Perennials for Sun!
Walking around any perennial section of plants must feel like a mine field for anyone that doesn’t know what they are looking at and its so easy to just choose a plant that looks pretty, take it home and then wonder where on earth it’s going to go!
When choosing perennials it’s a good idea to consider how the whole area is going to look and how the plants you choose will work together and create the colour scheme and effect that you want.
Not many of us have gardens big enough for big herbaceous borders but instead have small planting areas or flower beds, some have thin borders around a lawn, or little cut out areas of lawn to allow planting. I don’t have any lawn at all, just paths, stepping stones, trees, shrubs, climbers and small conifers to give extra structure in the beds as well as something to look at during the winter months when my perennials have died down.
Perennials unlike summer flowering annuals don’t all flower from late spring until the first frost, but instead have their flowering time depending what plant it is, this can sometimes be extended a little for some by dead-heading or removing some spent flower stems thus helping to keep them looking better for longer.
Perennials come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny alpine or rockery plants to the very tall upright ones like Verbena bonariensis, perfect for growing at the back of a sunny border to give extra height, but can look even better growing amongst other perennials too. The stems are very sparsely leafed giving an airy look and it has bright flattened lilac-purple flower heads that are made up of lots of tiny flowers. These are especially attractive to bees and butterflies!
A dwarf compact version is Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’, not only is it useful as a short bright and airy plant for the flower bed, but can also look great in a patio container. Both plants have a long flowering time from July to October and will look great with many other herbaceous perennials including the daisy-like flowers of rudbeckias, heleniums, coreopsis or among various grasses too.