UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County

Perennial Garden

P7072026

Objective and Design

The history of perennial gardens dates back to 1890. George Nicholson, curator for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England, suggested a perennial-only garden, steering the gardeners of the time away from the regimented garden styles that relied primarily on bedding plants. They are relatively easy to grow and offer a wide variety of colors, forms, and textures.

Perennial plants have a life span of 2 or more years. Perennials can be categorized as woody (trees, shrubs or vines) or herbaceous (die back to the ground in Winter) plants, evergreen or deciduous.

This particular garden is more of a design feature, including unusual plants along with the most common plants with an education as to whether these plants that are zoned for the Foothills can and will survive due to the fluctuation of cold hardiness through the Winter months and extremely dry and very hot Summers.

As for features in the garden, there is a boulder that if turned just right, a bench was created. There are also two sewer pipes at each end of the garden that were painted blue and installed vertically that will give some hardscape interests. With that color in mind, two very large cobalt blue pots were placed strategically with chartreuse colored plants at the base for contrast.

Two very larger containers were built out of left over retaining block and capped off with a redwood ledge. The other container was built out of redwood and finished up with corner metal pieces from Art of the Garden. These two containers can house more than 10 plants per container. In each container, an arbor was placed over the walkway with a variety of different vines and color.

In addition to educational features, we will be testing plants as to the growth factor of them being planted in loamy soil that would otherwise prefer clay soil. As well as when the label reads ‘full sun’, do they really like full sun. Also, evergreen versus deciduous plants and how best they perform in the foothills.

Water Usage per Week:

90 gals in ground
(water twice a week with 2 cycles of 15 mins. ea.)

52 gals. containers
(water daily with 2 cycles of 5 mins. ea.)

Perennial Garden Plant List

checklist

Here is a complete plant list for our Perennial Garden

What's New!

The Perennial Garden has transitioned from spring to summer.The garden has many highlights even on these hot summer days.The Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii ‘Golden Rocket’ and Berberis Thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’ are stunning in their alternate planting hedge. The brilliant contrast of deep red and bright green is striking and make a beautiful pairing in the garden. The Matilija Poppy, Romneya coulteri, is more like a tree than a shrub with bees swarming the large yellow centered white flowers. The Geranium ‘Orion” is a mass of brilliant purple blooms. The Lobelia laxiflora is just starting to burst into bloom with numerous red tubular flowers, which attract hummingbirds.

Berberis Thunbergii pairing of 'Orange Rocket' and 'Golden Rocket'
Berberis Thunbergii pairing of 'Orange Rocket' and 'Golden Rocket'

Romneya coulteri, 'Matilija Poppy'
Romneya coulteri, 'Matilija Poppy'

Geranium, 'Orion'
Geranium, 'Orion'

Lobelia Laxiflora
Lobelia Laxiflora

 

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