I’m slowly developing my green thumb, with some outdoor plants that, as my Mum puts it, are “low maintenance”. While I have to discipline myself to water on a regular basis, thus far things are looking lovely, and this Spring I’m up to the challenge of adding a few additional plants in my garden. Before I get to that however, I’d like to share three essential perennials for every garden. These are low maintenance, easy enjoyment plants that everyone should have in her (or his) garden.
A perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Perennials will (or should, if you plant them correctly) bloom year after year, and provide you with long-term gardening success. Long after the blooms and leaves die off for the season, the root remains and will sprout up each Spring or Summer.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had some hearty perennials planted, which are sprouting well so far this Spring. Here are three essential perennials I’ve got growing in my gardens:
1. Forget-Me-Nots (perennial, good in part sun to full sun): Tiny little forget-me-nots are sweet, delicate flowers (mine are blue, but this perennial is available in pink and white). Forget-me-not blooms are rather short-lived (they bloom early in the season), and they spread well because of their generous seeds. [Note to fellow amateur green-thumbs: If you don’t want these blues to spread, then best plant them in a pot or collect and dispose of unwanted seeds once they drop.] Two years ago, I transplanted my forget-me-nots along the edge of my gardens, to use as complementary edging. It’s worked out well, and with each passing year they grow more and more.
2. Peonies (perennial, good in part sun to full sun): Peonies are perhaps the most well-loved perennials out there. I’ve yet to meet a girl who doesn’t love these resplendent blooms. Peonies can be light pinks, reds, even whites or yellows. The pretty petals in my garden are a mixture of the most feminine pink and also a rich deep magenta. The long-fingered green stems usually bloom early Summer (the pictures here I took last June). If you plan to enjoy indoors as part of a bouquet, pick early to avoid ant infestation in the blooms.
3. Hostas (perennial, good in shade, part sun): Hostas are hearty plants. There are more than 50 different hosta varieties, and I was fortunate enough last Spring to have a neighbour give me about ten hosta plants (of several varieties) to enjoy in my garden. Easy to grow, hostas make a lovely accent in any garden. [Cool idea: For a moveable garden, try planting a hosta plant in a container.]