My Favourite Perennials
a few favourites
When I first move into a new property I spend time observing what is growing, rather than rushing in and imposing my will upon the property. The site’s bones, its underlying infrastructure, help in the determination of what work needs to be done and the various microclimates that may exist and with which I will need to contend one way or another.
Observing the plants that grow without any human help tells me much about the soil conditions and what will grow there with a minimum of labour on my part. During this observation period I also get to see who visits the garden, butterflies, birds, bees and any other creatures that are visible to the eye.
If a gardener once worked this site, there will be signs and often very pleasant surprises as the bulbs and perennials peek up from under the soil.
I am very fond of both bulbs and perennials as they have the ability to look after themselves with a minimum of care once they are established on a site. Some will come back for years; daylilies being a fine example.
Daylilies or, Hemerocallis, require at least six hours of sun per day and they come in a wide variety of colours and shapes which gives them versatility when designing the garden.
They will come back for years and I believe they are a vital part of any perennial garden, especially if the gardener likes to spend more time observing the garden than doing any physical work.
Echinacea purpurea or Purple Cone flower is a North American native and is a great choice for colour in the late summer and early fall. This plant is well known in the herbal health care field.
Purple coneflower loves the sun so needs to be placed where it will get at least six to eight hours per day. The abundant seeds produced by coneflower will guarantee this plant will be around for sometime and means this is a great plant for seed collectors and traders.
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, is another personal favourite, but due to its very prolific nature may be best grown in containers. It can be an ideal plant for naturalizing a lawn when you grow tired of the manicured look.
The Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus, also is bet contained in a pot if you are simply growing in for its beauty in the late summer; however, the tuber is edible and you can somewhat control its spread by harvesting them and preparing them much as you would a potato.
Perennials can enhance your garden’s beauty and reduce your labour, not a bad combination at all.