Plant these 5 perennials in your garden this spring, and thank me later.

The photos to follow are all the evidence you’ll need.

As an avid and obsessed gardener for over 15 years now, one thing I’ve learned is that less is more when I am talking about plants to non-plants people.

“John, what should I plant this spring that will give me flowers all spring and summer and require no work?”

A. Nothing you lazy ass.

B. There is more to a plant than its flowers.

C. Don’t buy anything from Lowe’s or Home Depot.

D. Do you prefer a natural look or more formal feel?

E. How much sun do you get each day?

F. What type of soil do you have? Clay? Does it drain well?

99% of you shut it down after “B”, right?

Less is more, I get it.

The truth is a garden is never easy, nor should it be. Like with any other endeavor, you must put in the work before you can reap what you sow (We garden geeks cannot resist plant puns, ever).

The beauty lies in the work, the process and the failures as much as the successes.

80% of what I’ve done to date in my garden has failed. But that 20% tastes so much sweeter (see, I did it again) when it does work.

As we slowly enter spring and the gardening season renews, I beg those of you who follow a rite of passage and spend one Saturday in April buying a shitload of flats from a big box store, stick the plants in the ground, drink a beer, clap your hands and call it a “garden” to stop.

Don’t make that trip for one year.

Hold off.

Don’t follow the herds and plant those hideous impatiens or begonias.

Instead, invest in the plants I’ve included below. Buy them online now and plant them this spring and remain patient. I don’t care where you plant them in your garden, just stick them in the ground for now.

Buy three of each because the biggest secret in garden design is planting in odd numbers always looks better. If you purchase them in small enough sizes, they will still be affordable.

Since they are all “perennials”, they will come back bigger and better each spring. More flowers, a bigger presence and all of them will draw bees, butterflies and other creatures into the garden. We all like that.

I will keep it simple for you. Just the plant name, a few photos and a sentence or two. Nothing intimidating.

Consider this a challenge. I dare you to try it.

Joe Pye Weed

Native to the U.S, there are many size options available when it comes to Joe Pye Weed. They bloom in summer and into the fall. Even one can make a statement. And just look at how happy those butterflies appear above.

Bee Balm

Colors range from pink to red to purple to white. The leaves have a minty smell that screams summer. They multiple year after year and are indestructible. When in bloom, you see a lot of this:


Blue star-shaped flowers in spring that will put a smile on your winter weary face. The show continues on all summer with unique looking foliage and then things get all sorts of awesome in fall when we get the leaf color change.


OK, technically these fall under the “bulbs” category, and therefore should be planted in the fall. But they are perennial in nature in that they will come back bigger and stronger year after year. There are some many to choose from so just Google that shit and do it now. I promise people will ask you “What is that gorgeous plant you have there? You must really be a gardener, huh?”


The blooms are to die for. Once it is established, it will last forever. This plant represents spring for me. There are a few different bloom colors to choose from and all are fantastic. Yes, like all of the others, they are a critter magnet.

Who’s in?

Hey if you like gardening even a smidge, check out my gardening blog here.

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