Perennials forever

FoxglovesMany perennials need to develop a root system or crown and have that chilled over the winter months so that they are encouraged to produce flower spikes when they break their dormancy.

What’s the difference between annual, biennial and perennial plants?
Annuals will reach a flowering stage in the first season, set seed and then die. They’re like instant gratification in the plant world.
Biennials will tend to live through one full season before flowering, setting seed and dying after their second season.
The word Perennial derives from the Latin for ”through the years”.
They are your long term investment in the flower garden coming up year after year, forming ever increasing clumps of flowering stems for both your enjoyment and the beneficial insects in the garden that feed on their nectar and pollen.


Many perennials could be described as being herbaceous, meaning they die back to the ground in autumn and regrow in spring. However some can be evergreen and keep their leaves all year.
Herbaceous perennials are adapted to both the cold conditions of winter where they miss the chill above ground, but are also a good choice for drought prone gardens because of their well-developed root system often requiring less water and care.


So, if you have some spare bench space in your propagating area, consider getting some perennials going over the next few weeks and give them a head start on flowering next summer. Try...
Achillea, Agastache, Aquilegia, Baptisia, Delphinium, Echinacea, Eryngium, Foxglove, Gaura, Lysimachia, Michaelmas Daisy, Polemoniun, Tanacetum, Verbascum and many more.

Once established, clumps of perennials enjoy a good layer of well-rotted compost and mulch during the dormant season. As well as feeding the roots, it will encourage beneficial microbial activity and help suppress weed seeds. Tall growing perennial can give your garden structure and define spaces for your annual varieties to gain protection from the elements.

They will certainly reward you for your forward planning!
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