Looking to give your garden an upgrade, but not the gardening type? Try a perennial garden! Perennial gardens return every year, adding beauty, life, and color to your garden — making the one-time investment worth it.
Given their ability to return value year after year, perennials may have a slight edge over annuals. However, for beginner gardeners, growing a perennial garden takes some initial effort to ensure that your garden is a success.
Discovering a suitable spot, checking the soil, learning about necessary care, and finding a plant that suits the climate of your area requires some research. But don’t worry! We’re here to share everything that a beginner (or even an expert!) gardener needs to get started with designing a perennial garden and helping it bloom.
How to Design Perennial Gardens?
Before designing a perennial flower garden, there are considerations to take into account, like how long will the plant will take to bloom, is it vulnerable to pests or extreme weather, and what type of soil does it need? This step-by-step guide can help you think through these and other details that are important to designing perennial gardens.
1. Check the Soil’s pH
The first thing to do is perform a soil pH test on the soil. Ideally, soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 works best. However, the individual requirements of plants might differ. While inexpensive soil testing kits are likely available at your local home improvement store, the best way to perform a soil test is to submit samples to a soil-testing laboratory. This will provide more accurate results. (Check with your state’s agricultural extension center or program — they will likely be a great source for more information.)
2. Decide What to Plant
Before deciding what to plant, you’ll need to research which plants suit your area’s climate and garden’s soil. Armed with this knowledge, your options are practically wide open! However, we’ve also compiled a list of five of the most well-rounded and colorful plants that bloom in most climates for you below to help you get started.
3. Plant (Carefully and Beautifully)
Once the initial research is done, it’s time for the best part — planting! Arrange the plants according to their height, and try different color combinations such as warm and cool color combinations, or dynamic and light color combinations to make your garden more visually appealing.
One also needs to ensure not to plant too close to plants that will spread.
Deadheading means removing faded or dead plant heads to beautify a garden. This also encourages new flowers to bloom. If you choose perennial plants that require deadheading, you’ll need to frequently deadhead them to keep perennials looking their best.
Below are five amazing and colorful plants that promise to add colors to the garden in any climate.
1. Balloon Flower
The Balloon Flower is a member of the easy-to-grow Bellflower family. Available in blue, white, purple, and pink, and with single or double petals, a Balloon Flower with two feet in height will draw the eye of anyone who visits the garden. Its buds swell up to three inches, producing star-shaped flowers that bloom all summer. However, deadheading may increase its blooming period.
Planting Notes: Grows best in full sun to part shade, in well-drained soil.
2. Blazing Star
To add a splash of color to your perennial gardens, consider planting a Blazing Star. Available in pink, purple, and white, this spike-laden perennial plant can grow up to four feet. The vertical design and sharp colors are bound to catch the attention of anyone passing through your garden. These low-maintenance, wild-flower look-alikes will look perfectly poised in vases around the house, too.
Planting Notes: Grows best in moist, organically-rich, and well-drained soil. This plant may slow its growth in extreme heat.
3. Black-Eyed Susan
With yellow-orange petals and a dark-brown center, Black-Eyed Susans are perennial plants that can grow up to three feet tall during summer! To increase the blooming period, deadheading by pinching off blooms at the base of the stem is advised. This perennial plant self-sows, which means the plants will multiply next season, giving people more value in their perennial gardens than expected.
Planting Notes: Grows best in full sun and organically-rich soil.
4. English Lavender
If you’re looking for cool-colored borders for your perennial garden, English Lavender should be a go-to. Also used for medicinal purposes, this shrubby herb with a calming fragrance will grow around two feet in height and give an appealing contrast to nearly any plant. While planting, keep in mind that you’ll want to plant them at least two feet apart. Also, be sure to prune them every few years for the best results.
Planting Notes: Grows best in full sun and dry, sandy, and acidic soil.
Give perennial gardens a flamboyant look with Daylilies. These perennial plants with elegant petals are available in orange, purple, pink, red, yellow, and white. The four-foot-tall stems will make them great for borders or backgrounds of cool-colored plants, adding a lively look to the garden. A unique feature of the Daylily is that it opens a new flower daily. However, you may need to deadhead these plants regularly for best results.
Planting Notes: Grows best in full sun and well-drained, rich soil.
READ MORE: 10 Great Fall Plants To Spice Up Your Garden
Mistakes To Avoid While Planting a Perennial Garden
Perennial gardens will add beauty and life to your yard if planted correctly. They will grow, expand and keep blooming for years! To achieve the best results, below is a list of things to avoid while planting perennials.
1. Ignoring Perennial Requirements
Ignoring perennial requirements is the key reason many perennial gardens die. While some need fast-draining soil, other plants present sticky clay. Some perennial plants need shade or afternoon sun while others grow best in bright sunlight. Be sure to pay careful attention to these important requirements when planning your perennial paradise!
2. Not Giving Enough Space
Keeping in mind the height and width a perennial plant may grow in the future will help ensure plants are planted at an appropriate distance. Planting too close may result in nutrient deficiencies, poor air circulation, fungal diseases, or poor flowering.
3. Neglecting Maintenance
Whatever you decide to plant will require some maintenance over the months and years for better growth. Maintenance steps for perennial gardens include deadheading, staking tall stems, pruning, and dividing perennials to fill the garden.
READ MORE: Charming Garden Decor Ideas
Perennial gardens are fun, easy, and will result in a beautiful, eye-pleasing landscape each time you arrive home or look out your window. With some of the tips mentioned above, you can upgrade a simple garden to a gorgeous display of blooming natural scenery that returns year after year. Go get started and see what the wonders of perennials can do for your garden today. Happy planting!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Looking to add a bit more flair to your new perennial garden? Read Cheap Garden Decor: Achieve Your Beautifully Unique Oasis With These 3 Tips.
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