Yarrow is a breezy, bountiful bloomer that brings a striking assortment of colour to the sunny side of the garden. Yarrow, or Achillea millefolium, comes in shades of pink, apricot, mauve, red, white or yellow. It has a delightful habit of blooming one colour, then aging to softer, faded pastels. The feathery foliage can be vivid green or silvery grey depending on the cultivar. Yarrow’s amiable wildflower quality, with swaying informal stems, is most suited to a cottage style garden. This vigorous perennial that can be cut back before blooming in spring for a bushier habit, or can be cut back after bloom, for a fresh flush of ferny green and continued bloom. Deadheading also makes for more blossoms, as does cutting for bouquets. There are many cultivars available, with some of my favourites including: deep pink ‘Cerise Queen’, purple-y pink ‘Saucy Seduction’, soft pink ‘Apple Blossom’, coral pink ‘Paprika’, or the popular ‘Moonshine’ that serves up platters of gleaming golden blooms atop grey-green foliage. Common yarrow is a native wildflower for North America – a smaller version than cultivated yarrow, but with the same fern-like greenery capped with flat clusters of white bloom.
Technical stuff – Yarrow/Achillea millefolium, hardy perennial to zone 3, height and spread of 18”-24” or taller if happy, full sun, well-drained soil, drought tolerant, blooms summer into fall.