Great Perennials To Help You Save The Planet.

It's time to change the giant flat green lawn concept.

Lawns are man made deserts that do nothing but make our yards look tidy and reduce the amount of work we have to do. They actually increase emissions as lawn mowers are especially bad, have no filters and throw out a lot of unwanted chemicals, and we use them every week! Sometimes more than once a week and every home that has a lawn does this! Its time we rethought that issue.

While lawns should not be done away with completely they should be rethought. An area just around the house to pick up breezes and keep the house cool is reasonable but do you really need all the rest of the lawn? Most likely not.
Instead plant some perennial beds. These plants take almost no care but grow much taller so help to increase the oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide around you home and on the planet. If chosen well they can produce some lovely flowers which will increase the number of butterflies and humming birds you attract and reduce the amount of work you need to do as there is less mowing.

Your new plants only need to be mown down once a year, best done in early spring as this gives the pollinators somewhere to hide and overwinter. Mow before the plants start to reemerge and you are done again for the year. Less mower emissions, more life for the planet.

Below is a list of hardy perennial plants that once planted need little or no care, just enjoy the flowers and more time not mowing.

Tall flowering plants that can be cut or mown down in fall or early spring.


Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Perennial loved by pollinators goldfinches love the seeds. Easy grow mow down
Bee Balm / Oswego Tea Monarda didyma Perennial Beats out the weeds spreads tall lovely flowers pollinators love it.
Brown Eyed Susan Rudbeckia triloba Self seeding annual. Grow between other plants for color and filler.
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa interior Perennial. Hates being moved. Needs cold to germinate. low growing beautiful
Catnip / Catmint Nepeta cataria Pollinator magnate. short lived perennial, will reseed, easy mow down
Coneflower - narrow leafed Echinacea angustifolia Perennial, lovely flowers beloved by native bees and butterflies. Great cut flower too. easy mow down
Coneflower Purple Echinacea purpurea Perennial, lovely flowers beloved by native bees and butterflies. Great cut flower too. easy mow down
CulversRoot Veronicastrum virginicum Perennial, tall white flower spikes attract different pollinators. Easy grow hardy mow down.
Evening Primrose - Common Oenothera biennis Long blooming, tough biennial, will self seed. Needs removing by hand. Loved by pollinators and butterflies
Fennel, Bronze & Green Foeniculum vulgare Perennial, lovely smoky foliage flowers attract different pollinators, great aroma, edible leaves and seed. Easy mow down.
Goat's Beard Aruncus dioicus Tall Perennial great flowers, likes some shade. May need to cut stalks by hand. Large impressive flower spikes.
Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium maculatum Can get very tall and dramatic. May need hand cutting stems to tall and strong. Impressive and butterflies love it.
Late Figwort Scrophularia marilandica Hardy perennial pollinator magnate, flowers not showy but interesting easy mow down
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis Short perennial, great aroma easy care mow down.
Mallow Common Malva sylvestris Short lived perennial masses of flowers grows to small shrub in one year, dies back in winter. May need hand cutting of stems.
Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Perennial Tall velvet like leaves, purple flowers. Pollinators love it. Edible leaves and flowers easy mow down. Does not need a marsh to grow.
MeadowSweet Filipendula ulmaria Shorter but tall white flower spikes impressive. Easy mow down
Motherwort Leonurus cardiaca Tall aromatic plant, flowers not that obvious but loved by pollinators. Easy mow down.
Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum pilosum Tall long flowering pernnial pollinators love flowers that bloom later. Easy mow down.
Rose / Swamp Mallow Hibiscus moscheutos Huge pink flowers very impressive, does not need swamp but wants some water, likes moist ground. Impressive, would need hand cutting stalks are large and toubh.
Sunflower - Tickseed Bidens aristosa / Bidens polylepis Flowers much later than others. Self seeding annual very showy for late fall. Easy mow down
Sunflowers, Perennial Helianthus maximiliani Perennial flowers late in year, very tall with masses of smaller sunflowers. Stems are tough need bush hog to mow down.
Swamp milkweed, Pink Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Help the monarchs. Perennial lovely pink flowers easy mow down.
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare Tough long lasting tall bright yellow flowers. Easy cut or mow down, Wonderful grow and forget plant, just enjoy.
Tarragon - Russian Artemiesia dracunculus Perennial. Tall mostly green flowers insignificant, but very aromatic and edible. Easy mow down.
Wormwood/Abstinth Artemisia Absinthium Perennial. Tall silvey foliage insignifcant flowers. Tough stalks need to be hand cut in fall. Hardy easy grow.
Yarrow - White Achillea millefolium Shorter very tough perennial. Comes back every year, beats out weeds flowers and loved by pollinators. Easy mow down great for meadows. Comes in white or colors.
Elecampane Inula Helenium Tall dramatic plant large leaves, needs lots of space. May need tall flower stalks but by hand.

Bushy flowering plants that stay all winter long. Some easy pruning in spring may be required.


Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Short lived perennial shrub. Stays green all winter lovely blue flowers loved by pollinators.
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Semi hardy to zone 6 may need some mulching. Beautiful flowers beloved by pollinators and people. may need some pruning for best results.
Peppermint Mentha x piperita Low ground cover easy grow, spreading aromatic.
Sage Salvia officinalis Hardy evergreen lovely flowers. Semi shrub
Spearmint Mentha Spicata Low ground cover easy grow, spreading aromatic.

Spring flowers. Pretty much take care of themselves


Columbine Aquilegia spp Late spring flowering for semi shaded areas. Grows anywhere, seed and forget.
Money Plant/Honesty Lunaria annua Beautiful purple flowers late spring partly shaded areas. Biennial seed and forget takes care of itself.
Motherwort, Siberian Leonurus sibiricus Annual. Will grow tall. Polinator magnate easy grow and forget, easy mow down. Will grow from early spring until frost.

Pretty much take care of themselves


Blackberry Lily Iris domestica Perennial, tall flower spikes offers drama mow down inwinter.
Mullein Verbascum thapsus Tall bright yellow flower spikes long flowering. Biennial flowers in second year. Huge sliverly leaves persist in winter, dont cut down first year leaves second year plants easy to remove. Will self seed.
Oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare Ideal for meadows spreading perennial masses of white daisy flowers in late spring. easy mow down after flowering.
Rose Campion Lychnis coronaria Silivery foliage all year bright pink flowers in late spring early summer. Full sun grows any well drained soils. Seed and forget. Short lived perennial will self seed.
Woad Isatis tinctoria Short lived perennial semi evergreen tall spikes yellow flowers late spring. Pollinator magnate. Cut down flower spikes and forget it.

Need slightly different care


Senna-American Senna marilandica Flower spikes are on tough stalks so will need to be cut down manually. The seed pods make great winter interest.
Valerian Valerian officinalis Flowers in early summer so cutting down flower spikes after that makes it look cleaner

Shade Or Woodland Plants


American Spikenard Aralia racemosa Taller woodland plant great flowers, cut down in fall
Black cohosh Cimicifuga ramosa. Tall woodland plant, takes care of itself. flowers in summer brightens woodlands.
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis Bright red flowers semi shade needs ideal for rain gardens.
Celandine - Greater Chelidonium majus Bright yellow flowers in late spring. Great for dappled woodlands.
Good King Henry Chenopodium bonus henrius Shade loving "spinach"! Perennial easy grow.
Lady's Mantle Alchemilla mollis Semi shade masses of green leaves and light green flowers. Likes water.
Wood Betony Stachys officinalis Low growing woodland plant purple flowers in summer.

Low Ground Cover Plants


Bugleweed Ajuga reptans 8" (cm) flower spikes in late spring. Ground cover or mix in shady lawn.
Chives -Garlic Allium tuberosum Pollinator magnate.Full sun, masses of white flowers in late summer and autumn sow and forget will beat out weeds and cover whole areas. Self seeds.
Clover - White Trifolium repens Great for lawns, helps keep up nitrogen levels and feed grass. Keeps rabbits on the lawn and out of flower beds.
Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium Full sun bright pink flowers, can be mown very aromatic.
Self-Heal Prunella vulgaris Low growing exceptional herb with blue flowers. sow and forget
Thyme, Common Thymus vulgaris Full sun bright pink flowers, can be mown very aromatic and edible.
Thyme, creaping Thymus pulegioides Full sun bright pink flowers, can be mown very aromatic and edible.
Winter aconite Eranthis hyemalis First to flower in late winter. Flowers first then leaves which vanish by summer. Ideal for woodland areas
Woodruff sweet Galium odoratum Low growing ground cover semi shade.
Janice Hazeldine PhD is the owner and head grower of Floral Encounters an organic Medicinal Herb farm that is also a designated sanctuary for pollinators.