Perennial plants, unlike annuals, are long-lived plants with beautiful flowers that come back year after year, which makes them the best garden plants. They are the perfect accessory to many other garden plants and do not require much care. The flowers on the perennial die out each winter then return, just as vibrant, in the Spring. Many perennials keep their green foliage year-round, which makes them perfect for use as borders and ground covers. Some of the most intriguing perennial plants include Virginia Blue Bells, Trilliums, Daffodils, and Doll Eyes.
This perennial has smooth grayish-green foliage with drooping clusters of pink buds that bloom into light-blue trumpet-shaped flowers. It has 1-2 ft. long branches with arching stems and large oval-shaped leaves. It boasts pink buds from March-April, bluebells from April-May, and purple bells from May-June. This plant thrives in shade and part shade and should be grown in masses for a spectacular flower show.
These low-growing plants are part of the Lily family. They can often be spotted in the woods, growing in clusters. They are recognized by their three leaves, three petals, and three sepals. The leaves are solid green oval, elliptical, or diamond-shaped, and some have red veins that meet at a point on the stem and whirl around. The plant’s flowers can be three tubular or capped-shaped flowers that may or may not have a stem. They are currently on the endangered list but are working their way to a nursery near you.
These hardy, happy, easy-to-handle perennials are most recognized by their six bright yellow or white flowers and trumpet-shaped center. This perennial lives for a decade or more. They are the perfect accompaniment to woodland gardens, large groves, between shrubs, or as a border. Their vibrant yellow color is the perfect way to welcome Spring.
This perennial has a long red-wine stem and white berries with black dots in the center, on end; hence the name. This woodland plant grows best in moist soil and has a rose-like scent that attracts insects and birds. Because it is a toxic plant, it should be handled with care.
When Lyndon Johnson became President in 1963, his wife Lady Bird started a project to clean up Washington, D.C., and fill it with wildflowers. Lady Bird had worked on similar projects in Texas for many years. She believed these “pretty wild things” inspired hope and relieved stress. Working with existing conservation projects, she turned Washington into a sparkling, colorful gem of a city. Her national beautification plan eliminated the barrage of advertising billboards and junkyards on interstate highways, replacing them with trees, wildflower perennials, and bushes. These not only make traveling more enjoyable but help to prevent erosion.
Numerous medical studies have proved Lady Bird’s belief that flowers are soothing to the mind and body. Flowers stimulate memory and act as natural mood elevators. They help to lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and even reduce pain. Living plants in containers are better than bouquets of cut flowers. They purify the air and stimulate creativity; Hospitals and nursing homes should have gardens and arboretums. Rooftops and community gardens in cities should always include flowers.
Wildflower perennials are a graceful enhancement to any garden or yard. They attract pollinating insects and provide an environment for butterflies and songbirds; Planting native wildflowers help prevent the spread of invasive species and promotes biodiversity. They’re low-maintenance, using less water and fertilizer than non-natives.
Begin by learning which wildflowers are native to your region and will grow best in the kind of soil you have. Visit botanical gardens and consult your local agricultural extension office. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is another good source for information.
You should plant some wildflower varieties in the spring or summer, others in the fall after the first hard frost—most like full direct sun. Don’t just buy wildflower seed mixes at the hardware store because you’ll often get non-native varieties. Work with a local nursery for your wildflower seeds. Many people plant wildflower perennials in borders or stands, but you can also cover the entire yard, creating an idyllic “wild” look and eliminating arduous lawn care. Fertilizer is usually unnecessary, but if you want some, get a natural type such as wormcast and use it sparingly.
Till and rake your soil first, clearing out grass and rocks. You should plant wildflower seeds no more than an inch or so deep. Scatter the seeds evenly, then walk on them. Water lightly once a day for several weeks, then as the flowers come up, let natural rainfall take over.