I’ve come across a stunning color combination of native plants which will bring a lot of color to any spring garden year after year– blue star (amsonia) and mouse eared tickseed (coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana’). Click on the photo for a more detailed enlargement.
If you are looking for yellow color once your daffodils are gone, Coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana” is a hardy little variety of coreopsis that adds a golden orange to the garden and comes back reliably year after year. It can tolerate dry periods and sun/part shade and can be a great accent at the edge of your garden or in a rock garden. It can also be used as a ground cover. Like most coreopsis, you can sheer the flowers after the first bloom for an intermittent bloom the rest of the season.
The lovely native plant, Amsonia, or Blue Star, brings blue color and an interesting texture to the late-spring early summer garden and has the added benefit of spectacular yellow fall color. Two varieties: Blue Star Willow, amsonia tabernaemontana, and Blue Star Arkansas, amsonia hubrichtii, are available in the local nurseries; of the two I prefer amsonia hubrichtii whose billowing needle-like leaves are silky soft. This perennial grows about 3’ high and wide, and bears hundreds of light-blue star-shaped flowers at the top edges of its leaves. Amsonia has no serious disease or insect problems, and deer don’t like it. It was chosen as the 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year.