Perennials are flowers that return each season by growing up from their roots. These flowers add beauty and value to any landscape. From the scents, colors, textures, sizes, and shapes, perennials offer so much. They can also attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and curiosity. Many varieties are great for cutting to bring into your home or to offer as gifts. In order to make sure you have the right perennials selected for your gardens here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Know what zone you live in. A simple google search with your zip code will tell you your USDA plant climate zone, but in Teton County Idaho & Wyoming we are primarily zones 3 and 4. Plant zones help as a starting point, but there are many microclimates, soils, and wildlife pressures that can affect the success of any plant.
Be an observer and take note of flowers and colors you like and dislike. Mother Nature has perfected color combinations and inspiration can be drawn from fields of flowers you see along local mountain trails.
Consider the location of where you want to plant flowers and observe that spot before planting anything. Is the spot shady but with intense heat at the end of the day? Is the location hot and windy? Do you have a way to deliver water? Does the area drain correctly or does water pool? Are there nearby rodent populations that are hungry to gobble up your prized flowers? Being observant before your shop for plants will help alleviate the heartache and frustration of planting something you love in the wrong spot.
Few perennials bloom all season long, so it’s best to grow a variety with different bloom times for season-long color. As some perennials are finished blooming, others will be just starting and you can have something in flower from April until September. Observing your own garden or others will give you an idea if you’re are lacking color at one point in the season. Don’t forget to plant flowering bulbs like daffodils and crocus for pops of early season color.
The last thing to consider is the mature size of the plant. Taller plants usually are best at the back of your garden while the short perennials are great for borders. Don’t be tempted to crowd new plants too close together. This will lead to a maintenance nightmare a few years down the road. It’s good to consider how you might view your flowers from different vantages on your property (from the driveway, looking from the inside out, etc). Accounting for the final size of your plants before planting will leave you with a visually pleasing display.
With all of this in mind it can be sometimes very confusing on which perennials to choose. Our friendly staff can help guide you through the choices and set you up for a beautiful flower garden that you can enjoy for years to come!