Planning an Everlasting Garden Part Two

Planning an Everlasting Garden Part Two

Part II Perennials and Foliage By Brenda Hyde

Today we have several more interesting everlastings that would also work wonderfully in a silver themed garden. The plants are all richly textured and unique so even if you don't use them as everlastings they will be charming additions.
Artemisa annua, also known as Sweet Annie is grown for the strongly scented and lacey, almost frilly, foliage. It's a wonderful addition to wreaths. You can cut the entire plant and hang it upside down as soon as the buds develop and turn to a gold color. This is VERY large plant that you direct seed or start indoors in April. You'll need 2-3 foot between plants, which will grow from 4-6 foot in ONE season! The seed is very small, which seems strange for such a fast growing plant. Plant in full sun and a standard soil.

Lunaria, also known as Honesty or Money Plant: this biennial everlasting that is grown for it's unique seed pods that are formed the second year. The plant has fragrant blossoms that appear in late spring, then the pods form towards fall. Harvest the thin quarter sized seed pods when the plant dies back and the pod is completely dry. The "cover", which is a cream color comes off easily if you gently rub it between your fingers. Underneath is a clear, almost shimmery disk that you can add to dried arrangements or wreaths. Lunaria reseeds easily, and can be a nuisance if you don't watch it. It grows in Zones 5-10 in full sun or very light shade in well drained soil.

Echinops ritro, also known as globe thistle, could be mistaken for a weed, but once you see the perfectly round blue/purple blooms you won't make the same mistake. I bought my first one for .50 at the end of the season. Plant in full sun, it's not picky about soil, but don't plant in a wet area. It will tolerate drought, and doesn't need extra watering. The globe like blooms should be picked as soon as the color is apparent. You can dry easily by hanging in bunches. This is a perennial plant and can be planted from seed, but it will take one or two seasons to bloom. Once it blooms it will each year. If you don't prefer the prickly foliage locate it behind other plants in the back of a border.

Stachys Byzantina, also know as Lamb's Ears: This perennial has fuzzy, soft foliage unlike any other plant I know. The foliage is so unique that it's worth growing even if you don't use it as an everlasting. However, they do retain their fuzzy texture when dried. And entire wreath of dried, layered Lamb's Ear foliage accented with tiny rosebuds is delicate and pretty. It's grows well in Zones 4-8 in full sun and a soil on the drier side and is very drought tolerant. Combine it with lavender in the garden for a delightful pairing! Grow Lamb's Ears from seeds or purchased seedlings.

Perennial Everlasting

Anaphalis margaritacea, also known as Pearly Everlasting: This everlasting needs rich, well drained soil on the moister side in sun or light shade. They tend to droop if allowed to become to dry. It blooms late summer to fall and grows well in Zones 3-8. The small white papery flowers hold their shape when dried are a great accent to wreaths and arrangements. Harvest Pearly Everlasting just before the flower centers turn yellow after they have opened. Hang in bunches in a dry place where the air circulates.

Catanache caerulea, known as Cupid's Dart: This everlasting loves full sun and a soil that is slightly dried, but fertile. It's a Mediterranean native so it loves heat and will do well in Zones 4-10. The lavender or white flowers bloom in mid to late summer and sometimes into autumn. You can plant from seed, but color may vary--some are lighter in color than others. The plants should be divided every two to three years, and should never be in a wet environment. Hang in bunches to dry.

Eryngium varieties, also known as Sea Holly: There are over 200 varieties of this everlasting. Many people don't look past the picky foliage and blooms, but to an everlasting fan, they are unique and worth growing. In some ways resemble a fancier Globe Thistle, with it's lavender blue blooms. Plant Sea Holly in full sun and a soil that is on the dry side. It hates wet feet and being transplanted so plan out well where you want to grow it. It's hardy from Zones 4-8.

Eryngium alpinum is the largest flowering sea holly, so that is definitely one to consider from everlasting growers. You can plant from seed or buy plants in the spring. Sea hollies do reseed as well. Plant them out of the way where the foliage won't bother anyone who may rub up against the plants. Cut the blooms just as they open, and hang or dry on screens.

Many of the plants featured can be purchased from Thompson & Morgan in the Dried Flower section here: Plus you can see some great pictures of the flowers as well.

CLICK HERE for Part I of an Everlasting Garden Plan

About the author:

Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three living in the Midwest United States. She is also editor of


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