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
Here is a complete plant list for our Perennial Garden
Things are happening, just slower than we would like. When the weather changes, we become impatient with Mother Nature. She does know best, though. Some of our perennials were hit pretty hard with the freeze but will recover.
The Spiraea prunifolia, Bridal Wreath Spirea, is getting ready to burst open with white flowers. The Iris pallida 'Variegata', Variegated Sweet Iris, is up and setting its flowers. The Osmanthu heterophyllus 'Variegatus', Holly-Leaf Ocmanthus seems to be bullet proof. Its variegated holly leaves always bring year-round interest to any garden.