A perennial flower garden can provide many
years of beauty and enjoyment. Careful selection of plants and planning
can result in a full season of color. Perennials often require less
maintenance than some annual flowers. Once established, they generally
require less water than annuals and often have fewer pest problems. And
most importantly, gardening designs is an individual thing and no two
gardeners are going to agree on what makes a great garden
Maintenance during the growing season consists
of periodic weeding, removal of spent blossoms (deadheading), staking if
necessary, and insect and disease control. Depending on species, early
spring or fall maintenance consists of trimming and removing old leaves
and stems. After three to five growing seasons, some perennials may need
to be divided to prevent overcrowding.
By definition - perennials are considered to
be ornamental plants that do not die after one season. This does not mean
they live forever. Some perennials are considered to be short-lived,
lasting only 2-3 years and not all perennial plants are hardy in all
areas. If a plant is considered a tender perennial in your zone, whether
it survives next year depends on the winter conditions. Knowing your
garden zone allows you to determine what plants will best survive in your
area, unless you are the adventuresome type, like Tony Avent, plant
explorer and owner of Plant Delights Nursery Inc - I consider every
plant hardy until I have killed it myself ... at least three
Basic Gardening Tips
- Compost is the best organic fertilizer to enliven
your soil. It contains virtually all the nutrients a living plant needs,
and delivers them in a slow-release manner over a period of years.
Adding compost to your garden is a long-term investment, helping to feed
plantings for years. Synthetic fertilizers can actually destroy the
beneficial organisms and organic matter within soil and only provide a
- Group plants by their requirements, sun, shade,
water, high maintenance, etc. You can still mix in different bloom times
and variations in color, form and texture.
- Make low maintenance perennials the backbone of
- Raised beds and containers garden are much easier
to control. Beds raised up by 6 inches or more will require less
fertilizer and water; are easier to maintain; promote better plant and
root growth; keep weeds from your garden; prevent soil compaction;
provide good drainage; and you will be saving your back.
- Reduce watering, weeding and fertilizing
requirements with mulch.