Oudolf's Stachys Spires (The Battery Gardens-Part 2)
I immediately recognized the yarrow, Achillea millifollium 'Terra Cotta' as the same stellar performer growing in my southern garden. This yarrow has proven to stand up to humidity better than any other yarrow that I've tried. The foliage is soft and fern-like that practically sways in the breeze. The bloom color ranges from peach, rust and pale yellow. This is a deer and rabbit resistant perennial to grow in areas of drought, too. Suitable for zones 3-9, the blooms last for about four weeks.
|Achillea millefolium 'Terra Cotta' in front of monarda|
at The Battery Gardens in New York City.
|I love the yarrow with Russian Sage! I'll have to|
move the yarrow in my garden to recreate this perfect pairing.
|A mass planting of Astilbe (with Acanthus on the left).|
|Astilbe paired with Heuchera 'Frosted Violet'.|
My favorite combination was a mass planting of Heuchera 'Frosted Violet' with a mass of the Astilbe. Even without the airy blooms on the Heuchera, the purple leaves are perfect with the pink blooms of Astilbe. Heuchera is also suitable for zones 4-8.
There are a few unique plants that I especially like. I've attempted eryngium (Sea Holly) in my garden, but had humidity problems with it and am now trying eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master). Eryngium 'Big Blue' is truly a shining star in The Battery Gardens. This Sea Holly is 30 inches high by 18 inches wide, suitable for zones 5-9, full sun, well-drained soil and low water. The large blooms are so stunning!
|Eryngium 'Big Blue' for low moisture areas in the garden.|
|Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail' with interesting foliage|
and long-blooming spikes in The Battery Gardens.
Finally, and perhaps the most startling to my design taste—the injection of red-orange Helenium blooms into groupings with pink! While I love the look of the Helenium, I suppose I would grow it with blue, yellow and similar shades of orange to red-orange. Helenium is available in different heights and most varieties may be grown in zones 3-8. While I have no experience with this perennial, I find it quite attractive and would love to find space in my garden.
There is much more to see in The Gardens of Remembrance and The Battery Bosque sections of The Battery Gardens. If you plan a trip, be sure to check out the wealth of information on the website, including an overview of what's blooming in each month of the year.
|Red-orange blooms of Helenium are separated|
from Achillia 'Terra Cotta' by purple spires of Stachys 'Hummelo'.
|Helenium with pink Asclepias incarnata and|
white plumes of Persicaria polymorpha.
Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.