In designing with plants, it is the perennials that ensure that there is constant change, and that there is always an element of surprise or interest in the garden.
Getting to know the dormant and flowering periods of the plants is essential to achieving the right balance in the design, so that as one perennial goes to sleep, another awakens.
Perennials, perhaps more than any other group of plants, are available in a huge range of colours, forms, textures and fragrances in both foliage and flower. There are perennials suitable for almost every area of the garden: from full sun to full shade, in large gardens or small beds and to suit every mood or style. Popular perennial plants include Penstemon, Gaura, Canna, Dahlias, Salvias, Lupins, Columbines, Lilies, Delphiniums and Hellebores - oh! the list is endless.
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A perennial plant (Latin per, "through", annum, "year") is a plant that lives for more than two years, unlike an Annual which grows, sets seed, gayly disperses it and then dies - all in a single season. Perennial plants are divided into two large groups: those that are woody and those that are herbaceous. They can be short-lived (only a few years) or they can be long-lived, and can vary in size from only a few millimeters to over 10 meters tall. They include a wide assortment of plant groups from Ferns to the highly diverse flowering plants like Orchids and Ornamental Grasses.
Perennials typically grow structures that allow them to adapt to living from one year to the next. These structures include bulbs, tubers, woody crowns, rhizomes plus others. They might have specialized stems or crowns that allow them to survive periods of dormancy over cold or dry seasons during the year. Many perennials have adapted to survive under extreme environmental conditions: some can survive hot dry conditions, or cold temperatures. These plants tend to invest a lot of resource into their adaptations and often do not flower and set seed until after a few years of growth.
Many perennials produce relatively large seeds, which can have an advantage as they produce larger seedlings after germination that can better compete with other plants or more quickly develop leaves, ensuring their survival.
In warmer climates, perennials grow continuously. In seasonal climates, their growth is limited to the growing season. For example, in temperate regions a perennial plant may grow and bloom during the warm part of the year, with the foliage dying back in the winter. These plants are deciduous perennials. Regrowth is from existing stem tissue. In some species, perennials retain their foliage all year round; these are evergreen perennials. Come in and take a look around. We've always got something pretty, perky and persuasive in the perennial line.
Lily of the Valley. A much loved old-fashioned perennial with dark green leaves and sprays of small, very fragrant, bell-shaped pale pink flowers from late winter to early spring. Prefers a semi-shaded position and moist, humus rich soil. Ideal for ground-cover planting under trees.
Colour: Pink / Mauve Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x spreads
Convallaria majalis Rosea
Current Stock Height: 0/5 cm ?
Container: tube ?
New stock arriving beginning of September, 2020. Pre-order now. Estimated price $7.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Deep blue, funnel like flowers are found in abundance on this low maintenance ground cover. Trail it over rocks and walls or would look great trailing from hanging pots. Dense neat habit. Evergreen perennial.
Colour: Blue Habit: Trailing Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 20cm x 50cm
This is a fabulous ground cover that has beautiful miniature morning glory-like flowers in mauve-blue. It flowers continuously throughout most of the year. Very adaptable and is great on banks or to hang from retaining walls. Hardy
Colour: Mauve Habit: Cascading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 20cm x 100cm
Highly aromatic Herb that is popular for adding a pungent flavour to Chinese, Thai and Mexican cuisine. This variety is very slow to bolt ( hence the name) and can be grown in a pot or the garden. Likes the sun and fertile soil to do well. Annual.
Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 15cm
Fabulous, filigree foliage in deep mahogany black topped off with stems of vibrant, fire-red blooms from summer through to autumn. Simply stunning in full flower. Plant in a sunny spot in nice rich soil with protection from harsh frost. Perennial. PVR DAH020.
This Dr Keith Hammett bred Dahlia is AKA Dark Side of the Sun. Dead head regularly to ensure maximum flower power.
Colour: Red Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 80cm x 60cm
Bred by Dr Keith Hammet, his stunning Dahlia will certainly add some magic to the garden in summer months. The deep maroon-black, divided foliage is offset by stems of single, tomato red blooms that appear in generous quantities. Plant in the sun and dead-head to encourage re-bloom. Perennial. PVR.
Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 60cm
'Superstar' is a flamboyant performer with a central gold eye, exploding out to petals which graduate from deep rose to pale pink. Striking and unusual, a flower bees will enjoy! Blooms over an extended period. Grow in full sun and prune lightly after flowering. Feeding with a slow release fertilizer after flowering will enhance performance. Protect from frosts when young.
Marguerite Daisies are unsurpassed for their ability to provide a mass of pretty blooms in the garden.
Colour: Pink / Yellow Habit: compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 30cm
Drop dead gorgeous - these 'Black-eyed Angels' have tall spires of white flowers with an attractive dark eye usually described as a 'bee'. Plant in a sunny position in nice humus rich soil. It could be helpful to provide a stake for support if you live in a windy spot. Perennial.
Delphiniums are gross feeders i.e. they like lots of tucker, especially organic matter. They respond well to being planted with sheep pellets. Check out our How To page for more tips.
Colour: White / Black Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 0.4m