Perennial gardening is an art form, and when done properly creates a long lasting, long blooming, easy care, beautiful garden. There is much more to it than just plunking down a bunch of different perennial plants in the ground. There needs to be a plan, soil should be conditioned and plant material should be studied and well chosen for your site.
Here is a CHECKLIST of things to do to insure your perennial border is at its best:
1) Regardless of your border site, insure it is wide enough. A 2 foot wide bed will not give you what you are looking for. Dig out your bed at least 4 to 8 feet, even wider if you have the room. You need room to layer your plantings and for plants to reach their mature size with grace.
2) Amend and improve your soil before you plant anything. There will be no easier time than now to do this. Be sure to completely remove all weeds.
3) Decide now on how you plan to water your garden border and install any necessary watering devices.
4) Study the exposure of your site and choose plants accordingly. A sunny site should have only sun loving plants and so on.
5) Choose a colour scheme. A border filled with plants of only about 3 different colours is very attractive. This allows for repetition of colour throughout the border which helps to hold the bed together visually.
6) Plant several of the same plant in odd numbered groupings. This creates a drift effect which is much more attractive than just one of everything dotted here and there.
7) Choose plants with different growing patterns, some tall and lean and others shorter and round. They will compliment each other and fill in naked spots.
8) Make good use of ground covers to cover the look of bare dirt and also help to reduce weeds from growing.
9) Choose plants with different bloom times so you always have something in flower. Every season should have a star blooming in your border.
10) Use foliage plants as well as flowering plants. When the garden flowers are fading your interesting and colourful leaves will take over. You can avoid the dreaded “down time” in your garden.
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