A landscape without perennial gardens is a one-season event. After the spring display of flowering shrubs is over, perennials take center stage. Sure, there are some late-flowering shrubs in summer like Spirea, Hydrangea and shrub roses – but for the most part, the spectacular summer color belongs to perennial flowers. Especially here on the New Hampshire seacoast, the importance of a good perennial flower design cannot be overstated.
Living architecture. Perennial garden design is not as simple as picking out some plants at your local garden center. A good perennial design must take into account color combinations, blooming times, and plant heights. There are some perennials that only bloom for several weeks; others will bloom all summer. Some perennials stay where they are – others, like Bee Balm and Black-Eyed Susans, will re-seed until they take over the flower bed. Most perennials will thrive in full sun; but only a few will survive in shade.
Mix it up. Even with a well thought out perennial plan, any garden needs balance. A conifer backdrop, a red foliage ornamental tree or sedge grasses can add a lot of depth to a perennial garden. There may also be – despite our best intentions – gaps in the blooming cycle. In this case, it’s not a bad idea to incorporate a few annual flowers in key spots. Whether border annuals like Marigolds and Snapdragons, or tall background flowers like cleome, annual flowers can provide constant color until the first frost.
Your own nursery. A common misunderstanding about perennials is that they are maintenance free. While it’s true, you plant them one time and they come back every year – they do require a certain degree of maintenance. As they grow, perennials will crowd each other out. Every few years, they will need to be divided and moved out of the flower bed. One of the great benefits of having perennial gardens in your yard is that you will have a never-ending supply of plants – and thus, a never ending supply of plant-loving friends to share them with!
There is a dynamic element to designing a landscape that grows and changes throughout the season as much as perennial gardens do. A perennial garden design from Rye Beach Landscaping is a valuable tool in creating your summer landscape palette.