PERENNIALS: AN INTRODUCTION

 

Thank you for allowing Landscape Designs, Inc. the pleasure of introducing you to the enchanting world of  perennials. A perennial garden with or without diversity, is a constantly changing scene of textures, colors, forms and moods. A nicely designed garden accounts for the subtlety of Pine‑Leafed Penstemon, the macro‑leaf of a Blue Amethyst Eryngium, the new crosiers of Berry‑Bladder Fern, the tufts of new needles on a `Cole's' Canadian Hemlock, the lepidopterous flower of a `Tunkhannock' Siberian Iris, the complex bloom of a Cypripedium Orchid, the curious flower of a `Beidemeier' Columbine or the favorite blossom of ` Silver Princess' Shasta Daisies. The enjoyment of a garden is compelling you to Come and See -- Come and See on a daily basis what is forming and manifesting itself -- seemingly only for your pleasure. Mom‑Nature invites you to take the time to smell the Autumn Sweet Clematis, to pick a bouquet of sunshine, to recline in the coolness of SPRING and savor a burst of fragrant Danford Iris. This constant change is what makes a garden spring to life. Yes, perennials do not perpetually bloom like their cousins the `Crazy Quilt' Impatients. Annuals do deserve a place in your garden for Mom‑Nature is fully supplied with many types of annuals, biennials and perennials. It would be sad if life didn't have this completeness.

 

WHAT ARE PERENNIALS?

 

Most of the World's plants are divided into the following categories:         
Annual
‑‑ Plants that germinate, grow, flower, seed, & die in one growing season. Annuals usually live one year. E.g., Marigolds, Ragweed, Crabgrass, Soybeans.
        
Biennial
‑‑ Plants that germinate and grow in the first season, flower, seed and die in the second season. Biennials generally live two years. E.g., Canterbury Bells, Foxglove, Queen Ann's Lace, Mulleins, Beets, Carrots, Money Plant.
        
Perennial
‑ Plants that germinate, grow and occasionally flower the first season but usually in the second plus year. Perennials may require many years to reach maturity. Trillium may require five to seven years before flowering from a seed. After flowering, perennials generally do not die but live indefinitely, usually three or more years. E.g. Hosta, Sedum, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Blue Grass, Peony, Iris, Daylily, Chives, Astilbe.
 

TYPES OF PERENNIALS

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS wither completely to the ground after their growing season. This die back may occur anytime during the growing season and does not necessarily suggest the plant's death. Bleeding Hearts, Oriental Poppies, Bloodroot and Virginia Blue Bells usually die back during July. Root-stock perennials are usually herbaceous. Daffodils, True Lilies, Trillium and Liatris die completely to the ground but the root-stocks remain alive to bloom the following season. Iris rhizomes, Surprise Lily bulbs, Crocus corms and Butterfly Flower tubers are root-stocks.
EVERGREEN PERENNIALS
such as, Dianthus, Coral Bells, and Pachysandra hold their foliage throughout the Winter months, but are commonly called herbaceous perennials. These perennials typically do not have woody stems.
WOODY PERENNIALS have persistent woody stems above the ground all year. Tree peony, bittersweet, roses, trees and shrubs are examples of woody perennials. Pines, spruce, yew, hemlock, blue holly, boxwood, and arborvitae are evergreen woody perennials.  

CARING FOR YOUR PERENNIALS

 

Surprisingly, many perennials require very little care. The following discussions should aid you in the general care and maintenance of your gardens. A newly planted perennial garden requires more care then a fully matured garden. During the first three to five years of your perennial garden's establishment, the quality of care will be reflected in the gardens' maturity, brilliance, enjoyment and durability.
Spring
. A light covering of mulch remains on the garden but the Winter Aconite and `Snow Bunting' Crocus, are poking through. One is driven to give them air and sunlight but remember April 10 might be too far away. The nights still get very cool and the white stuff can still build up into huge pillows. About mid-April, I trust our mindless weather to quiet down and give your plants a chance to burst forth. Generally, clean up the garden in MID- APRIL.

 

FERTILIZATION

 

Between April 15 and May 1, Winter's dormancy is broken and perennials are using the stored nutrients in their roots and bulbs. The energy required to produce leaves, stems and blossoms is manufactured by photosynthesis. To do this, your plants require a complete nutrient fertilizer. We may know plants need Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, but did you know they also require Sulfur for aromatics, Iron for high energy transfers and Copper for floral pigments. I recommend and offer my custom blended REMKE granulated fertilizer. My 8‑9 month formulation supplies 3 primary and 6 secondary nutrients in a readily available form. Broadcast applications done once per year, preferably in late Autumn, easily fertilize your garden. Early March applications may be done as soon as the soil thaws. When installing perennials, bulbs or annuals, broadcast REMKE® at one tablespoon around each plant or 1 pound (2 cupfuls) per 100 square foot (10 feet by 10 feet) area. This ensures sturdy growth and fine results. REMKE® is a time and temperature release fertilizer. Fertilizer is released very slowly at cooler temperatures. As the soil’s temperature and moisture rises fertilizers are released more rapidly -- coinciding with plant growth. Time release means no more mixing and colored fingers every ten days. This formulation means no more run off due to rain washing the nutrients away and leaching the fertilizer from the plant's roots. Some plants require special feeding. These included: Rhododendron, Azalea, Holly, Magnolia, Halesia, Orchids, Spruce, Boxwood, Pachysandra and Vinca. These plants enjoy acidic soils. Annual feedings with my sucrated FEMAX tablets supply the required Iron, Manganese, Zinc and Sulfur. Easily dibbled into the ground at the drip zone, they provide vital nutrients and soil conditioning for optimal growth.

 

WATERING

 

When installing new perennials, it's imperative to provide adequate moisture to ensure against excessive wilt. (Some wilting during midday is tolerated.) Excessive wilt checks their development and stunts future growth. Watering may be accomplished by either of two methods, an oscillating fan sprinkler or a watering wand with a water breaker. A recent ORGANIC GARDENING article compared and evaluated many different brands and types of sprinklers as to the quality of coverage. The oscillating types were consistently better then most other types. My best recommendation would be the GARDENA® line of oscillating sprinklers. The DRAMM® watering wand with a water breaker allows for the full volume application of water with a gentle low pressure flow. While it's impossible to state how long a fan sprinkler should be kept running to water a given area, I can tell you how to measure it. I cannot say how long to water due to variable water pressures, hose diameters, brand of sprinklers and soil types. These variables impact on the time required to supply the necessary water. In the area to be watered, strategically locate open coffee or similarly shape cans or tins. The cans act as inexpensive rain gauges. Sprinkle for an hour and then measure the depth of the water in the tins. When ½ to 1" of water has been applied, you can calculate how much time is required to sprinkle an area to supply it with a given amount of water. Generally, newly installed plants require approximately ½" of water every three days. If you use a wand, apply water directly around the base of each of the newly installed plants saturating the soil, about 15 to 30 second per plant. Once the plants are established, in 2-3 weeks, water should be applied only when necessary. Watering in the morning, so the foliage can dry before nightfall, aids in the reduction of molds and mildews. The above watering program assumes some type of mulch; such as shredded or chipped bark mulch has been applied to the garden. Generally a well-established perennial garden requires no more than 1" of water per week applied in 1/2" increments. Any natural precipitation over 2/10" should be considered when calculating the amount of supplemental watering. Avoid soggy soils. Woody ornamentals and lawns should be watered according to our respective handouts. >Spring rains generally provide very adequate moisture, but spring droughts do occur. Watering your `Red Riding Hood' Tulips, `Mount Hood' Daffodils and Double Flowering Bloodroot may be required. This is the exception to the rule. Watering the perennial garden in March was required during the Spring of 1987, 1988 and 1996. During the first Winter, I strongly recommend the soil freeze with adequate moisture to prevent winter dehydration of the root stocks. Usually one does not need to concern yourself with Autumn moisture, as it is generally adequate. Establishing perennials with an in-ground automatic irrigation system is not recommended and may void certain guarantees. Please call me for further information.  

CULTIVATION

 

Perennial garden cultivation should consider the following.   1)  SOIL MOISTURE. Tilling the soil, usually cause a rapid decline in moisture, often decreasing the moisture available to your plants. 2)  SOIL TEMPERATURE. Cultivating and allowing the soil to dry generally results in an increased soil temperature. This may or may not be beneficial depending upon the air temperature, exposure and plants. 3) HUMUS CONTENT. When humus is exposed to sunlight, water and/or wind (air), it is eroded from the soil. Many other natural factors can also cause soil humus decline. 4)  ROOT DAMAGE. The fine feeder roots of plants are easily damaged by just walking on the soil let alone a sharp spade. 5)  STUNTING. With any of the above, alone or in any combination wilting often occurs causing a reduction in stems, leaves, flowers and fruits. 6)  COMPACTION. Walking, machinery and pets often squeeze the air out of the soil causing the plant’s roots to suffocate along with the soil's organic life. 7)  WEED SEEDS. When opening-up a soil, we often expose viable weed seeds that have been around for a long time, some as long as 20 or more years. 8) BIO‑MASS DISRUPTION. A pinch of soil may contain a billion organisms that are tied to each other in quite a delicate balance. Changing the soil's environment rapidly causes changes in its biomass. 9)  BOTTOM SOIL. Micro-fine structured clays usually make up deeper soils. Heavy clay soils provide a difficult medium for plants, but it can be modified. Clay plus humus plus coarse sand plus time equals an enrich soil. To modify a clay soil, add coarse sand (non-limestone sand), gypsum and large annual quantities of humus and -- time. A Penn. State study demonstrated that soils annually enriched with 3" of LEAVES increased production up to 150%. Pile shredded leaves on the garden in November for the perfect Winter mulch ‑‑ 2 to 4" deep. Lightly mulch around those plants that have evergreen foliage throughout the Winter. These include Creeping phlox -- Phlox subulata, Woodland phlox -- P. stolonifera (very sensitive to mulch cover), Pulmonaira longifolia, Heuchera, Tiarella, Geranium `Ballerina’, Campanula, Paxistima, Euonymus fortunie, Asarum europaeum and many others.  In Spring, when we clean up the garden, if less then 1‑2" of leaves remains, don't remove them for they will disintegrate by the Autumn. If more than 2" remain on the garden, remove the excess and compost or remove from on top of the plants and use as Summer mulch. I often `frost the garden’ debris with shredded bark mulch. A ½” layer of mulch covers all the debris, enhancing the garden. 10) DECISION. I will let that up to you. Each, of the above, has been a study by itself. Summer  The `Peeping Tom' Daffodils and the `Aladdin' Tulips have finished blooming and the seed pods have formed. Removal of these pods allows the leaves to store more energy for next year's blooms. If there are no pods, it is unnecessary to remove anything. Eight weeks after blooming, remove the foliage by CUTTING it off at ground level. It is unnecessary to wait until it has completely turned brown. When many perennials are finished blooming, removal of the spent flower heads generally extends, and occasionally allows for additional blooming. In some plants, such as Garden Phlox, removal of the seed heads is highly recommended as the seed reverts to the wild forms, gradually crowding out the prized cultivars.  

SOIL MULCHES

Many different options exist for summer soil mulches. The most commonly available mulch is leaves, as already discussed.
Other mulches include:

COLOR          TEXT.               LIFE             COST               BIO.                                       NUTR.              WATER           MAIN.

Grass Clippings              Tan                      Medium            1                      "0"                        +                                       +                            Repels                Little

Composted Bark3                    M. Brown       Fine                      1‑3  Med.                 ++++                                       +                            Med.                   Ave.

Shredded Bark3                M. Brown       Medium            2‑3  Med.                 ++++                                       +++                     Med.                   Ave.

Shredded Wood               Gray                    Coarse                3‑5  Med.                 ++++                                       +                            Med.                   Ave.

Chunk Bark4                      Gray                    Medium +       3‑5  High                 +                                       o                             Float                    Little.

Leaves5                                  Brown                Medium +       1                      "0"                        ++++                                       +++                     High.                   Ave.+

Black Plastic1                    Black                   Hard                    1‑2  High                 o                                       o                             Repels                Little

Clear Plastic1                     Clear                    Hard                    1‑2  High                 o                                       o                             Repels                Ave.

Fabrics2                                 Gray                    Hard                    12                    Med.                   o                                       o                             High                     Little

Aluminum Foil                 Silver                   Hard                    1                      High                     o                                       o                             Repels                Med.+

Newspapers                      Tan                      Hard                    3‑4 Mo.  "0"     ++                                       +                            Repels                Med.+

Cocoa Husks                     Brown                Fine                      1‑2  High                 +                                       +                            High                     Ave.

Corn Cobs                           Gray                    Med.                   2‑3  Low                 ++                     -              High                            Ave.

Oat/Rice Hulls                  Lt. Tan              Fine                      1‑2  Med.                 ++                                       ++                         High                     Ave.

Pine Cones                          Dk. Brown.    Coarse                2‑5  Low                 +                                       +                            High                     Little

Conifer Needles               Brown                Fine+                  2‑4  High                 +                                       +                            High                     Little

Peat Moss                           Lt. Brown        Fine                      1                      High                     ++                                       o                             Float                    Med.+

Sphagnum                            Lt. Brown        Med.                   1                      High                     ++++                                       +                            Float                    Med.+

Mosses                                  Misc.                  Med‑  1‑2                   Vary  ++++                                       ++                         High                     Med.

+ = Positive                                     - =  Negative                                    o = None

COLOR Average color after aging.
TEXT.     The texture as compared to soil.
LIFE        In years. How long does it last before breaking down and require replacing.
COST       Relative cost to buy as compared to each other.
BIO.
         A relative measurement about which mulch proliferates positive bio-mass organisms.
NUTR.     A relative scale on how the mulch affects the soil. Robs (‑‑) The mulch actually causes a reduction in the nutrient or food value of the soil.
WATER
   How does water flow through the mulch. High ‑‑ Water flows through very rapidly, Float ‑‑ Mulch floats.
MAIN     How much maintenance is required is on a relative scale. Ave. = average.                     
1 ‑‑‑‑ Should be covered otherwise the sunlight will disintegrate.
                    
2 ‑‑‑‑ POLYPROPYLENE fabrics, if covered by a mulch, last 15+ years. Many types are available.
                    
3 ‑‑‑‑ Oak, Hemlock, Cedar and Cypress. (No Butternut, Walnut, Hickory or Boxelder.)
                    
4 ‑‑‑‑ Conifer, such as Pine, Fir, Redwood and others
                    
5 ‑‑‑‑ Oak, Maple, and elm. (No Butternut, Walnut, Hickory or Boxelder.)
 

Summer
soil mulches should accomplish several things:
                        
1)  Reduce weeding, watering and general maintenance.
                        
2)  Add quality humus to the soil and thereby enriching it.
                        
3)  Allow quality plant growth without robbing the soil and plants of nutrients.
                        
4)  Remain in place without readily washing and/or blowing away.
                        
5)  Last 1‑3 years before needing to be replaced.
                        
6)  Allow gradual heating and cooling of the soil.
                        
7)  Allow for air, water and nutrient percolation.
                        
8)  Its color and texture accents your home, environment and plants.
                        
9)  Discourages or doesn’t encourage harmful pest habitat.
                        
10) Cost should be manageable.
Considering the above, 2‑3" of crushed white marble (pure limestone) gravel would be the worst. Any of the organic mulches would be far superior. My favorite shredded BARK mulches are oak, hemlock, cedar, pine and other hardwood trees. Avoid mulches with high wood content.  

Autumn
`Brown Eyes' Chrysanthemums and `Melba' Asters are in full flower and contrast beautifully with the deep blue blossoms of Ceratostigma. Leaves are being painted and the air is crisp. There is very little work to do in the perennial garden. The leaves are adding up to make their mulch and the plants are going into dormancy. Do not remove any foliage or stems unless diseased or creature infected, then compost them. Plant your `Rip Van Winkle' Narcissus and your Autumn Blooming Crocus. Try not to disturb the existing perennials. If annuals have been added to the garden, their dead leaves and stems provide a good Winter mulch when left in place. Autumn is a great time for fertilization. (See FERTILIZATION).
 

Winter
A time to cover the garden with any necessary additional Winter mulch. Mulch should be applied to the garden usually only during the first Winter. Do not mulch until the soil has frozen 2"‑4" and the plants are dormant. Evergreen boughs work wonderfully for many roses, tree peonies, Rhododendron, hollies, and tender Mahonia. Teepee the boughs around each plant and secure them in place. This is done right around the Holidays when free evergreen boughs are plentiful. The humus and acid in the needles aids in keeping the soil acidic.
  Mulch experiments during the winter of `88‑`89‑`90 have been very interesting. Covering many different perennials with POLYPROPYLENE FABRICS has resulted in minimal Winter damage, rapid Spring growth and very easy cleanup. Wonderful results have been had on Ajuga, Ivy, Euonymus, Thymus, and Dianthus. Test coverings on Hedera ‑ English Ivy, resulted in green and flourishing Spring leaves while those exposed to the vagaries of Winter were mostly dead. I recommend trying this technique, as the rewards have been great in rock and perennial gardens.   Winter provides us with the time to reflect on the previous year's garden and its development. Perennial gardens take time to mature to their true beauty. It is our lack of patience that pushes Nature to conform to our desires. She generally rebukes those of us who push too hard. A perennial garden requires 3‑5 YEARS to realize its full potential. Plants take time to grow, just like children. Care is required at about ½ hour per 500 feet² per week during the first 3‑5 years. Once established, care commonly drops to 10 minutes per week per 500 feet². Generally perennials require less time to maintain than a lawn and perennials reward you with many things a lawn cannot.   Since guarantees do not cover plant death and damages brought on by rodents & other animals, you should take precautions to protect the plants. Rabbits, deer, chipmunks, squirrels and mice are the worse offenders. Since we have wiped out most of their natural predators, these animals can and often do raise tremendous havoc in the garden. If your garden is anything like mine, I place chicken wire, rabbit fencing and/or hardware cloth around the entire garden or individual plants. Stake and secure the fencing to prevent collapse during our prolonged winter. A little effort in the Autumn prevents heartbreak in Spring.   PLANTING   Plant as soon as possible for best results. If unable to plant immediately, store them in a light shady cool location and water regularly. Position the plants in the pattern as on the plan or sketch before attempting to plant them. It is easier to move them while still in pots. Keep in mind that a plan is not set in concrete and you should allow for some flexibility when positioning them. Try to keep to the plan and avoid planting them too close. Dig a hole 2‑3" larger, overall, than the container the plant arrived in. Loosen the soil creating a crumbly consistency. Reposition and pack some of the crumbled soil back into the hole positioning the plant's crown or growing point at the same level as the surrounding soil. Position the plant in the center of the hole, without its container and firmly pack the soil around the new plant with a blunt stick or your fingers. Create a shallow depression with a raised soil edge around the rim of the hole to hold water. Mulch the soil to keep it cool and moist. Water freely to saturate the soil. Water daily for the first two weeks if the plants were installed bareroot. Avoid soggy soils. Avoid WILTING. If wilt occurs, it may be necessary to prune or pinch back the plant if watering doesn't revive the foliage. If it has rained more than ½", additional watering MAY not be necessary.   WHEN TO PLANT PERENNIALS   Perennials may be planted almost anytime the soil is workable. This means anytime from March through November 15. My favorite time is in September for little additional care needs to be given to the plants, Mom‑Nature does the watering and the mulch falls out of the trees. The next best time would be April and May for Spring is generally cool and moist. Be aware, Summer in Wisconsin comes quickly and hot. Plant stress is often severe. Water freely! I have had excellent results planting as late as November 25 in open production fields in Western Wisconsin. Most perennials are quite hardy when properly planted and grown. Autumn planting will surprise you with wonderful results in the Spring.   BARE ROOT VS. CONTAINER GROWN   Bareroot perennials require IMMEDIATE care and MUST BE PLANTED WITHOUT DELAY. Soak the entire plant in a container of room temperature, non‑artificially softened water, for about 2 hours. After soaking, position them in trays with a little wet humus or compost on the bottom and cover their roots with some additional wet humus. Bareroot perennials are best planted in the Autumn or the Early Spring. Dibble or dig a small hole and position all of the plant's roots into the hole. Fill the hole with soil, maintaining the plant's crown at the appropriate depth. Burying the crown generally results in rotting. Call me if you are not sure of the planting depth. FIRMLY press the soil around the roots and the base of the crown. Position a quality mulch around the plant and water well. Keep the area moist, but not soggy, until new growth is noticed. Many bareroot plants suffer transplanting shock before regaining good growth. Be patient, 2‑4 weeks may be required for signs of growth. Container grown perennials allow installation anytime from March through Mid-November. Planting in the heat of Summer is not really any different then at any other time except for two things. Water, water, water and prune back slightly by removing any blossoms and excess growth. Your plants will respond admirably. When watering plants, it is imperative that normal tap water is used and not artificially softened water. Water softening salts are detrimental, if not fatal, to plants. Watering with artificially softened water usually voids all guarantees.   TRANSPLANTING   This is where much confusion arises in the perennial garden. An article in AMERICAN HORTICULTURIST noted this quite nicely. Many plants can be successfully moved if done properly. Just keep a few rules in mind. Avoid movement, 1) when in full flower; 2) during very active growth; 3) more than twice within a month and 4) during very hot and droughty conditions. If we do elect to move during these times, we will need to severely prune.   DIVIDING   Another common misunderstanding is that all perennials need dividing to keep them healthy. Yes -- some do -- but these are a minority. Peony, daylily, Hosta, pinks, daffodils, Astilbe, Siberian Iris, bleeding heart's, Eulalia Grass, Veronica, etc., do not require division to keep them healthy. Reasons perennial plants fail include: 1)    Soil levels have continued to go down and the perennials are now sitting upon little mounds. Add ½‑1" of top soil to the garden annually if you cultivate and don't use mulch. The soil is going to erode, leaving your plants high and dry. This is stress. 2)    Nutrient levels in the soil have reached an all time low and need to be replenished. 3)    Plants are planted much too close. This does not allow for the plants to develop and breath. Open up the garden and try to reduce its density. As difficult as it may seem, throw out the excess or give them away. 4)    Diseases were not checked in time and allowed to spread. Many disease resistant cultivars are available. Plant resistant cultivars if your garden is prone to diseases. Don't plant Delphiniums in heavy wet soils -- black stem will surely result. 5)    Plants move -- over time they die on one side and develop more vigorously on the other. When the soil is easily worked, trowel out the weak centers, edges or unwanted sprouts. A carefully applied herbicide, with a brush, onto the unwanted sprouts, can also make maintenance easier. Be CAREFUL and follow instructions.   WEEDING   Always remove undesirable seedlings and weeds from the garden. Summer mulches wonderfully  help reduce weeding. Weeds compete for moisture, nutrient, space, make the garden appear unkempt and harbor many diseases and pests. Try to remove weeds when they are small and manageable. Large weeds can be easily cut off slightly below the ground level and heavily mulched to prevent resprouting. I recommend and offer PENDULUM®, a pre-emergent that prevents the germination of most grasses, purslane, woodsorrel (Oxalis), chickweed, knotweed, lambsquarter, pigweed, rocket, speedwell, spurge, velvetleaf and henbit. Usually applied during March, PENDULUM® provides excellent annual weed control. PENDULUM® lasts up to 6 months, gradually bio-decaying into non-toxic elements. Worms, soil bacteria and other organisms, existing growing plants, birds, mammals, insects are not affected by PENDULUM®. PENDULUM® is easily applied by you or by Landscape Designs, Inc.  For further information, please contact us. When removing the weeds from your garden, you are also removing nutrients, water and above all, small quantities of soil. These nutrients and soils must be replaced. Compost your weeds so their humus, nutrients and soils can be returned to the garden.   HARDINESS   Hardiness is a plant's capacity to adapt to an environment. These conditions and stresses include weather, soil, moisture regimes, nutrient levels, pH (acidity or alkalinity of the growing medium) and sunlight. In planning a perennial garden, we need to keep in mind which plants are tolerant of what stresses. Dianthus is intolerant of wet clay soils, as Marsh Marigolds are intolerant of dry sandy soils. Many plants listed as hardy in USDA Zones 3‑5 are generally considered suited to our area. Use plants recommended for Zones 3‑4 if the environment is open and harsh. Zone 6 plants are often hardy if planted in protected areas and properly mulched. Location, location, location -- swamp loving plants are not hardy in sand dunes!   Many plants, including very common ones, may cause physical intoxication or poisoning. Since reaction to many of these intoxicants or poisons is often specific to individuals, Landscape Designs, Inc.  cannot be held liable for injury, potential or realized, due to the contact or ingestion of any designated plant. Please contact THE POISON CONTROL CENTER or me for further information.   CONCLUSION   If all of this sounds like a lot of work, keep in mind that the flowers we raise in our gardens Mother Nature grows elsewhere. She has no trouble raising the rarest Orchids or swamp loving Cattails. Only when we desire to push nature into realms that are very different from their native environments does She become upset. There are over 100,000 species and cultivars of plants hardy to our area. I realize that not all of them are suitable to your particular garden’s environment. I am confident a perennial garden can be developed and raised in almost any environment. Just look through the pages of many gardening magazines to view the natural gardens of the world. Following the above recommendations, I firmly believe that the rewards can be great and the labor -- therapeutic. After all ‑‑ plants are THE most common form of life on this planet we call EARTH.

 

Magazines

 

American Horticulturist Garden Design
Gardens For All   Organic Gardening
Horticulture  Fine Gardening  
The Garden (RHS)  

                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                    

Books:

WYMAN'S GARDENING ENCY.  Donald Wyman 1977 FLOWERS `A Guide for Your Garden'  Pizzetti and Cocker 1968

ENCY. OF GARDEN PLANTS  Linda Fox ed. 1978 THE COMPLETE SHADE GARDENER  George Schenk 1984

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS  Giles, Keith and Saupe 1980 HERBACEOUS ORNAMENTAL PLANTS Dr. Steven Still

THE NATURAL SHADE GARDEN  Ken Druse 1992 HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS  Allan M. Armitage 1997 2nd edition

PERENNIALS FOR AMER. GARDENS  R. Clausen & N. Ekstrom 1989

When using any book or magazine, please remember that very few books were ever written on PERENNIAL GARDENING IN THE MIDWEST. Keep this in mind, for many books will promise things that cannot exist in our climate.


(All underlined plant names are scientific genera.)

 

Thank You and Happy Gardening!

For further information please contact Landscape Designs, Inc.  233-4215 

Written by Steve Lesch, President, Landscape Designs, Inc.


 
 
 

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