There are many different kinds of perennial flowers; choosing which one or ones will fit with your landscape can be an interesting, although somewhat daunting, journey. Height and color, soil requirements and whether a flower prefers sun or shade as well as how it reproduces are all factors that you must take into consideration. If you do, you can create a beautiful, long-lasting flower garden that will take your guests’ breath away year after year.
The bulbs of some perennials must be planted in the fall. Most of them will then produce colorful flowers the next spring that will gradually reproduce and spread on their own. Most, like tulips and daffodils, grow no more than a foot or so, so they are perfect for a border around other, taller flowering plants. Slightly taller perennial flowers you can grow from bulbs include many iris varieties. From classic white to purple, browns and golds, their blooms will dress up any garden. Since they bloom early in the spring, they can create a splash of color against bare branches or early foliage.
Spring sunshine suits these types of flowers best. Keep in mind that you will occasionally need to dig up bulbs from these flowers to give away or otherwise dispose of. They must be divided every few years to keep them blooming well.
If you want a “plant it and forget it” type of perennial garden, growing from seed or nursery stock may be an easier option. Echinacea, black-eyed susans and delphiniums are three of the most popular perennials that can be easily grown from seed. All three will stand somewhat taller than tulips and the like, so plant them behind or to the side of lower growing flowers.
You may be interested in a larger, bushier type of flower such as lavender or butterfly bush. You can buy these as small plants ready to transplant from many local nurseries. However, keep in mind that they can eventually grow quite large and require several square feet of space. If you plant these, you can fill in around them with annuals until they reach maturity, or even plant a perennial that can be transplanted easily in the future. Tulips or a similar fast-reproducing bulb flower will work well.
Also keep in mind that some perennial flowers prefer sun while others prefer shade. If you have a sunny spot that needs filling, hollyhocks, yarrow, monkshood and asters are good choices. Choose the one you prefer and check to see that the variety will grow to the height needed. Of course, remember to take into consideration the colors available.
Shade-loving perennials include hydrangeas, columbines and bleeding hearts, all beautiful flowers in their own right. Again, consider height and colors available before you make a choice.
Finally, the soil must be taken into consideration before you plant. Most flowers do not absolutely need deep, rich loam to grow, but they will grow and flower more beautifully if you make sure the soil is in good condition. Add finished compost and fertilizer before planting (your local nursery can direct you to the proper variety for your soil) and you will soon be amazed at your beautiful perennial flower garden!