Perennial Gardens

April 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

Nothing pleases gardeners and homeowners more than having flowers that provide a variety of colour and at the same time require little maintenance.  Perennials are the key in achieving this gardening goal.  Your probably wondering what a perennial is?  A perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years, or a plant that comes back year after year.  Perennials grow and bloom over the spring and summer, and dieback during the winter. These plants grow back the following spring from their rootstocks.  Perennials can include grasses, flowers, trees, groundcovers, and shrubs.

What is required for a perennial garden?   There are no specific requirements but you should check out the garden’s conditions prior to purchasing plants, for example: light availability, the type of soil, and amounts of wind exposure.   It is good to have flowers in the garden that bloom at different times of the year.  Flowers such as candytuft bloom in the spring where as hostas bloom in the summer and fall.  You should also think about different textures for example larger leaved plants are coarse in texture and make spaces appear smaller.  Conversely smaller leaved plants are fine in texture and make spaces appear larger.   A variety of colours should be considered because colours affect our senses.  Cool colours such as blue, purple, green are soothing and make small spaces appear bigger.  Warm colours such as red, orange, and yellow are more intense and appear to fill in larger spaces.  Perennial gardens still do require some form of maintenance in terms of watering, weeding, and occasional pruning (Beck and Renwald, 2001).

How do you choose plants?  There is a variety of perennials available at your local nursery but please pick plants that are suitable to your garden conditions.  If your garden is shady or you are creating a perennial shade garden you will probably choose perennials that grow well in full shade such as bleeding heart and coral bells. It is important to note that there are a limited number of perennials available that grow well in full shade.  If you have a garden that is exposed to full sun than you will probably choose plants that grow well in full sun such as coneflower and Shasta daisy.  Please check out the references below for further information about perennials and perennial gardening.

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Entry filed under: Perennials, Summer. Tags: , , , .

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