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Our Favorite Perennials for Zone 6

Updated: Jun 20

We live in North Idaho but grew up as kids on the Western side of Washington. School and careers brought us over; we met and then never left. When it came time to fill our yard with plants, we wanted to do perennials because of the low maintenance they provide. You plant them once; then they come back year after year. Our zone differs from what we grew up in, and some of the favorites there aren't perennials here. We have tried a lot of perennials, and the following are the winners. There are shade and full sun perennials in this list.

Many perennials that grow in our zone look like weeds to us. We like perennials that look like plants we planted, not a weed that happened to end up there.

Shade Loving Perennials:

Bleeding Heart: These are delicate and beautiful. They love the shade and will bloom for many weeks. They like it cool, so don't expose them to too much sun.

Bleeding Heart Perennial

Astilbe: These are pretty, with bushy undergrowth and spring-up, pretty-colored flowers. They don't get huge, so we have them in the front of our shade bed.

Astilbe Perennial

Hosta: The favorite shade plant, hostas grow and spread. They get bigger yearly; even when they aren't in bloom, the leaves give the eyes something to admire. When they bloom, the flowers smell like those from the Hawaii trip you have many great memories of.

Hosta Perennial

Sun Loving Perennials:

Peonies: The favorite of my cut flowers. These plants come back bigger each year with more blooms to enjoy. Even when the flowers have bloomed and are cut and done, the leafy bushes left behind are a great color for a flower bed.

Bouquet of Peonies

Roses: This new favorite has been in many jars during the summer. I love the roses we purchased from our local nursery. If I have fresh flowers, I love to put a few in a cute vase in the guest room. It's a lovely welcome. I cut these roses for guest rooms where family or friends stay. We love that there is color all summer long! The photo below shows a rose in the front and back with peonies.

Bouquet of Backyard Cut Flowers

Tulips: A sign for me that spring is coming; here are tulips. My favorite tulips are the full ones with lots of petals. They look like peonies but fill your garden with bright spring colors. Our tulips return with stronger stems and more prominent blooms every year.

Backyard tulip bouquet


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