Perennial Gardening: A Favorite for Many Green Thumbs

There is something wildly exciting about a perennial garden in the spring. All of a sudden where snow used to sit, there are green leaves poking inquisitively out of the ground with the promise of bright colors and fragrant blooms in the not so distant future. Perennial gardening is a favorite with many seasoned gardeners for just this reason: a big result with minimum effort once the plants have been established. But before you jump into your first perennial gardening project there are some tips to ensure that you get the biggest bloom for your buck.

Creating the Perfect Perennial Garden

Perennial gardens can begin to bloom long before the snow even melts and continue until well into the fall months. The timing of your flowers all depends upon the types of plants you choose. Most gardening sages know that the idea of a perennial gardening is to see flowers throughout as much of the year as possible. This begins in the very early spring months when the first crocus poke their heads out through the snow, and finally ends with a burst of fall glory in the colorful mums, asters, and fall pansies. Blooming time should be a strong consideration when selecting the plants for your perennial garden to showcase a bed that is perpetually changing and constantly in bloom.

Another important factor in the perennial garden is patience. An old English saying tells gardeners, "First year sleeps, second year creeps, and third year leaps." Perennials tend to take their own sweet time getting up and going the first two years, so patience is a definite virtue when it comes to the perennial gardens. It also means that it is a good idea to read those plant tags carefully to find out just how big those little seedlings are finally going to get. This plan-ahead mentality will help you to avoid the need for a lot of replanting in a couple of years when your Shasta daisies have taken over your unfortunate Snow in summer. Keep the taller plants to the back, and make sure that you give every seedling plenty of room to grow and expand.

Caring for your Perennial Garden

The true beauty in a perennial garden, besides the array of color and fragrance that you can enjoy, is the low maintenance that is required to keep your perennial beds looking their best. There are basically four simple steps to the process of caring for your perennial garden: weeding, watering, deadheading and mulching. If you plant your bed in an area where you can use a landscape fabric around your plants and cover the fabric with mulch, you will have eliminated most of your weeding and mulching needs. Watering can be done by hand or through the use of an irrigation system that will bring water directly to where you need it. Deadheading is simply the process of removing the dead flowers to encourage your perennials to bloom again.