Saturday, July 19, 2008

How to Design a Perennial Garden

Perennial Garden

12 Important Pieces of Advice:

1 A small space is best for a perennial garden. Larger spaces need shrubs.

2 Perennials should vary in form & texture. There are many strap-leaved perennials & grasses. Too many together is boring. Put rounded leaves next to spiky ones.

3 Alternate plants of different heights, but not rigidly.

4 Limit colors to avoid chaos. Blend more than contrast. Use blue with purple, yellow with orange, pink with orange & purple, red with purple & blue.

5 Use perennials that bloom in every season. Visit nurseries often to see what is blooming. Read Bloom Times.

6 Buy 2 or more perennials in interesting color combinations when shopping. If you like something, buy more later.

7 Remember that bulbs & grasses are perennials.

9 Consider native perennials, especially in shade.

10 Do not become fixated on the number 3. Everything in triplicate looks highly contrived. Use the numbers 2, 3, 4 & 5 equally. Use 1 sparingly.

11 Understand that good design evolves over many years.

12 Visit open gardens with the Northwest Perennial Alliance, the NPA.

Read How to Make a Garden.

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