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Looking for Spring Color?

Check out old-fashioned garden favorites in our perennial department, all of them "musthaves" for your own English Cottage.

  • Stately biennial Digitalis (Foxgloves) that will seed liberally around the garden.
  • Fragrant Dianthus (Pinks) with their scent of cloves and flowers in whites, pinks and reds.
  • Arching Dicentra (Bleeding Hearts), with their whimsical flowers in whites, pinks and reds.

gardening just got a little easier

Plants deer don't like to eat. Our friends at The Perennial Farm have brought us a new program to make gardening 'sans deer' easier. First decide whether you need plants for sun (yellow tags) or shade (green tags), and then follow the rating system on the tag as you make your selections.

#1, Not Eatin This! - Highest deer resistence

#2, Can't Stand This! - High deer resistence, when highly stressed they may nibble.

#3, Not Likin This! - Medium to High deer resistence, If hungry deer may nibble.

We're excited to bring you this program.
Please let us know how it works for you.

Just a Few of Our Favorite Perennials


Coneflowers deserve a place in every sunny garden. Summer bloomers, they are a favorite of butterflies. Grow the traditional white or pink forms, or experiment with the newer colors from gold to orange to red. Hint: On the new hybrids, remove the flowers the first season to help them through their first winter.


Big tropical color on a hardy perennial! Hardy hibiscus can sit alone as specimen plants and create vertical drama in the back of a garden. They need full sun, and bloom in the middle of the summer. Each enormous flower lasts only one day, but each tall stem bears many blooms and the number of stems multiplies each year. Young plants may require a little staking, but mature plants generally hold their own.


Ferns are a fantastic addition to the shade garden! Some like moister areas; some tolerate drier places. A few are even native, which makes them well suited to our area! If you are stumped by the variety, just ask! Our perennial specialists would love to help find the perfect one for you.

The classic shade plant, it's broad leaves bring an almost tropical look to the garden. Many of the varieties have white patterns on the leaves so they brighten and "cool" the shade-garden visuals at the same time. This variegation also comes in gold, for an even brighter look. 


Daylilies ARE an old standard. Gardeners recognized how resilient and versatile they were right from the beginning. Requiring very little upkeep, they grow best in the sun, or in light shade blooming reliably year after year.

The bold flowers in red, pink, yellow, orange, gold, or purple may seem simple but in reality can vary from long, thin, trumpet forms to frilly-edged semi-doubles. A must for every garden, daylilies will not let you down.

Garden Note: Deer are fond of daylilies.


If you gave a child a big box of crayons and told her to draw plants using all her favorite colors, the result might resemble our selection of heuchera and heucherella. Foliage in black, purple, pink, yellow, gold, silver, green.

Perfect for containers or as garden accents. Grow with a few hours of sun in the morning, in soil that drains well after rainstorms. The evergreen foliage colors are even more intense in the cool weather of spring and fall. 


Foamflower is a delight of the woodland garden. Bearing white, or light pink, starry flowers on spikes in the spring, they gently spread by runners or seed.

Some are native to the east coast, some to the west, and horticulturists have intermingled them to create new varieties with interesting patterns on the leaves. Grow Tiarella in bright shade and in good garden soil. 

Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly, lavender's green...... Plant in full sun to intensify the fragrance. Bear in mind, it can be a bit tricky to grow; good drainage is essential. Mulch with pea gravel instead of bark. Lavender in the Perennial Dept. 4½-inch pots and larger.

Spread the Good News! Stepables Perennial ground covers, perfect for containers and small spaces, between stepping stones, beneath birdbaths or mail boxes, in walls or stone stairways.

Got Shade? Get Native Ferns

Ferns are the perfect plant to provide a fine-textured accent in the shade garden. You’ll find that ferns exist for just about any spot: Ostrich, Cinnamon, Sensitive, and Royal Ferns normally live in swampy spots so they are good for rain gardens. Christmas Fern is found on drier hillsides, and is evergreen. Wood Ferns and Lady Ferns offer delicate foliage and also tolerate drier soils. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, cinnamon doesn’t come from Cinnamon Ferns.

The Natives Are Restless

Tiarella (Foamflower)

Foamflower is a delight of the woodland garden. Bearing white, or light pink, starry flowers on spikes, in the spring they gently spread by runners or seed.

Some are native to the east coast, some to the west, and horticulturists have intermingled them to create new varieties with interesting patterns on the leaves. Grow Tiarella in bright shade in "good gardener" soil (that is, soil that a good gardener has enriched with Leafgro®)

Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet)

Fragrant and attractive to pollinators, Summersweet is a great native addition to any garden. The small white or pink flowers bloom in mid to late summer and form spikes 3-5" long, similar to a bottle-brush, and green leaves turn yellow in the fall.

Dwarf varieties of Summersweet grow 2' to 3' tall and wide, while regular varieties will need more room, growing 5' to 6' tall and 4' to 5' wide. They tolerate full sun to moderate shade and grow well in wet soils.

Contain Your Enthusiasm? - Never!

Let your imagination run amuck this year! Be bold with your container gardens. First choose a planter that you "love" - a bright ceramic pot, a clawfoot bathtub, or even your old watering can. Then choose plants that compliment and contrast.

Look for bright colors, new textures, interesting shapes. Combine annuals with perennials and tropicals or try your hand at succulents.

The only real "rule" to keep in mind is to combine plants that like the same conditions - i.e. plants that like sun, plants that like shade, plants that prefer a dryer environment, plants that prefer more moisture.

Now, start your imagination and indulge yourself this year!

Perennials in Containers
Perennials, of course, can add flowers to a container garden but there are also many with colorful leaves or interesting textures. These will last throughout the growing season, even if you need to change the flowering annuals from summer to fall.  Behnkes is home to the biggest selection of perennials in the area.


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