly to mule deer.

Now relax and enjoy this walk in my gardens with me.

Lamb's ears

Lamb’s ears

What’s your approach to gardening? Are you primarily a fan of annuals or perennials?

Garden – J-9’s Favorite Perennial Seed List

Dragon's Blood Sedum

Dragon’s Blood Sedum

Luminous whites

Luminous whites

Velvety purples

Gorgeous purples

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