Creating a beautiful garden doesn't
require years of experience, constant
care or a "green thumb." It's more a
matter of careful planning and choosing
proper planting material. To help you
achieve outstanding results, our nursery
professionals offer these basic guidelines:
Select a location with good drainage
and sufficient sun. Soil that already
has plenty of organic matter,
ample nutrients and a consistency
that allows good air and moisture
circulation, as well as good drainage,
is a strong foundation for roots and
requires little pre-planting attention.
If your soil is claylike and heavy, spade
or rototill it to a depth of 12". Then
mix the soil with an equal amount of
peat moss, compost, sand or other
Even if your garden has good soil with
adequate drainage, the bed should
be worked to a depth of at least 12"
before you plant your new perennials
Cover your beds with a 2-4" layer of
mulch so the soil will retain moisture
and reduce weed growth. Be careful
not to bury your plants.
Don't try to fill every available spot at
one time. Most perennials multiply
and expand annually. Until then, use
annuals to fill in around your perennials.
The best effect comes from massing
several similar plants together. Group
a minimum of three plants of a single
variety in one area.
Think in terms of three growing
heights--background, middle ground
and foreground. Taller plants should go to the background, with lowergrowing
plants in the foreground.
When mixing perennials, consider the
types of foliage as well as the color and
shape of the flowers. The most beautiful
perennial beds contain a mixture of
different foliage hues and textures.
Consider seasons of blooming. Mix
perennials with different blooming
times in each bed so you'll have a
continuous display of color for an
All perennials look best when plants
are staggered in an irregular pattern.
Consider the amount of sun your
garden will receive--not just in the
spring, but during the summer and
early fall when surrounding trees have
their full foliage.
Don't overlook the reflected light and
heat that plants will receive. Perennials
planted too close to the south or west
sides of a building where heat and
light are bouncing off the surfaces
may deteriorate quickly.
Choose planting locations with access
Be patient! It takes time for perennials
to develop strong root systems and
produce sizable top growth. Most of
the illustrations in our catalogs show
how perennials will look after they've
had three years to mature in a garden.
Much of the joy in creating a beautiful
perennial garden is watching your
plants grow. The years of charm and
beauty they will bring to your garden
are well worth the wait!