Gardening is one of the most popular pastimes. It allows people to connect with nature and get some much-needed fresh air and sunlight. What’s more, gardening can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You’ll get to see the fruits of your labour (often literally), and the activity has been linked to mental health benefits.
When it comes to designing your garden, there are a number of routes and pathways you can take. What you ultimately choose will depend on your personal circumstances, preferences, and the tools and resources at your disposal. We’ve put together a guide with five top tips for designing a perennial garden. Check it out below.
What Does Perennial Mean?
Plants come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. While they can look drastically different from one another, their life cycles can be quite distinct as well.
Often, plants will grow throughout the spring and summer months, before slowing down in the autumn and eventually dying off in the winter. These are known as annual plants, which include plants like wheat and corn.
Some other plants are referred to as biennial. These kinds of plants have a lifecycle that spans over two full years. Some common examples of biennial plants include cabbage, carrots, celery, and parsley.
A third category of plants are known as the perennials. The word perennial is used to refer to plants that live for more than two years. However, perennial plants are defined as having no woody growth, which distinguishes them from trees and bushes which also live for more than two years.
Common Types Of Perennial Plants
Nurturing, caring for, and raising a plant only to see it wither and die within a year can be a difficult process. People get attached to their plants, so it can be an unpleasant experience to lose them.
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For this reason, perennial plants have proved incredibly popular. They offer gardeners a chance to care for and enjoy a plant for many years.
Some common examples of perennial plants include flowers such as dahlias, hollyhocks, and lupin, fruits like apples and blackcurrants, herbs such as fennel and rosemary, and vegetables such as leeks and asparagus.
If you are eager to start your own perennial garden and enjoy plants that do not die off in the winter, let’s get into some garden design tips.
Think About Your Location
Where you live in the world will determine which plants are suitable for your perennial garden. Climate, temperature, and the extremity of the seasons will all factor into what perennials you should choose. If you live in a climate with harsh winters, you should opt for hardier, more robust plants. If you live in a warmer climate, your options are more open. However, you should be wary of plants that can grow out of control, such as mint for example.
Choose The Right Type Of Soil
Soil quality is incredibly important for plants. It offers them a secure and solid place to grow, provides them with essential nutrients, and helps them regulate water and hydration.
The type of soil you have can be significantly different from soil in your local area, it can be light and sandy or sticky and clay based. Soil can be mulched with organic matter such as tree bark to help it support your perennial plants. Mulch will prevent weeds from forming and can help the soil retain moisture. While a thick layer of mulch can be used to protect plants from harsh winter conditions, too much can cause rot and disease to build up, so keep an eye on how much mulch you are using.
Plant At The Right Time
Perennials can last for years, but they still need to be planted at the right time to give them the best chance for survival. Generally, the best time to plant perennials is in spring, between March and May, or in autumn, between September and October. These times are when the soil has the most moisture, so planting in these periods will give you perennials the support they need in the vulnerable early stage of their lives.
Perennial plants can be a fantastic option for gardeners who are looking for a long-term project that they can work at and tend to over a number of years. Follow this guide and design the perfect perennial garden.