What is a Perennial?

Peony Berry Garcia

In the simplest terms, a perennial is a plant that lives for at least 3 or more years.  We usually use this term to describe herbaceous perennials when talking about gardens.  Trees and shrubs last for many years too of course, but these are woody plants.  The life span of a perennial varies quite a [...]

How to Select and Plant Perennials


PLANTING STEPS (a)  After preparing soil, dig a hole deep enough to hold root ball. (b)  Remove the pot, break up root ball if root-bound. (c)  Place root in the hole, fill with water. (d)  Refill with soil. Root ball should be slightly below soil surface. (e)  Water a second time. 1.  CHOOSING PERENNIALS When [...]

Perennial Gardening in Containers

Sempervivum (Hens-and-Chicks) in tin oblong container

1.  Container Garden Considerations From patios and balconies to decks and porches, container gardens can add colour and interest to any area around your home… and you don’t even need a garden.  There is a lot to consider in planting and maintaining container gardens, but these tips should provide enough information to make your first [...]

Summer Pinching, Cutting Back and Deadheading


Anybody who grows perennials in their garden is familiar with the idea of cutting off the dead tops of their plants in late fall or early spring.  By nature, most flowering perennials will die back to ground level in the fall, leaving behind their dried-up tops; cutting these back at the appropriate time is a [...]

How to Attract Butterflies & Hummingbirds (includes Bonus Table)

Monarch Butterfly on Coneflower (Echinacea 'Magnus')

See Bonus Table below 1. Gardens & Nature In addition to being beautiful, gardens can be a place where humans and nature meet and interact in a positive and beneficial way. Imagine watching colorful butterflies flitting around the border, moving from flower to flower in search of the tasty nectar within. Or sitting perfectly still [...]

Ornamental Grasses

Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata 'Red Baron')

  To see a complete description of our ornamental grasses, simply click on its Botanical Name. Climate Considerations Cool-season grasses begin growing in early spring and slow down or go dormant during the heat of summer. Some of these grasses tend to look a bit scruffy during July / August and may need a trim. [...]

Poisonous Plants

Pretty but Poisonous - Iris 'Raspberry Blush'

  The plants listed on the following pages are poisonous to some degree.  We’ve created this special index as a public service to perennial gardeners. Most home gardens contain at least some toxic or poisonous plants.  Some of the most popular ornamentals are toxic, including shrubs like Rhododendrons and Hydrangeas, trees like Horse-chestnut and Holly, [...]

Perennials for Rock Gardens

Rock Garden

Rock Gardens are a popular gardening style.  There are no set rules but we’re offering some guidelines here, extracted from our sister site:  We hope you find this information helpful when selecting your plant material … Shapes and Sizes True alpine plants are native to high altitude, mountainous regions of the world, and they [...]

Pests and Diseases


en·to·mol·o·gy – the scientific study of insects Some call them pests, and in some cases for good reason. But in the grand scheme of things they’re a vital part of the delicate balance of nature. And here’s our select list of sites that will help you learn a little more about those ominous but valuable [...]

Edible Plants (includes Bonus Table)


See Bonus Table below Looking for something to spice up a salad or add a little zing to a recipe? Yes, Virginia…some perennials are edible! Flowers and edible leaves can make a unique addition to salads, or unusual edible garnishes. However, a few words of warning are necessary to avoid potential trouble. Gardeners should always [...]