Planning a Perennial Garden that Blooms All Season

Time was when most gardeners planted perennial flowers in early spring because most perennials were sold as field dug or bare root plants. But today’s availability of plastic pots makes planting well into summer months feasible as well.

Perennial gardens are enormously gratifying. Perennial plants come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and planning their position in flowerbeds can be a lot of fun. Having pictures of the plants you will be using at hand during your planning phase will help you make good design decisions.

Look for combination of perennial plants that will provide visual impact in the garden. For example, the tones and colors of Russian sage and Gloriosa daisies set each other off to good advantage, as do red perennial salvia and yellow coreopsis. If you plant your perennials later then June, expect to give them more initial care.

Whenever you choose to plant, ensure that soil is well drained and enriched with four inches of organic matter (preferably organic compost) for every twelve inches of soil.

Mulch after planting, using no more than two inches of mulching material kept away from the plant crown, and then provide a slow, deep watering every week under normal conditions; more frequently if temperatures soar and less frequently if you have summer rainstorms.

With a little care, you can plan your perennial garden so that some flowers are blooming all season long. To help you get started doing this, here’s a list of favorite perennial plants and the months during which they bloom:

April: Alyssum, Candytuft, Grape Hyacinth, Icelandic Poppy, Primrose, Trillium, Viola, Virginia Bluebells and Wood Poppy

May: African Lily, Bleeding Heart, Bunchberry, Columbine, Coral Bells, English Daisy, Dianthus, Foamflower, Forget-Me-Not, Geranium, Hardy Gloxinia, Iris, Jack in the Pulpit, Jacob’s Ladder, Lily of the Valley, Myrtle, Pachysandra, Peony, Ornamental Strawberry and Sweet Woodruff.

June: Ajuga, Allium, Baby’s Breath, Bellflower, Canterbury Bells, Carnation, Coeopsis, Shasta and Painted Daisy, Delphinium, Evening Primrose, Foxglove, Siberian Iris, Lady’s Mantle, Lupine, Tree Peony, Salvia, Sedum, Strawberry Shamrock, Snow in Summer, Thyme, Toadflax, Veronica and Yarrow.

July: Agastache, Astilbe, Balloon Flower, Bee Balm, Blue Star Creeper, Butterfly Flower, Candylily, Coneflower, Gaillardia, Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Hosta, Liatris, Lily, Liriope, Lobelia, Irish and Scotch Moss, Garden Phlox, Poker Plant, Redbeckia, Russian Sage, Sunflower, Tansy, Turtlehead and Yucca.

August: Aster, Boltonia, Daylily, Gentian, Joe Pye, Lysimachia, Plumbago, Tall Sedum and Toad Lily.

September: Anemone and Perennial Grass.

October: Aster, Montauk Daisy and Perennial Grass.

With a little planning and a lot of imagination, you can have a spectacular showy garden that blooms from early spring until well into the fall. As a final tip, there is no need to start over from scratch if you have an existing perennial garden. Make a journal of what you have now and the blooming period for each existing flower. Then make a list of the months that you are lacking blooms and choose a section each year to purchase new perennial plants for. This way, it keeps the cost low and allows you to plan carefully, ensuring the end result is a stunning garden!

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