Perennial Gardening

5th Dec 2012

Perennial plants are that return, year after year. Once these plants are put in a spot in the garden and are seen to do well there, they can last for many years. This is why some professional gardeners believe that perennial gardening is much easier than gardening with annuals or biannuals, which need to be replaced every one or two years.

Trees and shrubs are of course large parts of perennial gardening and a gardener can purchase them at a tree farm or buy them from an online nursery. Before a gardener decides on the tree or shrub she wants, however, she has to know the tree or shrub’s habit. A shrub or tree that she brings home in a small container or arrives small enough to fit in her mailbox can grow very large and its root system can be extensive. She also needs to know if the tree will be happy with the soil on her property and her climate. Some trees can stand a lot of soil and climate conditions, but some need pampering and can’t tolerate places that are too hot in the summer, don’t get enough rain or get too much rain, or whose soil is poor or doesn’t have the right pH.

A gardener will also benefit from designing her garden well before she buys the plants for it. She should know if certain plants grow well together, for some don’t. She should also know, as with the trees, how tall they grow when they’re mature and what times of the year they flower. She should also know the colors of the flowers, as well as the colors and textures of the foliage. This will help her create a balanced and beautiful garden.

Perennials tend not to be as showy as annuals but they too can be quite tolerant. For example, bluebells can grow very well in hardiness Zones 3 through 8 and not only tolerates but does well in poor soil. Bergenia can also thrive in full sun to light shade. Other perennials that are popular with gardeners are brunnera, bellflower, irises, lavender and hosta, which is perfect for shady places. These plants can be bought as transplants at a garden center, bought on-line or through catalogues. Some can be started from seed.