Old-Fashioned Flowers

Our local landscapers share their old-fashioned favorites.

By Melissa Mauzy


Add a touch of nostalgia to your garden with these beautiful blooms that have stood the test of time. Our local landscapers share their old-fashioned favorites.  

“Pulsatilla vulgaris ‘Red Bells’, or Pasque Flower, is one of our favorite spring-blooming perennials. These old-fashioned beauties, with a rich history as a medicinal plant, first emerge with hairy stems followed by bright crimson cup-like flowers and delicate feathery foliage. The blooms last for weeks and are followed by wispy seedpods. Pulsatilla do well in our area when planted in a bright sunny spot with good drainage, such as a rock garden. Once established they are drought-tolerant and easily naturalized by seed.”  Lizzy Rickard, Bowood Farms.

“The Lilac is a favorite spring-blooming shrub, with beautiful flowers and a distinctive, unforgettable fragrance that conjures up memories of warm spring days. The common Lilac that grandma had was tall and needed lots of space. Numerous cultivars have been introduced over time to extend the range of flower color and shrub size. ‘Miss Kim’ is a smaller variety if space is an issue. ‘Boomerang’ was introduced recently offering repeat blooming in one season. All are sun lovers and deer resistant!”  Mike Curran, Timberwinds Nursery.

“Peonies are one of my favorite old-fashioned flowers. Their outrageously beautiful blooms along with great foliage never cease to impress. They are a long-lived, low-maintenance plant that should be a part of any landscape area.”  Bob Lovatto, Poynter Landscape.

“Our favorite old-fashioned flower is the Mock Orange or Philadelphus pubescens. There are other species but this one is a Missouri native. It grows 4-10 feet high x 4-10 feet wide. The blooms are similar in fragrance to citrus blossoms and bloom white flowers June-July. It grows in sun to medium shade, so is a nice choice for a shrub that blooms in shade. It is rabbit and deer resistant. It also attracts pollinators. It can be used alone as a specimen or in mass for screens and hedges.” Cathy Pauley, Papillon Perennials.

“As popular now as when my grandmother grew them, Hollyhocks, Alcea, bring a wall of cheerful blossoms to the garden. They're adored for their huge, velvety flowers that come in gorgeous colors and forms. Hollyhocks are easy to grow in average soil and grow between 2-5' tall. For best bloom keep well watered.” Ann Lapides, Sugar Creek Gardens.