Just because you don’t have a green thumb doesn’t mean you can’t be green when it comes to gardening. You may be surprised how easy it is to grow a flourishing garden when you know which native plants thrive in your region.
Native plants require less maintenance in general, which provide a number of benefits. Conserving water is important, and many are drought-resistant. Their low maintenance tendencies when it comes to water makes it even better for the Planet, your wallet, and conserving one of our natural resources.
Here are some brawny blooms that will make you think twice before you use the phrase “as fragile as a flower” again.
1. Broadleaf stonecrop
This perennial, also referred to as the Cape Blanco, grows best in California and Oregon. The Broadleaf stonecrop can thrive in virtually any soil, but does best in the sun or light shade. Its muted blue-green leaves make it a great neutral ground cover.
2. Blackfoot daisy
The Blackfoot daisy is known as a slow grower but long bloomer—it blooms from early spring all the way through winter. It is tough enough to survive the harshest of droughts while keeping its dainty, honey-scented petals intact. The daisy-like flower prefers average soil, but can thrive in even the rockiest of deserts.
3. Blanket flower
The Blanket flower is aptly named after the colors commonly found in Mexican blankets: clay red and golden yellow. Its bright colors and plentiful petals make it the perfect summer plant. The bloom can be short-lived if its soil is too moist, so keep it in the hot, sunnier climate of the South. Combine this with the Wild Blue aster (if you can find a Canyon Blue flower, I applaud you), and you could have yourself a SWA-themed garden!
4. Purple poppy-mallow
Also known as the “Winecup,” the Purple poppy-mallow can bloom from late spring into fall. Don’t let its pretty purple petals fool you—this flower is long-blooming and can withstand extreme drought. It spreads to about three feet and should be planted in well-drained soil.
5. Florida Golden aster
As its bright yellow petals suggest, the Golden aster is native to sunny Florida. This flower flourishes in pine woods and can grow in the white sand of northern Florida’s beaches. There are many types of Golden aster that all thrive in the Southeastern U.S. Although this tough plant survives with very little water, it is currently endangered.
6. Wild Blue aster
Eastern and Central U.S.
There are many types of asters in the U.S., but the Wild Blue aster blooms vivid lavender-blue petals. This flower does well in many climates, but flourishes in dry, sunny locations. It also tends to attract birds and butterflies.
7. New England aster
The Wild Blue aster’s cousin, the New England aster, is another versatile bloom with a bright yellow center. As its name suggests, this flower is typically found in the Northeastern United States. The New England aster is a rather prominent plant—it boasts an abundance of petals and can grow to six feet in height.
To find the perfect plant for you, take sunset.com’s plant-finder quiz here. What are you planting in your garden? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. DING! You are now free to be green!
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If you love the color green, Irish culture, or just an excuse to enjoy a cold Guinness, then you’ve probably been anticipating this weekend’s beloved holiday. St. Patrick’s Day weekend is packed with potential for parades, parties, and pretending like your name is Paddy O'Callaghan. If you’re wondering how to celebrate, we’ve got you covered. We asked some of our Employees to give us tips on celebrating St. Patty’s Day in their cities. Pick any one of them for a weekend full of shameless shenanigans.
Although you never need an excuse to celebrate in Vegas, St. Patty’s Day festivities are taking over Sin City.
We happen to have a St. Patrick’s Day guru among our ranks: Brian Czaja, a Flight Attendant Supervisor, has the low-down on Las Vegas celebrations. Brian recommends checking out Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York Hotel & Casino. “Last year they had the full get-up with bag pipe players, an Irish history reading, live music and drink specials,” Brian said. “A group of Employees and I have gone the past eight years—kilts and all.”
New York-New York is hosting the Celtic Feis St. Patrick’s Day Festival which includes a parade on Friday and live music all weekend long. This incredibly Irish affair requires tickets, but keep your alans on—tickets are still on sale and include a free Guinness or Jameson.
“These pubs are authentic because they were taken apart in Ireland and brought over here,” Brian said. “The Rí Rá Irish Pub opened a couple of years ago and always has great music.” This weekend, Rí Rá is hosting the Gallowglass Band on Friday night, and is broadcasting rugby on Saturday.
If you’ve got snappers (children) with ya, Brian suggests the Henderson parade for more family-oriented festivities (admission is free!).
Chicago is going green for St. Patty’s Day—literally. The city will continue its long-time tradition of dyeing its river shamrock green this Saturday. Lovers of all things naturally green, don’t fret—the city will assure you that the emerald formula is environmentally friendly. Following the dyeing will be the city’s annual downtown parade.
Station Administrator Annalisa Muñoz says, “I love Chicago because no matter where you are from, on St. Patty’s Day, we ALL celebrate like we are Irish!” Some Chicago Employees will be seeing the famous Irish band Gaelic Storm at the House of Blues in Chicago this Saturday.
If you’re looking for something new, stop by Brewstone for its Chicago location’s opening weekend. We hear the pub fare is delicious.
Chicago means serious business when it comes to St. Pat’s. So serious, in fact, that it has recently launched a campaign to claim the title as the official U.S. headquarters for St. Patrick’s Day. If you think the windy city is worthy of the Celtic crown, you can vote for it here.
Nothing puts a city in a good mood like a major football victory. Baltimore is still celebrating its new title as defending champion of the NFL. Ravens fan or not, this city is a perfect place to spend St. Patrick’s Day. According to our BWI Station Administrator Spike Balagot, Downtown Baltimore is a pot o’ gold for great food and pubs. And if you need a break from Irish fare, have some of the city’s famous crab cakes.
Spike assures us, “The streets are clean, lots of parking, and hotels are always a block or two away! Traffic? No problem! There are many ways to get around, including the Light Rail.”
Spike also suggests hanging out at the Harbor. Get in the spirit with a St. Patty’s Day Cruise around Boston Harbor aboard the Vessel Belle.
For a very Irish experience, check out Slainte. This personality-packed sports bar takes St. Patty’s Day very seriously. It’s currently hosting its “17 Days of St. Patrick’s Day” ongoing event, which will feature beer and whiskey tastings, Irish trivia and live music.
St. Louis isn’t exactly Ireland, but it’s got a surprising amount of green space for a city, and that arch could slightly resemble a rainbow, right? That may be a wee bit of a stretch, but to say that St. Louis makes for a great St. Patty’s Day destination is not.
Mike Abernathy, Station Administrator, has the St. Patty’s Day scoop for St. Louis: “The Dogtown Celebration is always on the day of St. Patrick’s Day. Even if it falls on a weekday, the 75,000 or so revelers skip work to celebrate. Now, on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, Downtown St. Louis has its Ancient Order of Hibernians’ Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebration (200,000 plus come out for this one). My family has participated in the Annual Dogtown Neighborhood St. Patty’s Day Parade for the past two decades, and it’s always a blast. Remember we are the home of Budweiser, the King of Beer!”
Dallas—our home-base—is near and dear to our hearts for a number of reasons. Contrary to Texas stereotypes, we don’t ride horses to Headquarters. Dallas hits the jackpot for trendy shopping, friendly people and delicious food. Believe it or not, Dallas now has more restaurants per capita than New York! Trinity Hall Irish Pub & Restaurant is a local favorite, and will open early on Saturday for soccer, rugby, and live music.
What better place to celebrate the green holiday than on Greenville Avenue? The Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival has become the main attraction on St. Patty’s weekend in the Big D. Grab your green garb and make your way to Upper Greenville on Saturday to join in on the shenanigans. The parade is completely free and includes a block party full of Irish food, libations and live music. Parade crowds get pretty hectic, so I’ll reiterate what Carrie Kenrick from Network Planning has told me: “Just wear green and use public transportation!”
If you’re not too full (of food, of course) to stand up, check out the Dallas Observer after-party featuring DJ BL3nd at the House of Blues.
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