Choosing the Right Perennials
There's a perfect one for every gardener.
Perennials win the garden popularity contest, hands down. They come
in a potpourri of bloom times, plant sizes, leaf textures, and flower
colors, so there's
a perennial to please every gardener.
Best of all, perennials stage an Oscar-worthy garden performance
that improves year after year. To get started on your own perennial
paradise, see how we transformed turf into troops of blossoms.
Perennials are an affordable floral luxury that can be grown in
any size garden, from the tiniest side yard to the longest border.
For this article, we created a perennial garden in a 13- by 24-foot
raised bed edged with a stone wall. The garden juts out into what
was one large grassy area, creating a blooming focal point in the
Unlike their here-today-gone-tomorrow annual flower cousins, perennials
paint the garden with hues that grow richer through the years. Give
your perennials a solid start with good soil preparation, adding
organic material to your planting beds as needed. Seasonal maintenance
tasks for perennials vary, from staking tall flower spikes to cutting
plants back in fall or early spring to dividing crowded clumps of
plants. Check with your local nursery for care guidelines specific
to your region.
To design your perennial beds, review plant catalogs and garden
books to find flowers you like. Narrow your wish list by selecting
plants that fit your growing conditions. For season-long color,
coordinate bloom times on paper before buying plants.
Remember that perennials are just as picturesque when planted with
annuals, trees, dwarf conifers, flowering shrubs, or even vegetables.
You don't need a large garden devoted solely to perennials to make
For more detailed information on perennial varieties, check out
or visit Better
Homes and Gardens online