SELF-TENDING No-Brainer is a collection of perennials we’ve chosen because we respect their ability to hang tough and keep going. Those qualities that make them survivors also make them an excellent choice for someone new to gardening. They require no special soils, no special care and probably do better if you beneficially neglect them rather than actively tend to them.
TOUGH AS NAILS Another positive feature of these truly hardy perennials is their lack of pests and diseases. The roots grip the soil, the growth is robust and each plant will produce a good-sized specimen or a solid stand of color. These plants are all heavy sun worshippers, so their best performance comes outside of shady areas.
- Rudbeckias, or Black-Eyed Susans, are prairie plants that thrive in the grassy plains of the mid-west. They compete well with grasses because they feel right at home among them.
- Leucanthemums, or Daisies, are another domesticated prairie plant. They mix well with Black-Eyed Susans to create contrasting stands of yellow and white.
- Hemerocallis, or Daylilies, are famous for their tough-as-nails roots—they can grow in soil compacted by construction equipment! For full flower performance they do require full sun; shaded Daylillies merely produce a lot of plant.
- Perovskia, or Russian Sage, is another perennial that thrives in the heat. We have seen it withstand the punishment of parking lot islands and produce absolutely handsome specimens.
- Achilleas take a more laid-back, folksy approach to tenacity. They grow in very dense stands, so they keep the soil in place and almost nothing can squeeze in between them.
- Tall Sedums have thick, fleshy leaves that store water and fend off evaporation loss. They produce big blooms automatically in the fall.
- Coreopsis is known for its ability to handle tough, dry dirt and hot sun with absolutely no attention, except the natural rain now and then. It’s a good idea to give it water as it settles in, but afterward let it go on its own.