by Kevin Hughes
on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 at 3:21pm.
Great landscaping can add significant value to a home. Choosing the right flowers will give your Idaho home this added value without huge expense or labor.
Different plants have different needs. The more unsuited a flower is to a region, the more work it takes to maintain. Due to its location, Idaho has a wide range climate. Temperatures can range from over 100 degrees in the summer to being freezing cold in the winter. Although it doenst linger in the extremes for too long it still plays a factor in to your landscaping choices.
Annuals are flowers that, typically, only live one season or year and must be replanted every spring. Perennials, on the other hand, are expected to live for two or more years.
Hardy Annuals These flowers can easily tolerate frost and cool growing conditions. They are excellent low care plants especially for the higher elevation areas in Idaho such as Stanely or McCall. They usually bloom in early spring so they add a nice spot of color after a cold winter. Examples are alyssum, pansy and cornflower. Kale, ornamental cabbage, is another hardy annual that not only provides beauty but can be used in salads.
Semi-Hardy Annuals These flowers prefer hot summers but they can easily survive a light frost. They are usually in bloom throughout the summer and well into fall due to their large temperature range tolerance. Examples include the moss rose, carnation, and petunia. Sunflowers, also, fall into this category. Since their seeds are popular with many types of birds, their presence in a garden gives added benefit for bird watchers.
Tender Annuals These flowers have little to no tolerance for the cold and, so, can not be planted until the ground has warmed up in the spring. These plants are usually suggested for Idaho's warmer valleys typical of Boise. However, they can be used for a short bright spot of color during summer in higher altitudes. Some perennials are part of this category because they are too delicate to survive an Idaho winter. Examples of this group are begonia, geranium and marigold.
Perennials The main qualification for a perennial is frost resistance. The idea of a perennial is to not have to replant every year so it needs to be able to survive frost.
Perennials are also good for drawing wildlife to a yard. Butterfly weed, goldenrod and purple cornflower are good for drawing butterflies while cardinal flower, bee balm and lupine are favorites of hummingbirds.
Since perennials live several years, they will require year round care including winter care.