Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Planting perennial beds can be fun and is an exciting way to add some color and pizazz to your garden. Whether you are lining a path way or creating a formal themed garden, perennials will add fun pops of color. They are easy to grow and come back year after year.

The first step is to property amend your soil. The best soil amendment that you can add is compost. If you do not compost and don't know anyone that does then you should add an organic potting soil mixture to your garden. You should also consider adding fertilizers to your garden during the planting process.

The second step in having a perennial garden is to do your research on plant material. Whether you are using California friendly plants or California native plants, you have to understand the basics of each plant that you are considering for use. How high does the plant get and how much water does it need. Does the plant require full sun or full shade? How wide the plant gets will also affect the planting process. Each plant should have enough room to grow to avoid being crowded. A great trick is to make a drawing of your garden to better understand the area. This drawing will allow you to see how much you have.

The final step is to place the plants and start planting. We in the design world call this spotting your plants by placing them where you want them to be. Then once all the plants have been placed, you should step back and a take a look. You make have to make minor adjustments but at least you won't be haphazardly planting. You don't want to end up with not enough plants or too many.

If you are interested in planting natives in your perennial bed or border then below are some to consider.
  • Abutilon palmeri
  • Aquilegia formosa (right picture)
  • Artemisia pycnocephala
  • Coreopsis maritima
  • Epilobium californicum
  • Erigeron glaucus
  • Erigonum grande var. rubescens
  • Eriogonus umbellatum
  • Eriophyllum nevinii
  • Galvezia speciosa 'Firecracker'
  • Heuchera maxima & hybrids
  • Iris douglasiana
  • Mimulus sp. & hybrids
  • Monardella spp.
  • Penstemon heterophyllus
  • Penstemon spectabilis
  • Salvia leucophylla 'Pt. Sal'
  • Salvia 'Dara's Choice'
First photo courtesy of Gardens Blaze.

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