Monday, February 1, 2016

Gardening with Perennials

Gardening with Perennials 

* by Cheryl D. Jones - visit her site at for a full line of plants including trees, flowering shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and ground covers. Join the Greenwood Gardeners Club free to receive Greenwood Nursery's weekly newsletter, seasonal promotions and 10% off your first order.

Gardening for some, no matter the amount of work goes into it, is a very enjoyable task - from hauling the dirt, to cutting the brambles, to pulling the weeds - it's all good stuff. But for many of us, we love our gardens and don't mind a little weekend upkeep, but we certainly don't find the idea of making it a full time job enjoyable. Thankfully, there are some pretty awesome gardening hacks that make gardening a whole lot easier. Great tools and time saving materials and habits like putting down a good mulch regularly are a couple of hacks that help, but one is so simply obvious yet dismissed that it might boggle the mind. Simply put, if you plant the right perennials in your garden, your life will be a lot easier. It's true - many perennial plants make gardening easy.

Here are some of our favourite perennials that make gardening easier with the biggest amount of "WOW" factor to boot!

Perennials in their own right save you a lot of time and headache. Once established, they come back year after year without a lot of help from you. They tend to be healthy plants that resist disease. They sometimes naturally fill in spaces beautifully, or remain in neat and tidy clumps all their lives. But with some careful picking and choosing, you can even make your perennials pull double, or triple duty. They can serve purposes in terms of water saving, producing edibles for the table, offer shade and respite, and even protect your home and property.

Succulent plants such as ice plant, sedums, and hens and chicks are all drought tolerant and conserve water. There are many forms of succulents, from the tall background stately plants like yucca plant, to the mid-ground succulents like upright sedums, to lovely ground covers such as hens and chicks, there's a succulent perennial for every need in the hot garden that doesn't receive a lot of water. You won't have to water these once they're established and will save you money and time.

Perennial edibles are also wonderful multi-purpose plants that save you energy in the garden. Many herbs are wonderful perennials, such as rosemary plant, sage plant, and mint plant. Catnip plant is perfect for kitty of course, but catnip can also be grown in the garden as a beneficial insect attractor. Yarrow plant is another perennial that has herbal qualities, and is also a good wildlife attractor. Some of these perennial herbs can be spreading and somewhat invasive, so employing raised bed gardening when growing these (especially the mints) will help you keep these wonderful garden perennials under control.

And finally, adding one or two very interesting and unusual "Wow!" perennials will make your garden stand apart from the crowd. Ornamental banana plants are beautiful and have high-impact in the garden for example. In many areas, hardy ornamental bananas can be grown year round right in the ground. Dwarf varieties can be grown in large pots and brought inside when cold weather hits if you live in a colder climate. A few ornamental bananas in the garden gives a tropical feel that suits the hot summer garden wonderfully.

Award-winning authors Dave & Lillian Brummet:

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