Bright yellow flowers boost this perennial

While much of the state is thawing out from the recent snowstorm, it is hard to believe that it's time to plan for spring planting. Perennials are always nice choices for the garden, especially those that are evergreen and add a bit of interest even in the dead of winter.

Achillea Moonshine, commonly known as yarrow, is a fabulous evergreen perennial that shines in summer. Moonshine yarrow is grown primarily for the umbels of bright yellow flowers that begin to appear in early summer and continue into the fall. Moonshine is an improvement over some of the older varieties because it stays slightly more compact, topping out at 18-24 inches tall in flower. Also, it doesn't spread as rapidly as some other varieties, which can sprawl to the point of being borderline weedy. The soft, feathery foliage is quite handsome with its silvery-gray color and remains evergreen in the winter.

One of the beauties of planting yarrow is its easy nature. While it performs well in prime garden conditions, it will also prosper in poor soils and tolerate periods of drought. Basically, all you need to do is plant it in a full sun location, sit back and watch it thrive. It's perfect when placed near the front of a border and is an excellent choice for a butterfly garden. Achillea Moonshine also makes a great cut flower.

Deadheading the spent blooms will improve flower production throughout the season. Also, you may need to divide the clumps occasionally to reduce their size.

Achillea Moonshine should be available in garden centers. And remember, if you don't see it, ask your garden center to get it for you. They can't stock what they don't know you want.

Let the yellow bursts of Achillea Moonshine light up your garden this summer.