Friday, March 20, 2009

Perennial Basics Placing Plants

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!

Last 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.

Placing Plants

"Most perennial gardens include plants in clumps or blocks – three or more of the same plant grouped together. Creating the masses of color that make perennial borders so attractive means you need to plant clumps in a few different areas in each garden bed. Feel free to repeat clumps of varieties throughout your gardens. That’s up to you. Be sure to allow plenty of room for expansion. Every plant grows differently so consult labels for spacing between plants. Space clumps further apart – about two or three feet.

When choosing varieties, it’s vitally important to understand the area where you will plant them. Most perennials thrive in full sun, but there are options for shade, as well. And because perennials are long-term plants, thinking long term is necessary. If your garden is in an area with newly established trees, consider how fast they will grow and how much shade they will provide down the road. If you are planning your garden based on a color scheme, pick the basic colors but be open to changing varieties based on your garden environment."

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
March 11, 2008 (reprinted March 20, 2009)

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