Colorado State University Trial Gardens Highlight Pretty Perennials

It may be winter, but KUNC gardener Tom Throgmorton says now is a good time to start thinking about perennials and other plants that provide a splash of color, and draw butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.

The CSU annual and perennials trial garden is a traffic-stopping tourist attraction in Ft. Collins. If I had a lemonade stand, I’d park it between the University Center for the Arts and CSU track complex. Special selections are made from the trial gardens right there along College Avenue.

Some of the top performing perennials at the gardens include a couple of coneflowers. Mistral coneflower is a compact, dwarf selection. It has pink flowers that fade. But even as the flowers fade they are showy and long lasting. The plant grows eighteen inches tall. It’s a great addition to a sunny border or in front of other, taller drought-tolerant plants.

Panther Pink coneflower is a little bit taller at two feet tall. It has large three to four inch flowers. Of course the flowers are pink. This is a durable, drought-tolerant cut flower. Use it in a rock garden or as a back drop to other plants.

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