Hardy yarrow among easiest flowers to grow | VailDaily.com

Hardy yarrow among easiest flowers to grow

M.G. Gallagher

Practicality is important to many of us when it comes to gardening. Gardening and landscaping can be time consuming. A long flowering period, low water use, and critter resistance are good qualities. Use yarrow right, and it’s one of the easiest flowers to grow.Yarrow sometimes gets a bad rap. The perceived problem with some common types is that they spread enthusiastically in improved conditions. This can be as simple as abundant water, and sometimes includes enriched soils. Fertilizer works all too well on this plant that needs none. It’s really a matter of putting a spreading plant in excessively good conditions.But much of the planted space around here is dry, hot, and the dirt is what it is. The various yarrows can grow in conditions where not many ornamentals here do.This durable perennial is too useful to ignore. While the common species of yarrow are aggressive in the garden, there are hybrids that are more contained.The two common yarrow groups are the tall yellows (achillea filipendula), and the whites (a. millefolium) and its pink and red varieties. While each has a different color impact in the garden, they share drought tolerance and toughness. Both have hybrids that are more manageable.Achillea “Moonshine” is a bright sulfur yellow, against sage blue foliage. It grows to roughly 2 feet tall. It is quite adaptable. It can take a moderate amount of water, and it also can get by with native precipitation once established. Its spreading tendency in favorable conditions is an advantage in the garden, since it fills space controllably.Moonshine yarrow is easy to control compared to its tall yellow heritage. It is perhaps the best yarrow to use in a garden that gets more water and other enhancements. The color is exceptional.”Coronation Gold” is a little taller and a bit deeper yellow. It is also easier to control than the species. There are several yellow hybrids on the market, ranging in size and aggressiveness. Colored yarrows have a different effect than white. The basic color for a. millefolium is white. The species is also more invasive. However, there are some very nice pink and red millefolium varieties on the market, among others.”Red Beauty” is a top choice among the red selections. It holds its color for a long time. Two good pink choices are “Cerise Queen” and the variety a. millefolium rubra, or common pink (red) yarrow. “Apple Blossom” is an option if you want to use its pink into white blossoms.Hot “Paprika” and cooler “Summer Pastels” open up the range of color available in ornamental yarrows.Yarrows can be divided, and the divisions are true to color, where seedlings can vary from their parents. There are several other achillea species that are popular. A nice foot-tall border plant and ground cover is wooly yarrow, achillea tomentosa. In addition to its cute yellow umbels, it has an interesting form. It sees use here and there in the area.There are some that don’t like yarrow – namely deer, mice, voles, and other creatures that like to eat your garden. It is one of the most deer-resistant perennials that provide lengthy color you can use up here.Good yarrow selections are generally available at nurseries. Locally, you may have to shop around some, as we live in a smaller market for perennials.M.G. Gallagher writes a column on gardening and landscaping for the Daily. He can be reached at montanegarden@excite.com

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