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Rick's Victorian 1
Reiter Creeping Thyme
Snow-In-Summer
Variegated Iris
Creeping Hummingbird Trumpet
Reiter Creeping Thyme

Common name: Reiter Creeping Thyme
Botanical name: Thymus 'Victor Reiter'

Reiter thyme is a tough, vigorous groundcover. Forms dense mats that can tolerate foot traffic and choke out most weeds. It grows to 3 inches tall and spreads 30 inches. Rich, olive green foliage is topped with lavender flowers in mid-summer. Faded flowers can be removed using a lawn mower. It has a pleasant, minty fragrance when crushed, though not considered for culinary uses. Attracts bees and butterflies.

Snow-In-Summer

Common name: Snow-In-Summer
Botanical name: Cerastium tomentosum

Masses of snow white flowers cover this plant from late spring to early summer. Fine textured foliage is silvery grey. After flowering, shear back plant to encourage new foliage and for a tidy appearance. Over-head watering may cause the plant to "melt-out" in the center; over-watering, in general, causes the plant to die out over time. An attractive filler among other plants and rocks, and nice ground cover for areas that receive little foot traffic. Plant at edges of walks to soften paths. I saw a lovely planting where cerastium was used to represent water in a "dry creek" design-Brilliant. Grows 4 to 5 inches tall and 15 to 18 inches wide.

Variegated Iris

Common name: Variegated Iris
Botanical name: Iris pallida 'Variegata'

If I had to pick my top five must-have perennials, this would be on the list. A species of bearded iris, yellow variegated iris has long, sword like foliage that emerges in early spring and is colored pale, grey-green and lemony yellow. Flowers bloom late spring to early summer, are a pale blue to violet-blue, and are very fragrant (like a cross between grape and apple juice). Absolutely fills the yard. And after flowering, the foliage holds out all summer, unlike other bearded iris; the variegated leaves a striking presence, even without the flowers. The foliage is about 18 to 24 inches tall, and the flowers rise to about 30 to 40 inches. I have never had a garden that didn't include this iris. There is also a variety with white variegation, usually listed as Iris p. 'Argenta.' Fabulous anywhere, and plant enough so you can cut them and bring them indoors.

Creeping Hummingbird Trumpet

Common name: Creeping Hummingbird Trumpet
Botanical name: Zauschneria garrettii 'Orange Carpet'

This superb Hummingbird Trumpet spreads like a groundcover to form a loose mat of low growing, bright green foliage, about 4 to 6 inches tall and 15 to 18 inches wide. In mid-to-late summer it lights up the garden with a profusion of bright orange flowers that last for many weeks. Regular watering (but not over-watering) when in bloom keeps the flowers coming. 'Orange Carpet' prefers some afternoon shade, especially at lower elevations. Originally selected by David Salman of High Country Gardens. This zauschneria is practically made for parkstrips.

Designer: Rick Laughlin

Rick's Victorian 1

Photographer: GardenSoft

Water Saving Tip:

Even though it's hot, your lawn only needs to be watered twice a week to stay healthy.

And don't water the whole lawn for a brown spot—drag out a hose.