Friday, March 13, 2009

Perennial Basics Getting Started

Let’s move from annuals to perennials! We sell a wide variety of perennials at Skillin’s. We define perennials as usually green or herbaceous plants that are best planted in beds with other perennials or as a complement to your shrub and tree (woody) or annual plantings or other aspects of your landscape world.

Perennial plants are intended to give us the ever hopeful gardener years of enjoyment as we nurture and feed them, pinch and prune them, and divide and worry about them. Yes, perennials become an extension of our family. Many perennials do not flower for long periods of time which only makes our appreciation of their colorful offerings that much sweeter when that time of year comes. Perennials are a blessing!

Lat year I came across a great article in a garden center trade magazine called “Green Profits” titled “Perennial Gardening Basics”. I think the article is fantastic for all perennial gardeners. For the next few weeks, I intend to give you small excerpts from the article (to whet your perennial gardening whistle). If at any time you would like the entire article emailed to you just let me know at and I will send you a “Word” attachment.

Getting Started

“Chances are you are not starting from scratch and already have some trees, shrubs and possibly existing perennials in place. Feel free to work within existing gardens, but be sure to clean them up first. If your gardens require extreme trimming or removal, it’s a good idea to contact a professional for advice and service.

To begin, all gardens need a focal point to help draw the eye and give the garden an orderly look. Your focal point is completely up to you and can be anything from a spectacular specimen plant to a unique sculpture. Once you have this in place, it’s time to think about a color scheme. Try to pick three or four colors to create a scheme. If you spend a lot of time entertaining outside, it might be fun to match outdoor furniture and décor.

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Preparing the garden bed is as important as choosing the plants. Most common perennials prefer soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, but as always, there are exceptions. Be sure to read plant descriptions to learn about special light and pH requirements they might have. Be sure to rejuvenate existing soils with amendments like manure, humus or compost. This will help kick start new plants and keep them healthy as they establish.”

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
March 13, 2009

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