Perennial Gardening

Beautiful containers that keep coming back

If you love container gardening, a perennial container garden might be a choice for you. Perennials are plants that die when the growing season ends, but come back the next spring so that you don't have to worry about replanting. Many perennials do excellently in containers, and can provide beautiful foliage and color at different times of the year.

Selecting Perennials for Containers

Perennials, like annuals, come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. A good rule of thumb is to select three plants: one that will flower; one that will provide attractive foliage, and one that will provide either a contrasting flower or foliage to the first two.

The flowering plant should be a long-flowering one, so that you have color all season. Remember, a container can be a focal point on a balcony or patio, so choosing bright colors will make the pot stand out.

Perennials that look good in containers include:

  • Campanulas
  • Asters
  • Astilbe
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Delphiniums
  • Coreopsis
  • Clematis
  • Phlox
  • Salvia
  • Hostas
  • Primroses
  • Scabiosa
  • Miscanthus

Planting a Perennial Container Garden

All containers look best when they're planted with the flowers and foliage close together, with really no space between the separate plants. When you're planting a perennial garden, it might be attractive to choose plants that will look their best at different times, so that you always have color in your container. Aim to plant your container so that it looks attractive directly after planting, so that you get the most out of it through the season.

Other containers, like troughs or window boxes, look attractive when you can see the spaces between the plants. It's really up to you how you plant them, but make sure that you use a well-drained potting mix and a container with good drainage. If you take care of your perennials, you may find that you can replant them in a soil garden in the future, if your circumstances change or if you already have a garden. Perennials can last for years with the right care, and although you'll pay a little more for them at first, you'll reap the benefits for many seasons with a little care.

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