In designing with plants, it is the perennials that ensure that there is constant change, and that there is always an element of surprise or interest in the garden.
Getting to know the dormant and flowering periods of the plants is essential to achieving the right balance in the design, so that as one perennial goes to sleep, another awakens.
Perennials, perhaps more than any other group of plants, are available in a huge range of colours, forms, textures and fragrances in both foliage and flower. There are perennials suitable for almost every area of the garden: from full sun to full shade, in large gardens or small beds and to suit every mood or style. Popular perennial plants include Penstemon, Gaura, Canna, Dahlias, Salvias, Lupins, Columbines, Lilies, Delphiniums and Hellebores - oh! the list is endless.
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A perennial plant (Latin per, "through", annum, "year") is a plant that lives for more than two years, unlike an Annual which grows, sets seed, gayly disperses it and then dies - all in a single season. Perennial plants are divided into two large groups: those that are woody and those that are herbaceous. They can be short-lived (only a few years) or they can be long-lived, and can vary in size from only a few millimeters to over 10 meters tall. They include a wide assortment of plant groups from Ferns to the highly diverse flowering plants like Orchids and Ornamental Grasses.
Perennials typically grow structures that allow them to adapt to living from one year to the next. These structures include bulbs, tubers, woody crowns, rhizomes plus others. They might have specialized stems or crowns that allow them to survive periods of dormancy over cold or dry seasons during the year. Many perennials have adapted to survive under extreme environmental conditions: some can survive hot dry conditions, or cold temperatures. These plants tend to invest a lot of resource into their adaptations and often do not flower and set seed until after a few years of growth.
Many perennials produce relatively large seeds, which can have an advantage as they produce larger seedlings after germination that can better compete with other plants or more quickly develop leaves, ensuring their survival.
In warmer climates, perennials grow continuously. In seasonal climates, their growth is limited to the growing season. For example, in temperate regions a perennial plant may grow and bloom during the warm part of the year, with the foliage dying back in the winter. These plants are deciduous perennials. Regrowth is from existing stem tissue. In some species, perennials retain their foliage all year round; these are evergreen perennials. Come in and take a look around. We've always got something pretty, perky and persuasive in the perennial line.
A very reliable and popular Agapanthus for mass planting and deservedly so. Neat narrow green leaves topped off by sky blue flowers that appear en masse in late spring through to late summer. Trouble free and easy to grow in sun or part shade. Perennial.
Colour: Blue Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cmcm x cm
This NZ bred Agapanthus is dwarf in habit. The strap shaped green foliage will form a neat clump. In summer stems of silvery white flowers edged with ice blue put on a lovely display. Hardy and tolerant and easy to grow. Good for mass planting. Can cope with dry coastal conditions. Perennial.
Colour: White / Blue Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 60cm
This darling little Agapanthus has wide, short, strappy green leaves and sturdy stems of white 'snowball' flowers that appear throughout the summer. Well behaved in that it does not seed everywhere and forms a nice compact clump. Happy in the sun. Hardy, perennial.
Colour: White Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40 x 30cm
Current Stock Height: 10/15cm ?
Container: 2.5l ?
New stock arriving shortly. Pre-order now. Estimated price $14.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
A fabulous dwarf Agapanthus that is well behaved and tidy. Strap like green leaves form a neat clump and from mid spring onwards multiple stems of mid blue flowers appear continuously for months. So easy to grow. Lovely to pick. Evergreen.
Colour: Blue Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 50cm
This attractive spreading ground-cover has very interesting undulating foliage that is such a dark burgundy shade it looks black. Bright blue flowers appear in spring through to summer and contrast well with the leaves. Plant in sun or semi-shade. Perennial. PVR HOM220.
While Ajuga is a very hardy and tolerant plant it prefers a soil that does not completely dry out in summer. I have also found that the best results are achieved when Ajuga is not baking in NZ's hot afternoon sun.
Colour: Blue Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x spreads
Well this is one Muffin you can't eat but plant it in a semi-shaded spot and will reward you by making a carpet of foliage topped off with spikes of sky blue flowers in spring. Great ground-cover with rosettes of dark green foliage. Tolerant of light frost but not hot dry conditions. Evergreen.
It is important that Ajuga does not completely dry out in summer. This plant will tolerate morning sun but must have afternoon shade or dappled light to do really well.
Colour: Blue Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x 75cm
Ajuga Blueberry Muffin
New stock arriving shortly. Pre-order now. Estimated price $17.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
If you want a carpet of blue then this is the plant for you! A great groundcover that is quick and easy to grow. Lush rosettes of bronze-green foliage and sturdy stems of bright blue flowers in early spring. Prefers a semi-shaded spot with protection from hot afternoon sun. Evergreen.
Colour: Blue Habit: Groundcover Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 20cm x spreadscm
A quick growing and rewarding perennial ground-cover that forms bold rosettes of foliage and spreads by under-ground runners. In early spring spikes of beautiful bright blue flowers appear en masse. Prefers a semi-shaded spot with protection from hot afternoon sun. Evergreen.
It is important that Ajuga does not completely dry out in hot dry summer conditions.
Colour: Blue Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 20cm x spreads
Dwarf Peruvian Lily. Bred for its compact habit and long flowering period - spring to autumn - this little perennial is definitely a top performer. Large blooms in tones of apricot and peach that would look great combined with terracotta. Plant in sun or semi-shade in well drained soil. Perennial.
Colour: Apricot / Cream Habit: Multiplying Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 75cm
Current Stock Height: 15 cm
Container: 2.5l ?
New stock arriving beginning of November, 2019. Pre-order now. Estimated price $31.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Delicate shades of pink, peach and coral blend on the petals, with lemon yellow highlights and cinnamon whiskers. This dwarf alstroemeria is really big on performance. Plant in sun or part shade in well drained acid soil for best results. Perennial.
Colour: Pink / Yellow Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 35cm