Exploring the joys of Perennial & Cutting Gardens

Posted: June, 14, 2016 | Categories: Atlantic Builders | New Home Building

For people who love flowers, there is no greater joy than taking even the smallest patch of ground and coaxing a beautiful flower to grow. And gardening is quite addictive. You may start with a small pot of petunias, and before you know it, you’ve replaced half the lawn with a vegetable garden or a fruit orchard!

One of the particular joys of gardening is the sense that certain plants are old friends who come to visit every year. These are perennials, plants that die to the ground in the winter, re-emerging in the spring to bloom at different periods throughout the growing season. Some perennials are early bloomers, like hellebores and bleeding hearts. Some are summer stalwarts like daylilies and Russian sage. Others are autumn all-stars like asters and ornamental grasses.

The ultimate goal of a perennial garden is the ongoing flow of plants from season to season. This flow can consist of flower color, foliage color, plant texture, plant shape, plant size or any other desirable ornamental feature.

There aren’t many rules when it comes to working with perennials, just general things to remember:


  • Every garden is different! You have to adapt to what you have – lots of sun, cool shade, soggy ground, dry tree roots… There are plants for every kind of environment. Experiment away!
  • A garden is always evolving. Plants mature or die off. Some plants are short-lived while others are passed down through generations of gardeners. Certain areas in your garden will change every few years, while other plants may take years to establish themselves. 
  • Your tastes will change as you are introduced to new plants and design ideas. Accept and embrace these changes. Your gardening skills grow and mature along with your plants. Every year something new will appear, either planned or by accident - this is the joy of gardening!
  • Perennials are movable. Unlike larger woody ornamental landscape plants, perennials can be moved relatively easily! In fact, ask any gardener about moving perennials. It seems we are forever searching for the perfect location. Many perennials can be moved, and in fact do better with a bit of dividing.
  • Design a garden YOU like. Let your personal tastes dictate your plant choices. If you love roses, plant roses. There are so many varieties, you won’t know how to choose! If you want a cutting garden, plant a mix of perennials and annuals – like peonies, daisies, veronica, delphiniums, bee balm, pincushion flower, nasturtiums, sunflowers & zinnias. You’ll have vases of flowers all summer long. If you want an all-white garden, you’ll be amazed at all the shades of white you’ll find… Solomon’s Seal, peonies, stock, clematis, allium, ranunculus, petunias, coral bells, bleeding heart, and viburnum just to name a few.

Perennial gardening to fun and easy - even for beginners! Take a wander through the internet or your local garden store, and just plant something. You’ll be amazed how much fun it is.

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