Perennials for your garden
Paint your garden with the vivid colours of reliable and easy-to-grow perennials.
For a constant supply of almost effortless beauty and colour, perennials are your best plant choice. They will appear in your garden year after year, without having to be replaced, and they are easy to propagate by dividing them into smaller plants, spreading colour season after season throughout your garden. Always remember that life is a garden, and what is life without colour?
Whatever your garden situation, whether it is sunny or shady, dry or moist, large or small, there is a perennial to suit you. The only hard part is choosing from the large number of attractive options available in the nurseries nowadays.
- Agapanthus is an indigenous perennial available with blue or white blooms, and in dwarf forms. It is easy to grow, can be planted in full sun or semi-shade and makes an attractive summer display when planted en masse.
- Osteospermum covers the ground rapidly, bearing lovely, daisy-like flowers in late winter, spring and autumn. It can be planted in semi-shade, but flowers best in full sun. It requires a moderate amount of water throughout the year.
- Easy-to-grow gaura produces beautiful pink and white butterfly-like flowers on tall stems of gaura. Choose from the rose pink ‘Siskiyou Pink’, pale pink ‘Blushing Butterflies’, ‘Crimson Butterflies’, soft pink ‘Sunny Butterflies’, white ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘So White’. Plant in full sun.
- The showy blooms of day lilies appear from early summer to autumn. Try ‘Double Talk’, ‘Scene Red’ and ‘Fudge’. Plant these annuals in large groups in full sun.
- Charming diascia flowers throughout the year, making it a garden essential. There are many varieties available in pink, apricot, lavender, red and orange shades. Plant in full sun.
Sing the blues
- For charming blue throughout summer try salvia ‘Victoria’, with upright flower spikes holding indigo-blue flowers above the foliage. It thrives in full sun.
- Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ also blooms throughout the year, and attracts butterflies into the garden. It thrives in a sunny spot.
- Liliums are bulbous perennials that come in various heights and colours and like their feet in the shade and heads in the sun. Many are richly scented.
- Phlox paniculata flowers in late summer. Some cultivars have sweetly scented heads of pink, lilac and purple flowers.
- Sweet garlic (Tulbaghia fragrans) is an easy-to-grow perennial that produces umbels of sweetly scented lavender flowers.
- Prepare your soil before planting. Enrich with plenty of compost and about a handful of planting fertiliser.
- Apply a layer of mulch – this encourages a better soil texture and better plant growth.
- Plan your planting. Find out the height of the plant when in flower, and try to plant taller species at the back of the border, medium growers in the middle and those with low-growing blooms in the front.
- Water thoroughly and deeply so the water penetrates down to the root area.
- Stake tall perennials to help them cope with the wind.
- Lift and divide when clumps become overcrowded, or the soil becomes depleted.
- Prolong flowering by deadheading.