Beauty of Perennials

I am from a long line of gardeners! My grandmother was an avid gardener of both vegetables and flowers. She had a green thumb and spent her free time nurturing her vegetable garden, flower beds, and visiting gardens or nurseries. She often won the “Yard of the Month” award due to her gorgeous gardens. I grew up joining her on many weekend excursions, learning to appreciate the beauty in nature, the fresh taste of blackberries on the vine, and the beauty of spring blooms. My mother naturally inherited that same passion and has had amazing gardens full of beautiful plants year-round. I have asked her to share some posts this spring about gardening. I hope you will enjoy them and feel inspired to get out in the dirt this spring! 

The Beauty of Perennials by Bonnie Hillard

Of all the seasons, the months of April and May are my favorites.  I am always excited to see my perennials begin to pop with those first green shoots, and I know the colorful blooms are not far behind. My flower beds are constantly evolving. I have no rhyme or reason for what I plant or where, but it all seems to work with perennials. I try to keep it simple, adding plants that I love and that will bloom all season. The beauty is in the flower!  I continue to maintain the common, well-known perennials in my garden beds.  But, each year, I am always on the lookout for special perennials to add to my garden, and there are many to choose from. Most perennials can be started from seed, but I prefer to purchase potted perennial plants.

For the beginner gardener, the beauty of perennials is the ease and lasting reward you will experience. Perennials are hardy and come back year after year.  They come in a variety of sizes and colors.  One reason gardeners enjoy them is their low maintenance quality, and you have both shade and sun lovers. Perennials will give you the beauty in your garden for many years. While out shopping for your favorite perennials, be sure to check out many of your local garden centers.  Since I started gardening many years ago, perennials are now easy to find in various places.  If you are on a budget, look for the four-inch pots as they grow quickly into big plants. You can always plant some annuals to fill in your space temporarily. Check with your local garden center on the best perennials for your area. 

Everyone is short on time these days, so keep it simple.  For the beginner, pick a small spot in your yard.  Prepare your soil and start with two to four perennials.  Two of my favorite perennials are Black-Eyed Susan and Shasta Daisies.  Black-Eyed Susans stand out in the garden with their bright yellow petals and black eye centers.  A good contrast of color would be these two planted together.   Two more favorites are the tall Garden Flock and Coreopsis(Tickseed).  Garden Flock comes in mid to tall varieties and colors ranging from shades of white to pinks and purples.  Coreopsis can be found in many shades of orange, yellow, and red.  You can’t go wrong with these four perennials, as they love the full sun, are low maintenance, long-blooming, and come in various sizes and colors.  

There is a wealth of information available for anyone wanting to start a perennial garden.  Books, magazines, catalogs, and searching the web are all tools you can use to help.  Visiting your local garden center can be the best source to help you get started.  Remember to keep it simple, and most of all, have fun, as there are no set rules. Once you have started your collection of perennials in your flower beds, you will have continuous color from Spring to Fall.  

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