Perennials are herbaceous plants that live for more than three seasons. Perennials are the foundation upon which your garden is built. If you treat them well they will come back for several seasons and in some cases even longer.
Perennials are often considered to be the gardens’ skin because they form the majority of plants which are used for borders and for ground cover.
Perennials offer a wide variety of form, flower and foliage and give the gardener a large palette from which to make plant selections.
The perennial plant ranges from very small rock plants to gigantic bamboos and there is a perennial for just about any gardening situation.
Perennials for the backs of borders;
When you use a tall perennial for the back of your garden border you create a look of permanence and their majestic size catches the eye. Some tall perennials such as one of my favourites the delphinium will require support in order to avoid being knocked flat by the wind. Delphiniums like rich and deep soils.
Rudbeckia is a strong growing plant with bright yellow double flowers and a green centre that appears among the leafy green foliage from late summer into the fall.
Perennials as Specimen Plants
A specimen plant is a plant that is so striking that it can stand alone as a special feature in your garden.
Ornamental Rhubarb (Rheum plamatum) is a large, lobed leave plant that displays brilliant heads or crimson flowers in early summer.
Perennials as a groundcover;
There is no reason to leave a bare spot in your garden when there are so many perennials available that make ideal groundcover. The hosta not only provides groundcover and beautiful foliage but enjoys the shade and will produce flowers in summer.
If you are seeking a native plant, then depending upon your location the wood anemone or Anemone nemorosa is ideal. This plant will form a carpet of ferny leaves and star-shaped flowers in the spring.
If you are looking for a medium height perennial the Chrysanthemum ‘Clara Curtis’ or Korean Chrysanthemum is a bushy plant that flowers all through the summer and autumn.
If you have heavy clay soil there are a number of choices, one of the most striking and easy to grow is the New England Aster or Aster novae-angliae. The New England Aster forms erect clumps of leafy stems which produce large branching heads of daisy-like flowers in autumn.
When it comes to perennials the gardener’s palette is large and there is a plant to met most needs. You can free your creativity and create lasting beauty when you choose perennials.