Perennial garden design should
be carefully thought out before you begin planting. Perennial plants
are considered by most designers as the backbone of any flower garden. Like
reliable friends the plants reappear each year filling the landscape
with unique foliage and beautiful flowers. With some forethought
and careful garden design your landscape can be transformed from
generic to gorgeous. Perennials not only add color to your
gardens, they provide structure and textures as well. The
overwhelming number of perennial verities available allow you to
design any garden style you desire. To achieve the results you dream
about you will need to consider a few basic elements perennial garden
Design your garden beds and borders to be at least 4 - 6 feet deep and
plant perennials so that they taper in heights. If you are planting in an island use
taller perennials in the center and have the shorter ones gradually stair step to the edge
Plan for a succession of blooms. Combine
perennials that have different bloom times so that the garden
has color in it all season.
Select a color scheme for your garden design. Find color
combinations that appeal to you and plan your garden around those colors.
Repeat colors through out the design to tie the whole garden or
Decide on a style, formal or informal. This is
usually determined by your own personal taste and by the style
of house you have.
Plant in groups of 3 and 5. One lonely plant
usually looks like a mistake except if it was intended to be
a specimen and most designers don't use perennials as specimens.
Introduce shape and texture to the garden with a variety of low growing
mat type plants, large round mounded type plants and spiked sword like foliage. The
combination of different type textures really makes a garden stand out.
Don't be afraid to move plants around - it may have looked good on paper
but after seeing the results if you think something would look better in another location
- dig it up and move it.
Great perennial garden designs are usually the efforts
of many years of work by the homeowner. The gardener is never
"finished" with any bed or border in their garden. The
design is an ongoing process and of course a labor of love.
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Tip >> The one mistake we see new gardeners make time and
time again is not planting in groups, and trying to plant to
many different varieties of plants in the same garden.
You will be much more satisfied with your garden if you will
plant fewer varieties keeping them in groups of three to five.