Problem-Solving Perennials for Tough Gardens

For every problem area in your landscape, you’ll find perennials that not only survive but also thrive in the conditions available. Simply match the preferred growing conditions of each perennial to your site. By BH&G Garden Editors 

Perennials offer possibilities for every growing situation. As you contemplate digging into perennial gardening, approach it from the standpoint of solving landscape problems. There’s a perennial that will thrive in every growing solution.

If you have a slope too steep for mowing, you can trade turf for perennial groundcover. Near downspouts and low spots in your yard where water gathers after downpours, moisture-loving perennials can transform an eyesore into a beauty spot.

Where lower rainfall dictates water restrictions, tap into the world of xeriscape plants, which grow and flower profusely with little moisture. Natural deposits of acidic soil can support lovely perennials that will make you grateful for the locally low pH. Stop fighting to grow grass beneath shade trees—plant shade-loving perennials instead!

You can even find perennials that serve as lawn stand-ins—tidy, ground-hugging plants that withstand foot traffic and stay green year-round. In municipalities where surface runoff adds charges to your water bill, incorporating a rain garden filled with moisture-loving perennials will dissipate roof, driveway, or patio runoff into the soil and can reduce your water fees. Use this list of perennials adapted to various growing conditions to draft solutions to your landscaping problems.

red cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis


Perennials for Wet Soils

If your garden bed is down in a ditch or next to the downspout, you’re probably stuck with soggy soil that drowns plants. There are plenty of varieties that can withstand (and even thrive) in that much moisture.

  • Lobelia or Cardinal Flower: Brilliant red or dark pink flowers in late summer to early fall
  • Goatsbeard: Lacy, white flower plumes atop 3- to 5-foot-tall plants from early- to midsummer
  • Joe Pye Weed: Large mauve blooms; up to 6 feet tall in late summer
  • Rodgersia: Course texture; flower plumes in spring or summer
  • Sweet Flag: Long-lasting swordlike foliage
astilbe perennials shade flowers

Perennials for Shade

As much as we love hostas, we know it can be boring to fill in a shady corner of the yard with just one plant variety. Flowers like astilbe, bleeding heart, and phlox can also do well in shade and make excellent planting partners for hardy hosta.

anemone white flowers


Perennials for Alkaline Soils

In certain areas of the country, soil’s acidic balance can be off-kilter, resulting in what we call alkaline soil. Alkaline soil doesn’t let much moisture in and has a weak soil structure that just can’t keep certain plants happy. You can still work with this type of soil without investing in pounds of soil amendments—just look for these plants.

baptisia purple flowers


Perennials for Dry Soils

Typically, dry soils contain a lot of sand, which doesn’t hold moisture very well. You need especially hardy plants that don’t need consistent or large amounts of water. Try some of these.

  • Blue Fescue: Ornamental grass with bluish-green foliage
  • Catmint: Fragrant foliage and lavender-blue flowers in early summer
  • Baptisia or False Indigo: Pealike blue flowers in late spring followed by attractive seedpods
  • Liriope or Lilyturf: Dark green grass-like foliage
  • Penstemon: Desert species have bright flower colors, upright shape
  • Gaura: Airy white or pink flower stalks from midsummer to fall
  • Yucca: Rounded clump of upright foliage
zebrina tree mallow flowers


Perennials for Full Sun

While all plants need some amount of light to grow and thrive, some are more delicate than others and get scorched if they are placed in full sun. Some plants, however, do super well in hot and sunny spots in the garden.

liatris blazing star purple blooms

Perennials for Acidic Soils

Just like alkaline soils, acidic soil is a result of a lack of balance of nutrients in the soil. Instead of having too little acidic content, acidic soil has too much, which can be a result of organic matter, excessive rainfall, or too much fertilizer. But, you can still grow gorgeous flowers in acidic soil.

yarrow pink flowers


Perennials for Clay Soils

You know if you have clay soil—you come out of landscaping projects with sticky boots and a sore back from shoveling the dense earth. Because it is so dense, clay soil can block plant’s roots from getting water, which chokes them out. Some plants actually do well with these conditions.

gaillardia blanket flowers

Blanket Flower DAVID SPEER

Perennials for Sandy Soils

Sandy soil is high in sand content and doesn’t hold nutrients or water well. It’s also more lightweight and fine than other types of soil. If you have sandy soil, you don’t need to be limited to desert plants alone.

  • Artemisia: Silvery foliage is the key feature of this perennial
  • Blanket Flower: Long bloom season of orange-red daisies marked with yellow
  • Baptisia or False Indigo: Shrubby plant with spikes of blue, yellow, white, orange-red blooms in spring
  • Lavender Cotton: Herb with fine texture in silvery gray or green foliage
  • Thyme: Groundcover with pinkish-purple blooms
  • Yarrow: Adapted to full sun and dry soils with wide range of bloom colors
  • Yucca: Succulent with spiky foliage and trusses of white bell-shape blooms
hens and chicks sempervivum tectorum


Perennials that are Salt-Tolerant

You may get a high salt content in your soil if you live by a coast, but you can also get areas of salty soil from winter deicing and plowing. If you can’t get the salt levels balanced, lean on these salt-tolerant garden plants.

ornamental allium purple flowers

Ornamental allium PETER KRUMHARDT

Perennials that are Deer-Resistant

Deer are beautiful backyard visitors, but nothing is more frustrating than having them eat the flowers and vegetables you’ve worked so hard to grow all season. If you’re methodical about the plants you choose, they’ll leave your garden alone.

lupine lupinus purple flowers


Perennials for Cool Climates

Some plants love the hot and humid air of Southern states, while others do just fine in the more temperate Northern states. You can find colorful flowers in the North that you’ll appreciate having in your garden.

  • DelphiniumLong spikes of blue, purple, pink, or white flowers
  • Globeflower: Yellow springtime blooms with feathery centers
  • Japanese Primrose: Moisture-loving plant with globes of pink, purple, or white blooms in spring
  • Lady’s Mantle: Chartreuse blooms over blue-green foliage
  • Lupine: Upright spikes of pealike blooms in many shades
  • Monkshood: Fall bloomer for shade
  • Poppy: Crepelike blooms in spring in shades of orange, red, pink, or white

Related: Cold-Climate Shade Garden Plan

daylily orange flowers


Perennials for Hot Climates

Explore the world of tropical plants that love the humidity. The sun won’t burn these hot climate plants—they just can’t get enough of the heat.



Visit Barcelona for Culture and Education

aerial photography of Sagrada Famila during daytime
Alfons Taekema for Unsplash

Barcelona is both cultural and educational. But it is also the second-best city for offering the most culture per kilometer.

The capital of Catalonia is filled with parks and natural features, also earning it a spot in the top 10 for nature lovers. It does the same in terms of providing loads of entertainment and foodie options.

Top Museums in Barcelona


There’s a common thought from visitors who visit Barcelona: so many museums and so little time! Begin with the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (shown), the city’s largest museum dedicated to 1,000 years of Catalan art.

Move on to Parc de Montjuic, the national museum and castle that not only houses more European art, but also affords fantastic mountaintop views of the city.

Then explore the science museum, CosmoCaixa, which takes you back as far as prehistoric times.

Top Sites and Landmarks in Barcelona


But, of course, when you spend time in the artist Gaudi’s world, you simply must visit his architectural works. The world-renowned Basilica of the Sagrada Familia tops the list of places to visit in Barcelona. This cathedral has become the symbol of the city and offers jaw-dropping architecture on both the exterior and interior.

A short stroll away is the Barri Gotic, or Gothic Quarter, with is one of the oldest districts of the city filled with shops and restaurants and surrounded by wonderful architecture.

On your architectural tour, make your way to Casa Batllo (shown). Here, Gaudi’s vision is showcased throughout this unique building’s structure.


Asking Questions in English

Using What, Where, When, Why, Who, and How

See the source image

Learning how to ask questions is essential in any language. In English, the most common questions are known as “wh” words because they begin with those two letters: where, when, why, what, and who. They can function as adverbs, adjectives, pronouns, or other parts of speech, and are used ask for specific information. 


Use this word to ask questions about people. In this example, “who” serves as a direct object.

Who do you like?

Who has he decided to hire for the job?

In other instances, “who” serves as the subject. In this case, the sentence structure is similar to that of positive sentences.

Who studies Russian?

Who would like to take a vacation?

In formal English, the word “whom” will replace “who” as the direct object of a preposition.

To whom should I address this letter?

For whom is this present?


Use this word to ask about things or actions in object questions.

What does he do at weekends?

What do you like to eat for dessert?

By adding the word “like” to the sentence, you can ask for physical descriptions about people, things, and places.

What type of car do you like?

What is Mary like?


Use this word to ask questions about time-related events, specific or general.

When do you like going out?

When does the bus leave?


This word is used to ask about location.

Where do you live?

Where did you go on vacation?


This word can be combined with adjectives to ask questions about specific characteristics, qualities and quantities. 

How tall are you?

How much does it cost?

How many friends do you have?


When paired with a noun, this word is used when choosing between a number of items.

Which book did you buy?

Which kind of apple do you prefer?

Which type of computer takes this plug?

Using Prepositions

A number of “wh” questions can combine with prepositions, typically at the end of the question. Some of the most common combinations are:

  • who … for
  • who … with
  • where … to
  • where … from
  • what … for (= why)
  • what … in

Note how these word pairings are used in the following example.

Who are you working for?

Where are they going to?

What did he buy that for?

You can also use these pairings to ask follow-up questions as part of a larger conversation.

Jennifer is writing a new article.

Who for?

She’s writing it for Jane magazine.


When more general verbs such as “do” and “go” are used, it’s common to use a more specific verb in the reply.

Why did he do it?

He wanted to get a raise.

Questions with “why” are often replied to using “because” as in the following example.

Why are you working so hard?

Because I need to finish this project soon.

These questions are often replied to using the imperative (to do). In this case, the clause with “because” is understood to be included in the answer.

Why are they coming next week?

To make a presentation. (Because they are going to make a presentation.)

Test Your Knowledge

Now that you’ve had a chance to review, it’s time to challenge yourself with a quiz. Provide the missing question words. The answers follow this test.

  1. ____ is the weather like in July?
  2. ____ much is the chocolate?
  3. ____ boy won the race last week?
  4. ____ did you get up this morning?
  5. ____ team won the World Cup in 2002?
  6. ____ does Janet live?
  7. ____ long does the concert last?
  8. ____ food do you like?
  9. ____ does it take to get to New York from Albany?
  10. ____ does the movie begin this evening?
  11. To ____ do you report at work?
  12. ____ is your favorite actor?
  13. ____ house does he live in?
  14. ____ is Jack like?
  15. ____ does the building look like?
  16. ____ does she study English with?
  17. ____ do the people in your country go for vacation?
  18. ____ do you play tennis?
  19. ____ sports do you play?
  20. ____ is your doctor’s appointment next week?


  1. What
  2. How
  3. Which
  4. What time / When
  5. Which
  6. Where
  7. How
  8. What kind of / What type of
  9. How long
  10. What time / when
  11. Whom – formal English
  12. Who
  13. Which
  14. What
  15. What
  16. Who
  17. Where
  18. How often / When
  19. Which / How many
  20. What time / When


July Journal Prompts

1. What is most important to you?
2. Your best trait
3. A movie that makes you happy
4. Something that excites you
5. Something that worries you
6. Actions that you admire
7. A time of transition
8. How did you feel today?
9. What do you spend your time thinking about?
10. What year has been your best so far?
11. Who do you trust?
12. A song from your childhood
13. What you wore today
14. How are you creative?
15. The best part of summer
16. A letter to someone else
17. I always…
18. A list of things you like
19. A question that needs to be asked
20. What do you need?
21. Your summer playlist
22. What inspires you?
23. What do you want less of?
24. What is holding you back?
25. A tiny step towards your dreams
26. Three things you want to change in your life
27. How have you grown in the past month?
28. What are you offering the world?
29. How do you spend time resting?
30. The best idea you’ve had this week
31. The book you’re currently reading


10 musicals to stream at home after you’ve watched the ‘Hamilton’ movie

By (Darcy Schild) of Insider©

Slide 1 of 11: The "Hamilton" movie is now available to stream on Disney Plus.Fans who loved the highly acclaimed show can stream plenty of other theatrical works at home, including "Jersey Boys" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.""Hamilton" enthusiasts may particularly enjoy other musicals set in New York City, like "West Side Story," or performances that star Lin-Manuel Miranda, such as "Mary Poppins Returns."Here's what musicals to enjoy at home after watching "Hamilton." Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.Read the original article on Insider


  • The “Hamilton” movie is now available to stream on Disney Plus.
  • Fans who loved the highly acclaimed show can stream plenty of other theatrical works at home, including “Jersey Boys” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
  • “Hamilton” enthusiasts may particularly enjoy other musicals set in New York City, like “West Side Story,” or performances that star Lin-Manuel Miranda, such as “Mary Poppins Returns.”
  • Here’s what musicals to enjoy at home after watching “Hamilton.” 

“West Side Story” is a must-see American musical.

The tragic and romantic story adapts “Romeo and Juliet” into a modern love story. Similar to the Shakespeare classic, it follows two rival families — or in the case of the musical, gangs — and the conflict comes to a head with a forbidden love interest. The dramatic production intertwines drama and iconic musical numbers and earned the 1961 movie 10 Academy Awards.

“West Side Story” can be streamed on Netflix.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is a family friendly musical that also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The lovable and magical character that is Mary Poppins returns to the Banks family in this 2018 spin on the classic musical. Fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda will be thrilled to know that the “Hamilton” mastermind also plays a central role in the “Mary Poppins” revival, which includes incredible dancing and singing that people of all ages will enjoy.

“Mary Poppins Returns” can be streamed on Netflix.

“Newsies: The Broadway Musical” is set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century.

“Newsies” is a Disney musical based on the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899 that follows character Jack Kelly, a newsboy who has aspirations to escape the city and become an artist. When publishing leaders raise costs at the expense of the newsies, Kelly and the newsies band together to push for labor rights.

“Newsies: The Broadway Musical” can be streamed on Disney Plus.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a lively musical-comedy.

Slide 5 of 11: Inspired by the biblical story of Joseph, the Andrew Lloyd Weber production — which was made into a movie starring Donny Osmond in 2000 — is full of life and color, and there's no shortage of catchy songs. The musical not only intertwines biblical themes with humor, but it encourages audiences to believe in the beauty of their dreams."Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" can be streamed on Broadway HD, which is $8.99/month.

Inspired by the biblical story of Joseph, the Andrew Lloyd Weber production — which was made into a movie starring Donny Osmond in 2000 — is full of life and color, and there’s no shortage of catchy songs. The musical not only intertwines biblical themes with humor, but it encourages audiences to believe in the beauty of their dreams.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” can be streamed on Broadway HD, which is $8.99/month.

The Broadway rendition of “Peter Pan” combines fairytale and musical.

The story about the boy who never wanted to grow up has been recreated in many forms over the years, from cartoon versions to live-action productions. But there’s something magical about the Broadway version of “Peter Pan,” a nostalgic show that all audiences can enjoy.

“Peter Pan” is available to stream on Broadway HD.

Slide 7 of 11: The musical biography gives audiences a look at the evolution of the Four Seasons, especially focusing on lead singer Frankie Valli. The story starts in early 1950s New Jersey and takes readers through the off-stage moments that defined the band, from their music to their personal lives."Jersey Boys" is available for streaming on Netflix.
©Warner Bros.

The film adaptation of “Jersey Boys” tells the story of Franki Vallie and the Four Seasons.

The musical biography gives audiences a look at the evolution of the Four Seasons, especially focusing on lead singer Frankie Valli. The story starts in early 1950s New Jersey and takes readers through the off-stage moments that defined the band, from their music to their personal lives.

“Jersey Boys” is available for streaming on Netflix.

The 1999 version of “Annie” is a classic that’s great for all ages.

The beloved musical follows young Annie from her New York City orphanage to the welcoming arms of Oliver Warbucks. Featuring iconic musical numbers like “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” the 1999 movie version of the award-winning show is a delightful way to bring the theater home.

“Annie” can be streamed on Disney Plus.

Slide 9 of 11: The movie that was inspired by the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is an award-winning classic and feel-good hit that embodies that idea that humor and music and make everything better. As a bonus, the movie includes an intermission, so the three-hour musical is a bit more digestible."The Sound of Music" can be streamed on Disney Plus.
©20th Century Fox

“The Sound of Music” is a timeless feel-good musical.

The movie that was inspired by the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is an award-winning classic and feel-good hit that embodies that idea that humor and music and make everything better. As a bonus, the movie includes an intermission, so the three-hour musical is a bit more digestible.

“The Sound of Music” can be streamed on Disney Plus.

“Kinky Boots” is an entertaining and uplifting story with music by Cyndi Lauper.

The vibrant musical follows Charlie Price, who inherited his father’s shoe factory and needs to find new business opportunities to avoid bankruptcy. Price meets Lola, an entertainer who needs a pair of high-quality, fabulous heeled boots, and the two form an unlikely but meaningful friendship that makes for a memorable story.

“Kinky Boots” is available to stream on Broadway HD.

“Rock of Ages” is a fun watch for fans of ’80s music.

The modern musical “Rock of Ages” was adapted for the big screen in 2012 and is essentially a 1980s time capsule. Featuring songs from rock icons like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, and plenty of other one-hit wonders of the ’80s, the musical follows aspiring rockstars who move to Hollywood in hopes of making it big.

“Rock Of Ages” can be rented on Amazon for starting at $2.99, or purchased for $6.99.

There you have it. Your streaming begins now!


Happy 4th of July

Patriotic Starburst Bouquet

By: Annabelle Keller, CPD for STYROFOAM Brand Foam

Patriotic Starburst Bouquet: Celebrate your patriotism with this Red, White, and Blue craft project. This festive bouquet makes a great quick and easy Fourth of July decoration or the perfect outdoor picnic table decoration.

Celebrate your patriotism with this red, white and blue craft project. This festive bouquet makes a great quick and easy Fourth of July decoration or the perfect outdoor picnic table decoration.


  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam:
    • Sheet, 1″ x 12″ x 36″
    • Stars: 9″ x 1/2″, one; 6″ x 1/2″, one; 4 x 1/2″, three
  • Clay pot, 5″
  • Wood dowels, 36″ x 1/8″, two
  • Multipurpose acrylic sealer
  • Acrylic paints: white; bright red; denim blue
  • White dimensional paint
  • Satin varnish
  • Metallic red shredded Mylar
  • Paintbrushes, 3/4″ and 1/2″ flat wash
  • Serrated knife
  • Five wood skewers
  • Disposable palette
  • Paper towels
  • White, thick craft glue
  • Transparent tape, 1/2″ width
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Sea wool sponge
  • Paraffin or candle stub


  1. Apply sealer to clay pot and let dry. Paint clay pot, excluding rim, and wood dowels white. Paint pot rim blue, extending color 1″ to inside top. Let dry. Sponge paint white portion of clay pot with blue, let dry, and then repeat with red (refer to photo).
  2. Insert a wood skewer into edge of each foam star at center bottom to use as a handle while painting. Insert opposite end of skewer into foam sheet while paint dries. Paint stars as follows: one 4″ and one 6″, red; one 4″, white; one 4″, blue.
  3. For flag pattern on 9″ star, paint two left points blue and three remaining points white (refer to photo). Use tape to mask off eight white stripes on star, continuing pattern onto edges and back. Paint unmasked white portion of star red, creating nine red stripes. Let dry and remove tape. With white dimensional paint, paint seven 5-point stars on blue field. Squeeze paint in center of each star and pull out to points with bottle tip. Let dry thoroughly.
  4. Apply varnish to clay pot, stars, and wood dowels. Let dry.
  5. Using a utility knife, cut one each of following lengths from white wood dowels: 12″ dowel (flag star); 8″ dowel (large red star); 11 1/2″ dowel (blue star); 8 1/2″ dowel (white star); 6 1/2″ dowel (small red star). Replace skewers in stars with wood dowels as indicated and glue.
  6. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Cut pieces of sheet foam to snugly fit clay pot. Layer and glue foam inside pot. Arrange stars in pot, gluing wood dowels into foam (refer to photo). Glue shredded Mylar, covering top of foam.

®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.


Colorful New Swimwear


This range is perfect for the young and young at heart. In addition to swimwear, a selection of activewear is also available, but best of all a large percentage of this range is now made from an incredible new fabric developed from 100% recycled materials including old fishing nets retreived from the bottom of the ocean!


The discerning woman loves OPERA®! Luxurious on all levels, if you want to stand out from the crowd and feel amazing then this is the range you must try.


This brand has always been renowned for quality, comfort and fit. From little bikini’s to tankini’s, there is always something for everyone. Beautiful mastectomy swimsuits in the latest designs are always popular for women who want to swim with confidence.

Thanks to Doris of FASH’N SPLASH for this post.

Fireworks Cookies


Put on a show with a display of these patriotic cookies.

Put on a show with a display of these patriotic cookies.

8 ingredients


  • 2 Eggs, large

Baking & Spices

  • 4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 Royal icing, Red White, and Blue
  • 1 Salt, Coarse
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract, pure


  • 2 sticks Butter, unsalted


Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.
  • Step 2Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.
  • Step 3Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Step 4Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  • Step 5Decorate the cookies: Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then “flood” with more white icing to cover.
  • Step 6Immediately pipe a red or blue dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of colors around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).
  • Step 7Immediately drag a toothpick through the colors to create bursts, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie. (Or drag around the cookie in 1 direction or curve the lines for a pinwheel effect.) Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings.