Which perennials and why

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I'm new here, but some of you know who I am.

Okay, let's get something going on this thread.

Why do you plant perennials?

Do you prefer natives or exotics?

Do you plant formal beds or more natural?

Do you have favorites?

Any gotta haves for next year.

What do you look for in a perennial?

Here is an example.

Though I have some non natives like a few roses, peonies and iris, I prefer native perennials.

They are hardy, more resistant to cooties and other things.

Many are drought and soil tolorant.

There are many matives to choose from that offer color, protection for wildlife and food for pollinators, birds and small mammals.

There is a start.

Hmmm...I like perennials because they are dependable...usually. I used to avoid them at all costs because I thought they tended to look "messy", like weeds. But I have come to appreciate that wild look.

I still use annuals for instant color. I am a bit impatient. I have one side of my house in a cottage garden, for lack of a better explanation to what form of garden. My other beds are more "fenced in" and less wild.

Natives or exotics? Eh, both.
Deb, I love the cottage garden look and so do the birds and butterflies.

I'm more into the natural look and cottage garden is right there.

Plus, less work involved.

Many natives offer goodies for nature, coneflowers, Liatris, Blanket flower etc.

I like the different bloom times, colors and all the activity they bring to my yard.

Here are a few pics from my side yard...notice the winged visitor? Not the butterfly...look harder! Not all perennials, though.


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Beautiful chaos is my mantra...in life as well as gardening lol! Having three kids in three years will do that do a person. I like my garden to blend but not hide with its surroundings and sometimes that take me a bit to figure out how to achieve that effect.

I like to use easy care perennials to anchor my garden. That way I have the dependables that I can count on from year to year. I do strive for staggered bloom times (don't we all?) but again sometimes that takes a bit to get it there.

On my list of must haves to start my new mostly all sun zone 5 garden that I've grown before are echinachea, daisy, roses, lillies, tulips and dafs (of course), clematis,

I want to try some ornamental grasses, Jacob cline monarda, coreopsis, butterfly weed, sweet shrub (the flowers look interesting) and who know what else :)

Dora/Garden Goddess
Well, I had originally posted these on the annual forum along with the annuals. Here is a partial list of perennials, shrubs and trees on my property. Pereennials are great.. you plant them, care for them adn they will multiply and you have more to use or to share:)
Most are very dependable and even if a short bloom time, they all have their place in my garden beds.

Several different kinds of Salvia annual and perennial

about 25 different daylilies
Oriental Lilies
Asiatic Lilies
a few different hosta
3 different kinds of coral bells
purple coneflower
about 10 different iris
oriental ilies
russian sage
Red Husker Penstemon
feather reed grass
zebra grass
jasmine I winter over indoors
Knockout Roses
Blackeyed Susan
Yellow Baptisia
Several kinds of Sedum
Hens and Chicks
Yellow dogwood
pine trees
maple tree
oak tree
bald cypress tree
redbud tree
Carolina Bell tree
apple trees
grape vines
rose of sharon

There are lots more, just can't seem to bring them to my mind!
I'm sorry I cant help myself I just peeked at a wonderful pic!

Shinekeeper that is just too cool !!!!!!!!!!!Oh my Dear!!!!!! You got an excellent shot of
that hummer in your zinnias! (Had to add this, I did not have to look harder I saw them before
I read what you said *LOL I see a pics I look *lol)

Way too too cool! I'll tell my story elsewhere perhaps we need a butterfly and humming bird thread somewhere!! Actually I'm certain!

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Nive pictures Deb, Im also impressed, no mildew on the Zinnias.

Beautiful chaos, a nice way to put it............... blend in with nature.

That is an extensive list chttycarnation, some natives and non natives.

Dora, Jacob cline is a good one, mildew resistant, rather tall. There are so many kinds of Coreopsis and look into some native grasses sometime.


I have the usuals, coneflower, clematis, peonies, bleeding hearts,hollyhock,columbine,mums,delphiniums,pinks,daylillies,hardy hibiscus. I like the perennials because they have different bloom times, different coloration, and I can devote more time to the roses, and the containers (80-90ish). It also leaves me more room to experiment when seed starting, not having to fill whole gardens in. Less watering and daily care is also a bonus.
Gardening for wildlife?

So I was thinking about the past summer and I had to giggle about your website "gardening for wildlife". About the only thing in my yard is grass as we still managed to attract wildlife.

We were out on the deck one morning and our doggie was verrrry interested in this one spot in the yard. We kept calling her and she would come but then the next thing we knew she was right back sniffin in that spot. A couple hours later I was working in the yard and the next thing I know here comes Jessie dog with something in her mouth. Of course I tell her to drop it...and she does cause she's a good girl :) It is some creature. It is still alive and one piece. It takes me a little bit to figure out what it is. Being new to the area I am not familiar with the wildlife that is around but one look at the ears gives it way :)

Of course we turn into dorky west coasters and find a wooden step to go over the nest to protect it...giggling the whole time that we have to be the only people in Iowa that protect a rabbit's nest lol!

Dora/Garden Goddess


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Dora, what a cute pic. I'd be protecting it too.

I plant perennials as I really enjoy seeing them come back to life in the spring. Plus they're cheaper than annuals in the long run. I only plant a few annuals for instant gratification in planters etc. Any non invasive perennial that will grow in zone 4 is of interest to me. My gardens started off formal but as I added to them they became more of cottage gardens as each space was filled with a new acquisition. I find that an overplanted cottage garden saves on the old back as I get less weeds.
I like to think of mine as 3 season gardens. Something always seems to be coming into bloom as something else is finishing.
I Like perennials as I find my time keeps shrinking! LOL1 Zinnias and Marigolds are 2 favs. But I have Blooming grasses too that I love. Society Garlic and Aztec. Then there are the boromilaids which sometimes bloom and sometimes not. Hostas too. Some are beds some are added to natural areas as accents. I try to get dabs of color in natural places.
Why do you plant perennials?
I garden therefore I am. Perennials add so much variety, texture, and color to a garden. They open up far more options than do annuals.

Do you prefer natives or exotics?

Do you plant formal beds or more natural?

Do you have favorites?
Asiatic Lilies and whatever is at peak bloom

Any gotta haves for next year.

What do you look for in a perennial?
Long lasting bloom, controlability, color, variety in height, vibrancy, blendability with other plants
wow Whit took all the words out of my mouth...;)
I love the usually easy care of perennials .... my trouble this year, as we begin to put in all the flowers and plants ...will be what is perennial here....like just to mention one ....I love lantana ......always have used it on field fence to add boarders...well it is not a perennial here....so what to do...

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