Perennials vary widely in their tolerance for sun or shade, wet or dry conditions, cold or mild climate, and type of soil. They come in a wide range of sizes, too. They span the range of flowering periods from spring through fall,
¿JftBE/i and some varieties even bloom in fairly cold winters. If you live in a mild Mediterranean or other semitropical climate, you can enjoy perennial flowers all year long.
Perennials demand little and live a long time; that's why they're a welcome element in the sustainable landscape.
When selecting perennials, avoid Saturday Morning Syndrome: choosing plants impulsively because they're looking all cute at the nursery. Instead, take the time to make a plan before you head out. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Look in a gardening encyclopedia for lists of perennials that are suited to your region. Such lists show plants by color, season of bloom, soil or light requirements, and other characteristics. Comb the lists for things that appeal to you, cross-checking to be sure that your candidate plants meet all your requirements. Then take your list to a local nursery to check availability, discuss possible combinations with nursery staff, and see the plants. Observe mature specimens in actual gardens if possible.
Mail-order nurseries offer unusual perennials. The plants often cost more than what you'd find locally, but it may be the only way to obtain hard-to-find species that you'll never run across at the local chain store.
After you've picked out your plants and made a plan, you're ready to put 'em in place. Keep in mind that most perennials are best planted in the fall. This matches their natural growth cycle, reduces the amount of water needed to get them established, and improves their chances for survival. Follow the standard planting instructions in Chapter 16.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.