Test your Patience with Perennials
July is a great time to consider long-term plans for the garden. Take a minute to look at the landscape and try to recall which months has blossoms and which periods looked a little bare. Are there times in between weeks, months or seasons when the garden could use a little more oomph? Examine the colors thriving throughout season. After a close inspection, it may be determined that there are some times of the year to add certain colors to the yard. This might also be a good time to consider adding more perennials into the scenery. While creating a garden with perennials is an exercise in patience, it can also pay off for years to come.
Unlike annuals that can bloom all summer long, perennials have a specific period when they flourish. With a garden full of perennials, there are many interesting changes from spring through fall as some plants come into bloom while others fade. An added benefit is that these plants will return each year and with just a little care, will bloom and likely spread their fortune each passing year. This beneficial trait is not true for annuals which are planted and only last that current year. Another advantage to using perennials is that there is a wide variety that are shade tolerant, so if a garden contains many shade areas, perennials offer much more variety than annuals.
When to Buy Perennials
One of the challenges with planning a perennial garden is that pieces need to be purchased and planted throughout the entire growing season to properly fill an entire garden that will flourish throughout many seasons.
“Most garden shops carry perennials that are in bloom at that time," Chris Cline of Wilson Farm said. "After they finish blooming customers are less likely to buy them, meaning that they disappear from inventories quickly and are unlikely to return until the following year. That makes it tough to buy an entire year of perennials in one shopping trip.”
What is in Bloom Now
While frequent window shopping trips to the garden shop are always a good idea to recognize blooming cycles with a perennial garden, perennials can roughly be categorized into the following rotations: early spring, late spring, early summer, late summer and fall. Each season offers its own unique perennials. If considering planting mid-summer perennials, here are some current examples:
- cone flowers
- shasta daisies
- toad lilies
- joe pye weed
- chelone - pink turtlehead
- assorted grasses
Perennial gardens can be a very rewarding and vital member of a flowering garden and offer many economical, maintenance and eye-catching benefits to any home landscape. They are typically very hardy plants, require minimal upkeep and spread their scenic wealth year after year.
Information for this article was contributed by Wilson Farm, 10 Pleasant St., Lexington. 781.862.3900, www.wilsonfarm.com, on Facebook.com/ShopWilsonFarm or Twitter@WilsonFarm.