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Low Maintenance Perennials

Well-documented research shows that green space has many positive effects on the health and well-being of people. However, according to the Dutch Ministry of Land Use, in densely populated cities in The Netherlands the amount of urban amenity plantings are well below the recommended level of 800 sq.ft. (74 sq. m) per home. If increasing the quantity of plantings is impossible, effectiveness and quality can be increased by creating more biodiversity in green areas.

Herbaceous perennials are an excellent group of plants with which to achieve more variety and color on small sites. They are eminently suitable for use as ground covers, in flower beds, under trees, along roads and waterways and as edging around shrubs. Using perennials is also an effective way to add color and interest to existing urban/public plantings.

Low maintenance perennials are affordable - While it is true that, comparatively, herbaceous perennials can be quite expensive to buy and that preparation of planting sites takes time and money, by using low maintenance species, the reduced maintenance costs compensate for the initial expenditures. Over a 10-year period, a perennial bed does not have to cost any more to maintain than a shrub border or lawn. To achieve this, the right plants have to be chosen; they should be healthy, sturdy and suppress weeds with their excellent ground covering abilities.

Essential conditions for low maintenance perennial plantings
• Improve the soil on the site and thoroughly remove all weeds before planting.
• Choose plants with requirements that match the site conditions, especially for light and moisture.
• Choose the right plants for the desired use (good ground covers for weed suppression, salt tolerant plants for roadsides, etc.)
• No one plant will be suitable for planting in every situation.
• Consider the plant knowledge level of the maintenance crews and be prepared to provide concise maintenance instructions.
• Plant the right number of plants per sq. ft./m for fast coverage.
• Weed and water when necessary and replace dead plants until the ground is covered (usually at the end of the first summer after planting).

Some suitable species for urban plantings:
Alchemilla, Aster, Echinacea, Geranium, Hemerocallis, Liriope, Nepeta, ornamental grasses, Pachysandra, Rudbeckia and Sedum.

  • Carex 'Firefox'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Carex b. 'Firefox' (30)ct Flat

    Carex b. 'Firefox' (30)ct Flat Common Name: Leatherleaf SedgeA cool season evergreen grass with copper-red foliage in a spiky, upright habit. The wispy leaves are an excellent complement to broadleaf perennials like Salvia and Shasta Daisies. Consider...

    $162.72
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  • Carex FEATHER FALLS ET CRX01 PP26,19930ct Flat

    Carex FEATHER FALLS ('ET CRX01' PP26,199)(30)ct Flat

    Carex FEATHER FALLS™ ('ET CRX01' PP26,199)(30)ct Flat Common Name: Variegated SedgeA relatively new plant to North America, this sedge has been taking the market by storm with its popularity. Its claim to fame is its hybrid vigor that stays attractive...

    $232.80
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  • Hemerocallis Stella de Oro SF BR

    Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro' SF BR

    Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro' Daylily (Jablonski, 1975)  Single Fan bare root plant The world's most popular daylily! 2.75", bright gold complete self with mild pie crust edging and a subtle fragrance Begins blooming in early summer...

    $3.03
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  • Hemerocallis Purple de Oro SF BR

    Hemerocallis 'Purple de Oro' SF BR

    Hemerocallis - 'Purple de Oro' (DeGroot, 2000) Single Fan bare root plant a/k/a RAZZMATAZZ Medium dark purple with lighter midrib and edge above gold throat. Height is 20 inches with 3 inch bloom.Mid Season Rebloomer, Dormant, Dipliod. Petals have...

    $3.03
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  • Hemerocallis Hyperion SF BR

    Hemerocallis 'Hyperion' SF BR

    Hemerocallis - 'Hyperion' Daylily Single Fan bare root plant A nostalgic daylily that has been in cultivation for nearly 90 years 5", canary yellow self with a tiny, green throat Trumpet flower form; when viewed from the side it has the shape of a...

    $4.03
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  • Carex appalachica 3.5 inch pot

    Carex appalachica (3.5 inch pot)

    Carex appalachica Sedge - Appalachica SedgeVery fine, dark green, weeping blades, 12" long. Evergreen in warmer climates. Appalachian Sedge is a native to the Eastern U.S. Clumping nature-spreading slowly- makes it suitable for borders. A good ground...

    $5.98
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  • Hemerocallis Born To Run 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis 'Born To Run' (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis 'Born To Run' Daylily 25) Bare Root Plants Rich, rosy red flowers have a creamy yellow, incredibly ruffled picotee edge. A narrow pale pink watermark appears above the lime green throat. Although registered at 28", we have observed this...

    $231.60
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  • Hemerocallis Inkheart PPAF 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis 'Inkheart' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis 'Inkheart' PPAF (25) bare root clumps Common Name: DaylilyOne look at this beautiful daylily and you'll see why it got its name. Each creamy yellow flowers has a crisp, dark purple eye (or 'heart') with a matching picotee edge. As an added...

    $231.60
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  • Carex o EVERCOLOR Everillo PP21002 30ct Flat

    Carex o. EVERCOLOR 'Everillo' PP21002 (30)ct Flat

    Carex o. EVERCOLOR 'Everillo' a/k/a Evergold Sedge, Sedge Grass, Variegated Japanese Sedge. Zone 5 to 10, Sun to part shade.Mature foliage height 8 to 12 inches, clump forming. Evergreen leaves with creamy yellow variegated center strip with deep...

    $205.44
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  • Carex morrowii Ice Dances 30ct Flat

    Carex morrowii 'Ice Dances' (30)ct Flat

    Carex morrowii 'Ice Dances' Common Names: Ice Dance Sedge, Sedge Grass, Japanese Sedge, Evergold Carex. Zone: 5 to 9, evergreen in the southern zones. Full sun in northern zones, but prefers partial to full shade. Mature size: 6 to 12 inches mounding...

    $204.00
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  • Carex laxiculmis Hobb 3.5 inch pot

    Carex laxiculmis 'Hobb' (3.5 inch pot)

    Carex laxiculmis 'Hobb' Common Name: Bunny Blue® Sedge, RushFamily: Cyperaceae Zone: 5 to 9 Height: 12 inches Spread: 12 inches Bloom Time: Insignificant yellowish flowers late spring. Part shade to full shade Water: Dry to medium Maintenance: Low...

    $6.35
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  • Carex flacca aka glauca 3.5 inch pot

    Carex flacca [a.k.a. glauca] (3.5 inch pot)

    Carex flacca [a.k.a. glauca] Common Name: Pennsylvania sedge Family: Cyperaceae Zone: 4 to 9 Height: 8 to 10 inches Spread: 6 to 12 inches Insignificant green flowers, late Spring. Part shade to full shade Water: Dry to medium Maintenance: Low Deer...

    $6.35
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  • Hemerocallis STELLA SUPREME 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis STELLA SUPREME (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis 'Stella Supreme' (25) BR Plants (Berbee) Height: 14 InchesFlower Color: Yellow ShadesHardiness Zone: 3 - 9 This daylily is similar in blooming behavior as the ever-popular ‘Stella de Oro’, but differs in terms of flower color...

    $171.60
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  • Hemerocallis Stella de Oro 3.5 inch pot

    Hemerocallis Stella de Oro (3.5 inch pot)

    Hemerocallis - STELLA DE ORO Daylily (Jablonski, 1975) Gold Self. Height is 11 inches with a 2.75 inch bloom. Early to Mid-Season Rebloomer, Dormant, Diploid, Fragrant. Stout Silver Medal 1985. Donn Fischer Memorial Award 1979, Award of Merit 1982. The...

    $4.10
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  • Carex pensylvanica 3.5 inch pot

    Carex pensylvanica (3.5 inch pot)

    Carex pensylvanica Common Name: Pennsylvania sedge Family: Cyperaceae This species spreads quickly, forming a casual lawn alternative for shady places.  Zone: 3 to 9 Height: 6 to 12 inches Spread: 6 to 12 inches Bloom Time: May Part shade to...

    $5.98
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  • Carex morrowii Ice Dance 3.5 inch pot

    Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance' (3.5 inch pot)

    Carex morrowii 'Ice Dances' Common Names: Ice Dance Sedge, Sedge Grass, Japanese Sedge, Evergold Carex. Zone: 5 to 9, evergreen in the southern zones. Full sun in northern zones, but prefers partial to full shade. Mature size: 6 to 12 inches mounding...

    $5.98
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  • Carex oshimensis Evergold 3.5 inch pot

    Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' (3.5 inch pot)

    Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold' a/k/a Evergold Sedge, Sedge Grass, Variegated Japanese Sedge. Zone 5 to 10, Sun to part shade.Mature foliage height 8 to 12 inches, clump forming. Evergreen leaves with creamy yellow variegated center strip with deep green...

    $5.98
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  • Hemerocallis PASSION FOR RED 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis PASSION FOR RED (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis PASSION FOR RED (25) BR Plants (Stamile, 1994)Scarlet red self with deep green throatHeight 27 inches, Bloom 6.75 inchesEarly-Midseason, Rebloomer, Tetraploid, Semi-Evergreen, Fragrant , Diurnal Parentage: ((sdlg × Tet. Super Purple)...

    $203.60
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  • Carex hachijoensis Evergold 10ct Quarts

    Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold' (10)ct Quarts

    Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold' a/k/a Evergold Sedge, Sedge Grass, Variegated Japanese Sedge. Zone 5 to 10, Sun to part shade.Mature foliage height 8 to 12 inches, clump forming. Evergreen leaves with creamy yellow variegated center strip with deep...

    $90.60
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  • Carex flagellifera Toffee Twist 10ct Quarts

    Carex flagellifera 'Toffee Twist' (10)ct Quarts

    Carex flagellifera 'Toffee Twist' a/k/a Sedge, Sedge Grass, Japanese Sedge. Zone 7 to 10, hardy to about five degrees F. Sun to part shade.Mature foliage height 18 to 24 inches, clump forming. Dramatic foliage display of slender, mocha leaves with an...

    $90.60
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  • Hemerocallis GARDEN SHOW 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis GARDEN SHOW (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis - GARDEN SHOW (Carpenter-J., 1997)purple self with a green throatrscape height 28 inchesbloom size 6 inchesMidseason Rebloomer, ploidy, Diploid, Dormant, Fragrant, Diurnalseedling # JC-92-783 Mature field grown plant shipped bare root. Click...

    $207.60
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  • Hemerocallis BRIGHT SUNSET 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis BRIGHT SUNSET (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis - BRIGHT SUNSET Daylily (RUDOLPH, 1978)) Dusty burnt orange with deeper halo and green yellow throat. Height is 36 inches with 6 inch bloom. Early Season bloom, Dormant, Tetraploid, Very Fragrant. Fragrant flowers the color of a tropical...

    $203.60
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  • Hemerocallis Blackthorne 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis Blackthorne (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis - Blackthorne Daylily (Trimmer, 1996) Cream with black purple eyezone and green throat. Height is 26 inches with 4 inch bloom.Early to Mid Season Rebloomer, Semi-Evergreen, Tetraploid, Diurnal. Very light creamy yellow blossoms with a hint...

    $215.60
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  • Carex oshimensis Evergold 30ct Flat

    Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' (30)ct Flat

    Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' a/k/a Evergold Sedge, Sedge Grass, Variegated Japanese Sedge. Zone 5 to 10, Sun to part shade.Mature foliage height 8 to 12 inches, clump forming. Evergreen leaves with creamy yellow variegated center strip with deep...

    $192.96
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  • Carex elata Bowles Golden 30ct Flat

    Carex elata 'Bowles Golden' (30)ct Flat

    Carex elata 'Bowles Golden' a/k/a Gold Sedge, Sedge Grass, Ornamental Zones 6 to 8; Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun). Mature size 2 to 3 feet height, spreads 2 to 3 feet. This sedge has bright gold foliage with thin green margins and is taller than...

    $204.00
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  • Hemerocallis Sammy Russell Red SF BR

    Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell Red' SF BR

    Hemerocallis - 'Sammy Russell Red' Daylily (RUSSELL, 1951) Single Fan bare root plant Red Self. Height 30 inches with a 4 inch bloom. Mid to Late Season bloom, Dormant, Diploid. Mature field grown plant shipped bare root. Click here for more...

    $3.65
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  • Hemerocallis HAPPY RETURNS 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis HAPPY RETURNS (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis - HAPPY RETURNS Daylily (Apps 1986) (25) bare root clumps An extremely popular and widely used reblooming daylily 3', fragrant, canary yellow complete self Tepal edges are slightly crimped Of 'Stella de Oro' parentage, though flowers...

    $167.60
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  • Hemerocallis ELEGANT CANDY 25 BR Plants

    Hemerocallis ELEGANT CANDY (25) BR Plants

    Hemerocallis - ELEGANT CANDY Daylily (Stamile 1995) (25) bare root clumps 4.25', medium pink flowers with a triangular red eye and a green throat Blossoms are round in form and heavily ruffled The flower color is sunfast Strong, well-branched and...

    $207.60
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