Why perennials help save the environment

Dust Bowl by USDAgov

If TheGardenLady readers have not seen the documentary The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns, you should. It chronicles one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in American history.  (read this)  I think it is MUST watching.  You will see what planting just annuals in great expanses or overplanting with annuals in one area can do to our soil in adverse weather conditions like drought and heat.  This Dust Bowl catastrophe did not last one day or one week or one month, like the destruction from Hurricane Sandy. This dust bowl disaster lasted 10 years.

We may not have known that we needed perennials to keep the soil intact and to help the environment when they had the Dust Storms, but by now we should know what can happen when we despoil our lands.

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Planting perennial shrubs and trees in December


forced spring by Darwin Bell

Where TheGardenLady lives, we are having unusually warm weather. Of course, winter officially arrives on Dec. 21 st. So this is still a good time to be out planting perennial shrubs and trees.

The soil is still soft enough for you to dig ample holes. When your shrub or tree is planted now, it will get enough water in the winter for it to acclimate in your location.

Even though nurseries are filled with Christmas plants, ask if they have shrubs or trees you want and ask to see if they will still give you a discount. One nursery told TheGardenLady that the trees I am looking for are still in their field, so I know the roots will be good. Even though they will have to dig them for me, they will give me 30% off.

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Perennial Plant of 2012 – Siberian Bugloss

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Variegata’ 心葉牛舌草 by beautifulcataya

If you want to plant the Perennial Plant of 2012, it is Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. The common name is Siberian bugloss. These shade loving perennial plants have flowers that look like light blue forget-me- nots but with lovely heart shaped leaves. Jack Frost’s green leaf has a silvery grey covering on top with only the green of the veins showing through so it looks frosty.

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