Even the most seasoned gardener can grow weary of seeing the same vegetable plants day in and day out in their garden, making gardens and gardening sound like such a boring activity. It has happened to me – and I grow some of the most gorgeous veggies this side of Whole Foods. It wasn’t until a well-meaning neighbor stopped by one morning that I realized I could make my garden much more beautiful with the addition of a few perennial flowers. The best news of all is that it wouldn’t mean any extra gardening work for me.
Perennials are strong and generally local flowering plants that come back year after year. Unlike annuals, they don’t need to be replanted. Instead, the plants simply die back in their off season, only to return the following year with fresh, beautiful blooms for all to enjoy.
Before you Plant Perennials in your Garden
It is strongly advised that before you go through the effort to plant perennials in your garden, you ensure that the potential planting area as adequate soil drainage. If water sits in the area for longer than a few hours after a rain, you may be better off using a raised bed.
To test, simply dig a hole about 6 inches deep and fill it with water. Wait about twenty-four hours and fill it with water once again. In no more than ten hours, the hole should be dry. If not, the drainage isn’t optimal for perennials and you should consider raised beds, or another area in your garden.
Picking the Right Perennials
The fact that there are thousands of choices does not need to make the selection of perennials for your garden a complicated process. For optimum beauty for as long as possible, you should think about when and for how long each plant will be in bloom, and select a variety of plants that will bloom at different times. Otherwise your garden will look great this month and dormant the next putting all your gardens and gardening efforts to waste.
The good news is that gardens and gardening centers can often take the guesswork out of the equation and most nurseries can give you excellent advice as to what will grow well and complement each other in your particular growing zone. You can also look into one of the wonderful perennial seed mixes that will make your work absolutely simple.
When you do get to the planting portion of your efforts, you should mulch the area around your perennial garden well. This will reduce the onset of weeds and greatly increase the water retention. While store-bought bark mulch is acceptable, so are pine needles – especially when you can get them at no cost from your own yard.
In the end, the choice of which perennials are right for you is a combination of which ones will do best in your area and which sizes, shapes and colors will make you the happiest. Stop by the local garden center, pick up some perennials and start adding some trouble-free color to your gardens and gardening efforts now!