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Perennials

With flowers in every color of the rainbow and even more, a breathtaking range of shapes and textures and often fine scent, perennials truly deserve their popularity. Their diversity make them suitable for every garden. They fit everywhere, they can be interplanted with shrubs, annuals, bulbs and even vegetables or grown in containers or as a ground cover. They have leaves and flowers to suit every taste, from delicate to sumptuous. Against a more static background of woody plants, perennials provide an almost unlimited, changing planting palette.
Perennials are plants that have a live span of more than just one year, coming back to live after a period of dormancy, which is usually but not always during winter. Many perennials die back to ground level during their dormant period while others are evergreen. In most of the gardens, perennials often provide the main floral element and endless variation and anticipation by their long flowering.
More than any other group of plants, perennial have an immense variety of shape, form, color, texture and scent. Except from their flowers some of them are also valued for their attractive foliage like ribbed, unfurling leaves of hostas, or sword-like straps of irises, or even like transparent tracery of fennel.
Perennials range in height from only 5 cm tall to 2.5 m or even more, and by this they can fit any garden and can be used for borders or as background. Some are worth growing for their flagrance, like pinks, carnations or lily-of-the-valley, that are highly perfumed. Perennials can even be grown in containers, specially grasses or the ones with an attractive structures.

Planting Perennials

When planting a garden, the most plants that we will plant will be perennials. Perennials grown in containers may be planted into the garden at any time of the year as long as the soil is workable, but the best seasons for planting remain spring and autumn.

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Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia image

Rudbeckia, also known as Black-Eyed Susan, is a showy, summer-blooming herbaceous perennial suitable for the sunny gardens, adding bright, long-lasting color to any perennial gardens. Plants make a bushy, upright clump with daisy-like flowers with golden yellow petals and brown or green centers that are either domed or flat. A perfect choice for mass planting, looks good in flower beds and meadow gardens and shorter forms do well in planters, attractive to birds, bees and butterflies, Rudbeckia combines well especially with ornamental grasses. The long, strong stems make Rudbeckia an excellent flower for cutting and also a good dried flower so you can enjoy them indoors as well as out in your garden

Rudbeckia have a long blooming period from early summer to frost. This makes them an invaluable addition to the late summer garden. Dead-heading or cutting back faded flowers regularly will encourage the plant to re-bloom later in the season. Seedheads are good for winter interest, if you choose to keep them, and are also a good food for the birds. Rudbeckia self-sows freely, so deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season.

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Primulas

pale yellow primula

The Primrose, also known as Primula, is one of the earliest spring flowers. Its name comes from prima rosa, meaning first rose of the year.  It is a common flower in open woodland and you can use it in the garden for most of the sites: bog or waterside plantings, borders, rock gardens, beddings and even alpine house. It is a hardy perennial, low growing herbaceous flower, wearing pretty early spring blooms in almost every color of the rainbow, a traditional early-year cottage garden flower, flowering from early winter to late spring. Primrose flowers are of two kinds: pin-eyed, with the style above the stamens and thrum-eyed, with the style below the stamens. The two different types of flowers are produced on separate plants. For successful pollination, pollen from a pin-eye plant must reach the style of a thrum-eyed plant, or vice-versa. Primroses are pollinated at night by moths attracted by the bright petal colors.

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Pinks and Carnations

red pink

Pinks and carnations belong to the genus Dianthus. They are mostly perennial plants, some of them are annual or biennial and some are low sub-shrubs with woody basal stems. They are grown for their attractive, long-lasting and usually flagrant flowers that appear in spring and summer. They can be used in mixed borders, entry way beds, cut flower gardens, scented gardens, butterfly gardens and cottage gardens, rock gardens or grown in pots. Pinks flowers may be in one color, with a central zone or eye of a second color or marked with different color just inside the edge of every petal and usually with a central eye of the same color. Carnations flowers may be in one color, in two or more colors or edged in a contrasting color. They make great cut flowers and also hold their color when pressed making them useful for press flowered crafts and arrangements.

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Peonies

White Peony Image

One of the most favorites perennials flowers that are grown in the flower garden are peonies because of their luxurious and spectacular blooms in an early summer garden. Colors range from white, cream, and ivory through myriad pinks, roses, and dark reds. There are few perennials that can rival them for floral display and foliage as they offer beautiful flowers in the spring and provide good foliage throughout the summer. Their exquisite, large blossoms, often fragrant, make excellent cut flowers and the foliage provides a background for annuals or other perennials. Planted at the back of a perennial bed, the deeply cut, glossy green foliage makes a pleasing background throughout the summer for other plants.

Peonies can be slow growers, especially if you start with small divisions but once it becomes established, will flower for many years if you offer them little care. Young plants can take several years before flowering, but they are among the longest-lived perennial plants you will ever see, so once establish they will be in your garden forever. The plants are either planted as single specimens mixed among other plants or in clumps or masses or they may be planted in rows to form a background for smaller plants.

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Pelargoniums

Pelargoniums Image

Pelargoniums also known as Geraniums are having their origin in South Africa. They are almost all tender, evergreen, perennial plants. Pelargoniums may be divided into five groups according to the main characteristics of the plants: zonal, dwarf and miniature zonal, regal, ivy-leaved and scented-leaved.

Pelargoniums may be grown in all types of well-drained compost: loam-based, peat substitute or peat as long as it is fresh and has been stored away from direct sunlight. They need a little attention when watering because pelargoniums must be kept on the dry side until well established and then they need plenty of water during the growing season.

Give pelargoniums a weekly application of a high-potash feed such as tomato fertilizer. you can start feeds three weeks from potting and keep on the whole summer. This will help the flower to produce more flowers than becoming too leafy.

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Irises

Iris Image

The genus Irises includes some of the loveliest of flowering plants, with their intricate blooms offering a rich spectrum of colors and textures, from satin to velvet.


Iris Image Iris Image Iris Image

You do certainly remember very well the glorious flowering of irises in June and July, specially the tall, hybrid species. Well, if you want to cultivate many more of them now, in early autumn, is perfect time to propagate them.

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Hostas

Hosta Image

Hostas are grown specially for their bold, sculptural foliage, making a nice display for any garden, are easy to maintain and long-lived perennials. Many of them also produce attractive white, lilac or purple flowers so the display is complete. Hostas like light to moderate shaded areas and make eye-catching display if grown in pots or beside a pond.

Hostas are considered to be mainly foliage plants because of their stunning variety of colors, textures and shape of their foliage. Their leave may be patterned in shades of green, white and gold or edged in a different contrasting color. Their texture can be rich and glossy or soft and velvety. The shapes of the leaves may be narrow and ribbon-like, heart-shaped or almost circular.

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Ferns

Fern image

Ferns are among the most ancient of plants alive on the planet today and their survival is a testament of their adaptation to the environments in which they grow. Despite their ancient heritage, ferns can be used in highly contemporary planting schemes and are very effective with modern materials and stone.

Ferns are among the most popular of the foliage plants because of their superb foliage. They add texture and atmosphere to the house or garden. Many are tolerant of dry shade, others preferring damper conditions and that is why they are particularly effective in settings by streams or in damp, shady corners.

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Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemum Image

Chrysanthemums are popular for providing with their colorful and luxuriant shape of their long-lasting flowerheads a beautiful display in the garden and also provide cutting for the house and for exhibiting.

They are classified according to the shape and arrangements of the petals and florets within the flowerheads and also by flowering season. By their flowering period chrysanthemums can be: early-flowering - that will bloom from late summer to early autumn and are grown outdoors, and late-flowering - the ones that are grown in pots outdoor in summer and are brought into a greenhouse, where they will flower from autumn until late winter.

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