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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...

    $176.51
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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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  • Echinacea Frankly Scarlet PPAF 30ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Frankly Scarlet' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Frankly Scarlet' PPAF CPBRAF - Proven Winners® COLOR CODED Collection(30)ct Flat Common Name: Coneflower4' bright scarlet orange flowers. Flowers held over dark green foliage and demonstrates good branching. Intense color lightens to coral...

    $255.21
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  • Echinacea Yellow My Darling PPAF 30ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Yellow My Darling' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Yellow My Darling' PPAF COLOR CODED?? Collection Common Name: ConeflowerRich yellow flowers contrast beautifully with its dark green leaves. Flowers age to an attractive creamy yellow. A large volume of petals to make the flowers last for a...

    $255.21
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  • Echinacea Balsomold PP30115 30ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Balsomold' PP30115 (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea SOMBRERO® GRANADA GOLD ('Balsomold' PP30115 US7,982,110) Common Name: ConeflowerGolden yellow, overlapping flowers contrast with very dark green leaves. More gold than the bright yellow color of Lemon Yellow Improved. Height: 18.0-22.0...

    $260.66
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  • Echinacea Canary Feathers PPAF 30ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Canary Feathers' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Canary Feathers' PPAF - EYE-CATCHER?? Collection Common Name: ConeflowerLarge 5' bright yellow flowers are well-branched and contrast well with the dark green foliage. Color lightens slightly but holds its color better than other yellow...

    $235.91
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  • Echinacea Delicious Candy PPAF 30ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Delicious Candy' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Delicious Candy' PPAF (30)ct Flat Common Name: ConeflowerAccording to the Dutch hybridizer Marco van Noort, ‘Delicious Candy’ is his best Echinacea in 5 years! The color on this double coneflower is practically fluorescent, with...

    $240.36
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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...

    $230.95
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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...

    $228.97
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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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  • Echinacea purpurea White Swan 3.5 inch pot

    Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (3.5 inch pot)

    Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (30)ct Flat Zones 3 to 8. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 30 to 36 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide ; Clumping habit. Growth rate: Moderate. 3-4 inches, pure white flowers with a golden yellow cone from early...

    $4.49
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  • Echinacea purpurea Magnus 3.5 inch pot

    Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Echinacea p. 'Magnus' PURPLE CONEFLOWER The classic purple coneflower. Beautiful rose pink ray petals with a coppery brown, spiky central cone. Petals are held horizontally, making the flowers appear even bigger. Newer blooms are more intense in color...

    $4.49
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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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  • 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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  • Echinacea p PowWow White 30ct Flat

    Echinacea p. 'PowWow White' (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow White' Common Name: Coneflower; Zones 3 to 8. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 18 to 24 inches tall and 12 to 16 inches wide;Clumping habit. Growth rate: Moderate. Pure white flowers with a golden yellow cone flowers from...

    $164.63
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  • Echinacea p PowWow Wild Berry 30ct Flat

    Echinacea p. 'PowWow Wild Berry' (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea purpurea 'Pow Wow Wild Berry' Common Name: Coneflower; Zones 3 to 8. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 20 to 24 inches tall and 24 inches wide; 3-4 inch, deep purple-pink to near-magenta flowers hold their color well from early through...

    $164.63
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  • Echinacea p Magnus 30ct Flat

    Echinacea p. 'Magnus' (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea p. 'Magnus' PURPLE CONEFLOWER The classic purple coneflower. Beautiful rose pink ray petals with a coppery brown, spiky central cone. Petals are held horizontally, making the flowers appear even bigger. Newer blooms are more intense in color...

    $152.25
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  • Echinacea p Green Jewel PP18678 30ct Flat

    Echinacea p. 'Green Jewel' PP18678 (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea purpurea 'Green Jewel' PP18678 (30)ct Flat Common Name: Coneflower Zones 3 to 8. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 20 to 24 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide; Clumping habit. Growth rate: Moderate. Light green ray petals surround...

    $250.76
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  • Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit 30ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' (30)ct Flat

    Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' Common Name: Coneflower Zones 4 to 9. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 22 to 30 inches tall and 18 to 28 inches wide; Clumping habit. Growth rate: Moderate. A mixed color strain of Echinaceas with color range of rich...

    $171.55
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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...

    $219.07
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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...

    $228.97
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