Perennials are flowering plants that die back to the ground each winter but then regrow and blossom from their underground roots. Most of them have a relatively short blooming period, but it repeats itself year after year. An original investment in a relatively small number of plants will yield more and more viewing pleasure each year as the plants multiply. Certain practices in landscaping with perennials will maximize their garden impact.
Select plants with complementary blooming periods
Because no single perennial blooms for the whole length of the season, choose several different plants each of which blooms at a different time.
Start the season with bleeding heart, for instance, and then have yarrow ready to go when the bleeding heart’s blooming period is over, and coneflowers after the yarrow. In this way there is a focal point of blooming perennials in the garden all season long.
For best results choose plants that have different colors and visual form, so that the blossoms about to bloom are obviously a different type from those on their last legs.
Use perennials in sweeping masses
One good sized visual mass of colorful bloom can dominate a bed or even the whole of a small garden. Put all plants of one type and color together in a group, and arrange the groups to lead the observer’s eye from one to the other.
In beds with considerable depth from front to back, a mass of tall plants at the rear, another of medium height in the center and something short in front works quite well.
Round beds often have a mass of tall plants in the center and three or more masses of smaller sorts positioned around it.
Choose plants that fit the soil and the exposure
Flowering plants are very picky about the amount of sunlight they like. A shade loving plant positioned in full sun or one that craves sun placed in open shade will not perform well and may not bloom at all.
Moisture levels and the quality of the soil should also be considered when choosing perennials for specific locations. Within reason soil and water can be altered to suit the plant, but light levels are harder to change.
Each year swaths of perennials erupt in areas ranging from subtropical to barely thawed. They bring color to our landscape and joy to our lives. Among the large number of varieties of perennials will be found enough plants adapted to any particular situation to make any yard shine.
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