So, you’ve decided that you want to have a perennial garden. Starting with a good design will help to ensure that all of your efforts will be enjoyed and will end up being money well spent.
The first step is to be clear about your reasons for wanting a perennial garden. Write down your ideas so that when the design is being developed, that the goals don’t get lost in the process. Perhaps you want a perennial garden that you can enjoy near the patio. Do you want fragrance to be considered? Or, perhaps you want to have a ‘cutting garden’ so that you can bring in bouquets of fresh flowers all through the growing season. Or, perhaps you want a restful place to sit in the shade surrounded by beauty.
The next step is to decide where you want the perennial garden located. If one of your goals is to have a really colorful garden, then chose a sunny location. Shade gardens tend to be more about textures and shapes than wild blossom colors. ‘Cutting gardens’ should also be located in a sunny place, with a portion of the garden in a part-sun situation.
Ok, so you’ve decided that you want a colorful garden next to the sunny patio that includes good cut-flower choices and also has some fragrance. Good choice! First of all, draw out the area including every detail that is on site. Include the patio, the location of any shade, the slope, and even the accessibility to the water faucet. Don’t forget to take into consideration how high off the ground the bottoms of the windows are. Choose plants that you love. Know what requirements these plants have. For example, lets say you really love Astilbe. This particular plant is great as a cut flower. There are numerous varieties of Astilbe with different blossom times and different colors and heights. You should know that Astilbe likes partial sun and lots of water, so if your site is full sun with dry soil, this isn’t the right plant for the spot. Place your Astilbe in the corner of the bed that gets some shade and moisture.
Place the plants with enough room to grow and allow air flow between plants. If you overcrowd the plants you will be more susceptible to diseases. Create paths so that weeding is within reach. Place the taller plants at the rear, and alternate blossom times throughout the bed. Good design repeats certain plants to create continuity and flow.
Good garden design makes a person want to go explore the garden. Create hidden views and surprises around the corner. A nice idea is making a few shrubs hide the view of where a little path is leading, and then when you get around the corner, you all of a sudden spot a bench with a little garden statue in a puddle of sunshine!
Make your garden design make a statement. If you prefer a formal garden, make it a pleasing design according to what you personally like. If you like weeping tree forms, why not try a circular path around a center piece Weeping Cherry tree? The paths could also have low clipped hedges along the border. In other words, the design makes a statement about who you are and reflects your own personal tastes. Follow basic design rules like ‘repetition’ and ‘flow’, among others, then add your own style. It will be a garden design sure to please you.