Meet the Dazzling Perennials
Recap of September Speaker Dave Doolittle
By Carol DeCoursey

On September 26, Marion County Master Gardeners met old perennial friends — all decked out in exotic new colors.

Dave Doolittle of Petal Heads Nursery in West Linn made the introductions in the Anderson Room at the Salem Public Library. As a good mentor, Dave reminded us that last winter was rough, and this fall is just the right the time to plant new friends. Fall planting will give their roots plenty of time to develop for next spring’s showing.

Dave made these recommendations:

Dwarf Goats Beard

Dwarf Goats Beard

Dwarf Goats Beard. Feathery white flowers in classic white — or fall yellows and oranges. Drought tolerant.

Eryngium. Blue Glitter “Sea Holly.” Likes the sun and is drought tolerant. This true blue is what breeders look for!

Black Coral Elephant Ears. The very large, striking leaves add a touch of the exotic to any garden. Full-sun to part-sun/shade.

Eucomis Zulu Flame. The leaves are dark burgundy. Can be grown in sun or part-sun/part shade.

Helleboris or Lenten Rose. Great news here. This great winter bloomer can now turn its blossoms upward instead of down. And the blossoms are big, the colors wonderful. Among Dave’s recommendations are Apricot Blush, Blue Diamond, First Dance, Harlequin Gen, Rose Quartz, Sun Flare, and White Pearl.

Eucomis Zulu Flame

Eucomis Zulu Flame

Heuchera. Among the recommendations were “Berry Smoothie,” “Electric Lime,” “Hot Spot,” and “Plum Cascade.” Dave reminded us that the darker the leaf, the more sun the Heuchera can take. And they don’t get rust.

Heucherellas. These were also on Dave’s list. They are cross between the Heuchera and Tiarella — they have the Heuchere’s leaves, and tiny blossoms as well.

Hosta.“Mini Skirt.” Densely leafed, this looks like a tiny bouquet. This one can handle quite a bit of sun. Kniphofia. Banana Popsicle for dazzling yellow spikes. Sun/shade.

Penstemon. Hummingbirds love this plant. Try “Cha Cha Lavender.” These need full sun. Tree Peony. Try “High Noon” — bright yellow with maroon centers. Partial to full sun.

Why Petal Heads? Dave and his wife Annilese started Petal Heads in 2008 for perennial aficionados who wanted access to the newest and best selections at a convenient mid-Willamette location. And they sure seem to have done it!

For more information you can review the Petal Heads website or call for an appointment, 503-953-3228.