Many homeowners are interested in saving time and money in the garden. Perennials are one of the best deals you can find. Perennials are always a good value because they come back year after year and some varieties like hosta, daylilies and iris will also multiply over time!
Even without these time and money saving qualities, perennials play an important role in garden design. They serve as the “paints” that will help create a colorful display in the landscape. Just as there are special techniques to applying paints to a canvas, over the years we have learned a few lessons about designing with perennials in the landscape. Metzger Landscaping often strives to add color to our landscaping projects through the use of low maintenance, colorful perennials. In fact, the two things most-often requested by our clients are “low maintenance” and “color”. By using the “right” combination of perennials, we can create both. This is why we say at Metzger Landscaping, “We Turn Gardens into Art”.
Charming beauty and limitless potential top the list of reasons to grow perennials. A perennial is a non-woody plant that lives for more than two years and typically dies back as hard frosts embrace foliage. New growth emerges in spring, either from the ground or from remnants of woody stems. Some perennials such as coral bells and ornamental grasses retain foliage year-round, and create interest throughout the seasonal changes in our Indiana climate.
Hidden amid perennials’ wonderful attributes, however, lie a few challenges. A common misconception about perennials is that they create a plant-it-and-forget-it garden. While some perennials are low-maintenance, most require ongoing care throughout the growing season, including mulching, watering, and sometimes staking. Deadheading (removing spent blooms) is necessary to increase the number of flowers on certain plants.
Color isn’t constant with each variety of perennial you choose to use. Designing for a “succession of color” is the key to a successful design. Most perennials flower for a two- to four-week period. Beyond that color-filled time frame–and without careful planning–a perennial garden is mostly foliage. The trick is to compose a blend of perennials that flower in sequence. This process can be hard to perfect. Incorporating a few annual flowers near the border can offer steady color throughout the growing season.
Perennials need space, so when designing always plan for growth. Because perennials live for more than one season, they’re constantly growing and enlarging their borders. It’s this changeability that gives a perennial garden its charm. Avoid the temptation to overcrowd young plants; always plan for plant expansion. You’ll also need to increase the volume of plants if you want season-long color. When you arrange a planting that combines individual perennials into a harmonious blend of color, texture, and bloom, you’ll savor the beauty and discover the inspiration only perennials can give. Using perennials in the landscape design along with the structure of flowering shrubs, evergreens for winter color and ornamental grasses for texture can turn a landscape into a living work of art.
The nursery at Metzger Landscaping is overflowing with perennials, trees and shrubs. Stop for a great selection in North Manchester to paint your landscape with color this season.
Top 10 Tough Perennials we grow at Metzger Landscaping’s garden center
· Daylily; Hemorocallis, ‘happy returns’ & ‘rosy returns’ among other reblooming daylilies
· Variegated Hosta; ‘widebrim’, ‘francee’ and ‘patriot’
· Black Eyed Susan; Rudebeckia, ‘goldsturm’
· Purple Cone Flower; Echinacea, ‘Kim’s knee high’ & ‘cheyanne’
· Coral Bells, Huechera; ‘citronelle’, ‘palace purple’, & ‘caramel’
· Russian Sage, Pervoskia; ‘little spire’
· Maiden Grass, Miscanthus; ‘sarenbande’
· Coreopsis, ‘moonbeam’; ‘route 66’
· Agastache; ‘blue fortune’
· Salvia; ‘blue hills’