There is such a wide variety of perennials to choose from and a multitude of opportunities to display their versatility. They are a sure bet for the garden: visual effect guaranteed! They simply become more beautiful year after year. Really, you could not make a better investment for your garden.

The many ways to enjoy perennials

Chrysanthemum

  1. Plant perennials in front of bushes and conifers to bring a touch of gaiety to your garden as the spring flowers pop up.
  2. Use them as groundcover in a rock garden, as a border, or cascading over a knee wall.
  3. Plant them as an alternative to grass in shaded locations, on slopes or in spaces with limited accessibility.
  4. Plant in combinations of at least five varieties for a spectacular result.
  5. Use them as a buffer zone in borders.
  6. Create focal points with specimen planting – individual plants for an outstanding effect.
  7. Cut flowers to fill your home with beauty and fragrance.

Many perennials thrive in containers, so include the patio and balcony in your plans.

Hanging planters: add trailing perennials such as Nettle, Garden Loosestrife or Vinca.

Decorative pots: be creative with Acanthus, Milkweed, Alumroot, Hosta, Hens-And-Chickens, English Lavender, Ligularia, Showy Sedum, or Chameleon Plant.

Life span of perennials

Hosta

A perennial is simply a plant that lives more than two years. Generally, the top portion of the plant dies back each winter, and then grows the following spring from the same root system. The life span of an individual plant can vary from a few to a hundred years, so you’ll have to do your research!

Short-lived perennials

Short-lived perennials live from two (biennials) to four years. Plants in this category usually take root quickly and flower profusely, providing you with a beautiful display right from the first year. Keep in mind they’ll need replacing at some point. The good news? Some of these plants are naturally self-sowing.

Short-lived perennials:

  • Columbines
  • Daisies
  • Flowers
  • Large flowered Coreopsis.

Long-lived perennials

Although long-lived perennials take longer to become established, they will provide you with a beautiful display for many years after the four-year threshold. It is important to divide perennials every three or four years to restore their health and vigor.

Long-lived perennials:

  • Peonies
  • Pinks
  • Geraniums

Three-season flowering perennials

Lupinus

Part of perennials’ growth cycle is a predetermined flowering period that in most cases, lasts from two to four weeks. Group together varieties that have successive blooming periods – from spring (April/May) through autumn (September/October).

Spring-blooming perennials that reappear after the long winter months:

  • Bellflower
  • Iris
  • Sage
  • Peony
  • Windflower
  • Phlox

Summer-blooming perennials to refresh the colour in your flower beds and balcony:

  • Coral bells
  • Mint
  • Coneflower
  • Lupin
  • Astilbe
  • Daisy

Fall-blooming perennials to prolong the season:

Rudbeckia
Aster
Chrysanthemum
Stonecrop

Sustained-flowering perennials that bloom from June to August/September are particularly appreciated in small gardens with a limited number of plants.

  • Perennial Lavatera
  • Spiderwort
  • Lance Leaf Coreopsis
  • Yellow Chamomile
  • Yarrow

Not just flowers, decorative foliage too

Hosta Heuchera

The blooming period for perennials is often limited to a few short weeks, just like deciduous trees and shrubs, but the aesthetic impact of many perennials lies in the colour, form and texture of their foliage – and their foliage will be attractive from spring to snowfall. Plant in groups for a strong visual impact.

These are some ornamental-foliage perennials:

Scotch Thistle
Ladies’ Mantle
Astilbe
Bergenia

Brunneras
Spurge
Alumroot
Hosta

Hens-And-Chickens
Showy Sedum
Bethlehem Sage
Japanese Knotweed

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