Make Your Home More Inviting by Adding Perennials

rhododendron red buds
Red Budding Blooms on Rhododendron

Adding long lasting perennial shrubs to the yard is a great investment to your property. When I had my taxes done this year I was told to keep receipts of any improvements I made to the yard, including landscape plantings and other upgrades. Since I have a yard that needs a lot of help, I like the idea that I can claim at least some of my hard work on my taxes next year as a home improvement.

Have you ever looked at houses you pass while driving and thought how much the look could be improved by adding some nice looking perennials? I realize that not everyone is a gardener but it’s a shame people don’t care to make the outside of their house look lovely. It’s the first thing everyone sees and plantings make a home more inviting, in my opinion.  Hire someone to do it if you don’t want to.

Adding colorful perennials to the yard takes money and work, but the lasting appeal far outweighs the initial investment. Comparison shop for deals on your favorite flowering shrubs and buy something that needs little to no care once it’s planted (unless you like to fuss over roses!).

I love hydrangeas because they are fuss-free for the most part, but another plant to consider is the Rhododendron. The large version comes in a variety of flower colors and this red one (pictured) is my favorite. They like some shade, but this is a very hardy plant that will grow large. The smaller version, which looks more like an azalea to me, is also easy to grow and gets an abundance of flowers.  The only issue I’ve had with this one is that something ate the leaves – deer maybe?

Buying perennials in Fall will save you money, and over the winter they will have the chance to settle in and get ready to bloom in spring or summer the following year.   Adding just a few flowering perennials to the yard will make a big difference and will continue to enhance your landscape for years to come.

All About the Pinky Winky

Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky' The Pinky Winky hydrangea is not one you will easily forget. The flowers are pretty shades of pink and white and the shrub itself can be eight feet tall. Plant this one someplace where it has room to branch out. It is a paniculata and is a sister of sorts to the “Limelight” hydrangea which also has cone shaped flowers, but they turn a light green.

Paniculatas are hardy and the flowers form on new wood – or new stems, and that means the pruning – if needed – should be done in late winter or very early Spring before the new buds set. This shrub will bloom in summer and into Fall, like many hydrangea varieties.

As you can see from the photo I’ve added (not mine), the blooms start off mostly white and fill out along the tall spire, shaped like a Christmas tree.  Later the flowers will change color to pink.  See a good picture of them at the Proven Winners site.

Remember to plant this one in either sun or partial shade, but the ground should be moist and cool.  That is what most hydrangeas seem to like.

I look forward to growing my own this year, and then I’ll add my own photos.

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