Perennials in the Landscape

Perennial plants and flowers come in virtually every shape, size, color and texture. As you observe the natural landscape, these combinations come into play without you even realizing it. As we plan our gardens, perennials are the plants of choice to fill in those lower and mid layers with whatever form, color and texture desired. They are what ties gardens together in a pattern of rhythm, balance and even punctuation. As you work with perennials in landscape or garden design, keep in mind a few important guidelines to ensure a great looking and vibrant, long lasting garden.

Right plant, right place

First, know what growing conditions you have for the area you want to plant. A perennial requiring full sun and well-drained soil will languish in a shady or boggy site, so plan accordingly. Conversely, a plant that prefers shade will appear washed out and stunted when grown in full sun.

Next, pick plants that are suitable to your climate. A perennial that’s hardy in zone 7 may die in zone 5, so do your homework first and make sure the plants you like are suited for your region or even micro-climate. If you’re unsure, call your county extension service. They will be happy to assist you with appropriate choices and varieties for your climate.