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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 FEATHER FALLS
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    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...

    $227.80
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  • Carex appalachica

    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...

    $5.74
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  • Carex oshimensis 'Everillo' PP21002 EVERCOLOR Series
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    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...

    $200.44
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  • Carex morrowii 'Ice Dances'

    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...

    $199.00
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  • Carex flacca

    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...

    $6.10
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  • Carex flacca

    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...

    $6.10
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  • Carex pensylvanica

    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...

    $5.74
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  • Carex morrowii 'Ice Dances'

    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...

    $5.74
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  • Carex oshimensis 'Evergold'

    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...

    $5.74
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  • Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold'

    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 hachijoensis 'Evergold'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    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...

    $187.96
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  • Carex elata 'Bowles Golden'

    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...

    $199.00
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