Perennials in the Garden

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A guide to choosing perennials

When considering what to put in a border perennial plants are a must. Easy to grow, many are long lived and there are hundreds of plant shapes and flower colours to choose from. This sheer choice can make selecting the right variety a daunting process especially for the less experienced gardener.

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Hardy Geraniums for Shade

Many hardy geraniums will grow in a spot that is lightly shaded during the day, but there are a few geranium groups that are happy in a place that gets more shade than sun, such as beneath a canopy of shrubs and trees.

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Growing plants in dry soils

Rain is not a problem here in the Welsh Marches, can’t stop the stuff from coming down. But this has not been the case with all the places I have gardened on or grown nursery stock.

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Growing and caring for perennial plants

No flower border is complete without at least some herbaceous perennials. These are the non-woody plants that die right back in autumn and emerge again in spring. Some herbaceous perennials are evergreen - but not many.

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Best perennials for bees

Bees and Bumblebees are essential to the life of a plant, but sadly in recent years their numbers are on the decline. A world without the busy bee would not only leave our gardens bereft of sound and movement, but lead to the demise of many plants.

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Perennials for cutting

Perennials have been grown as cut flowers for many years. Long before the Dutch flower markets became the main source for cut flowers, British nurseries, especially around London, grew perennials purely for cutting. Crates of flowers would be sent daily by train to Covent Garden. All were cut according to the season from the same perennials grown in gardens.

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Foliage First

Think of plants with lovely leaves and most gardeners imagine trees, shrubs and fabulous autumn colour. Perennials are rarely considered yet many have beautiful leaves and this very important attribute should certainly be given some thought when choosing what to grow especially for winter colour.

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Late Flowering Perennials

As summer drifts into autumn the garden starts to put itself to sleep preparing for the seemingly endless winter months. In the meantime this process is slow enough to allow us to appreciate the autumn garden. By late October my borders have become a wonderful tapestry of colours

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Early Flowering Perennials

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. There is so much to look forward to, including all those lovely early blooming perennials. In the wild spring flowering plants grow beneath deciduous trees and shrubs where the ground is relatively warm and sheltered, and where in the coming months an upper canopy of leaves extends to shade the ground below.

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Foiling Rabbits

Rabbits might be cute and cuddly, but for gardeners who live close to a rabbit population the sight of just one of these small creatures anywhere near our precious patch can send us into fits of rage. These, as we all know, are rapid reproducers, which means there are lots of mouths to feed. Rabbits are fearless munchers, nibbling leaves, flower stems and digging around the base of plants to get at young tender roots.

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