A beautiful perennial garden adds color, fragrance, and texture to the landscape and can transform a dull yard into an interesting place that you’ll want to spend time in. A good design can seem complicated and intimidating but a few key principles to keep in mind will simplify things. First, decide what you want your garden to do. For example, if you like to cut flowers to enjoy in a vase in the house, then you’ll want to plant perennials with different heights, shapes, and colors with lots of fragrance and different bloom times. On the other hand, if you want to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your yard, plant nectar-rich tubular flowers.
Another key principle is to write a checklist. Is the area in full sun or shade? What are the dimensions? Do you want to surround a patio with lots of color or soften the edges of a swimming pool? First decide what the function of the garden is before you buy any plants.
When you do start planting a perennial bed, the most important element is the soil. Because perennials live for years, they need rich, organic soil that drains well in order to perform at their best. Many perennials will tolerate poor soil but this doesn’t mean they prefer it.
A good design incorporates annuals, perennials, shrubs, bulbs, and ornamental grasses together to provide year-round interest and structure. Experiment with different plants and remember a plant can be moved if it doesn’t look right in a perennial bed.
by the Season
Hall County Agribusiness of the Year 2007
- Full Bloom Nursery-
Hwy 283, Clermont, Georgia
) Phone: 770.842.2345
“Your garden will do for you in proportion to
what you do for it”.
"A callused palm and dirty fingernails precede a Green Thumb."
Hens & Chicks
Lantana, Miss Huff & Mozelle
Sedum, creeping & tall
Remember the Rule of Planting
The #1 rule of gardening is to put the right plant in the right place with the right soil. This simply means that you will get the best results and have the healthiest plants when you choose plants that are best suited for the spot you’re working with. For example, if you have a hot, dry slope that gets full sun with no shade whatsoever, plant perennials like lantana, verbena, dianthus, or sedum. This is not the spot where plants like canna lilies, hardy hibiscus, or hostas would be happy. Putting the right plant in the right spot with good soil will produce a happy plant that needs much less attention and pampering from you.
Below is a listing of perennials we carry.
Scroll farther down to see examples of perennials in garden design.
Pineapple Sage- one of the absolute best plants for attracting butterflies & hummingbirds. And the leaves really do smell like pineapple!
Heuchera (Coral Bells)- a wonderful evergreen perennial for shade and dry soil.
Tables of shade loving perennials
Fertilizing Perennial Plants
The two primary reasons for fertilizing perennials are to encourage growth, and create a healthy, vigorous, attractive plant that will produce an abundance of flowers. But be careful! There is often a temptation to over-fertilize in the hopes of producing more blooms, faster. If you force a perennial plant beyond its natural growth rate by over-fertilizing, you might end up with mostly foliage and no blooms. Too, over-fertilization can predispose the plant to insect or disease infestation, and reduce tolerance to drought or temperature extremes.
What Fertilizer Is Best For Perennials?
Most perennials would be happy with a good, all-purpose flower food or organic fertilizer; however, others may have specific preferences or needs. In general, using a natural, organic fertilizer is the preferred method because there is very little chance for burning your perennial plants. Other flower foods, such as the "Bloom Boosters" can be useful for development of stronger root systems and enhanced bloom production. Slow-release, capsule-type fertilizers can be applied a few times a year for season-long feeding.
We grow our own perennials here at the nursery and we use the absolute best slow release fertilizers money can buy. It DOES make a difference. With fertilizer, you get what you pay for.
Blooms of Mexican Petunia (Ruella)
Flame Acanthus (Hummingbird Bush)
"A perennial is a plant that, had it lived, would have bloomed again for several years".
Rest in peace, sweet Honey Bee
Succulents such as various sedums and hens and chicks make great container plants.
The contrasting colors and textures of perennial combinations such as Black Eyed Susan and Blue Fortune Hyssop make the garden pop.
Mozelle perennial lantana blooms all season and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
While perennials are a great value because they return year after year, adding annuals such as these red New Guinea Impatiens gives the flowerbeds a punch of color all season long.
Perennials make great container plants. The contrast of Creeping Jenny and Homestead Purple Verbena (on left) provides season-long color.
Aromatic Lavender makes a graceful container plant.
Good garden design incorporates perennials, flowering shrubs, grasses, conifers, evergreens and interesting trees. Add rock work to make it even more appealing.
Ferns, hostas, and lenten rose border this shady garden and gravel paths with small boulders as edging complete the look.
Colorful, spreading varieties of Sedum, such as 'Lemon Ball' shown here, make great fillers for sunny areas and are perfect for rock gardens.
Two of the most popular perennials for sunny areas- Black Eyed Susan and Purple Coneflower. Both bloom all summer, make excellent cut flowers, and have seeds that birds love to eat. Leave the flower stalks standing in the fall and the birds, especially Gold Finches, will eat the ripe seeds.
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