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.
Lavandula. A NZ bred form of Spanish Lavender that has a nice compact habit and flower heads of glowing purple with little tufts on the top. Use to add colour to the spring garden or perhaps consider as a low hedge. Plant in a sunny well drained position and trim lightly after flowering. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 40cm
Current Stock Height: 10/15 cm ?
Container: 1.3l ?
New stock arriving shortly. Pre-order now. Estimated price $14.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Lavandula. Commonly known as Spanish Lavender this L. stoechas variety has long stems of large purple flower heads topped off with attractive tufts. Plant in a sunny well drained position and enjoy flowers from spring through to summer. Lightly trim after flowering. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple / Blue Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 80cm x 75cm
Lavandula. Neat and tidy Lavender with fine, green leaves and masses of lilac flowers. Ideal for low hedges, containers or mass planting. Very attractive to bees. Loves the summer heat and is a waterwise plant. Happiest in a sunny, well-drained site. Trim after flowering. Evergreen.
Colour: Lilac / Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 65cm
Lavandula. Destined to become a favourite because of its ability to bloom the first year beginning earlier in the season, typically in early summer and lasting into early autumn. The grey-green foliage forms a compact mound topped with plump, rich violet purple flower wands that are perfect for cutting for fresh and dried bouquets. Perennial.
Colour: Lavender / Blue Habit: Bushy compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 40cm
Lavender Sweet Romance
Current Stock Height: 15/20cm ?
Container: 1.5l ?
New stock arriving shortly. Pre-order now. Estimated price $19.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Lavandula. What a pretty little Princess this Australian bred lavender is with dark pink tufted blooms that appear from spring through to summer. Aromatic grey-green foliage combines well with the flowers. Loves the sun and good drainage and a coiffure after flowering. Evergreen.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 70cm x 70cm
Lavandula. Dwarf Lavender. This little sweetie will charm you with its aromatic, fine grey-green foliage and dainty stems of deep purple flower heads which smell delicious. Bred to remain compact. Plant in a sunny well drained spot and trim after flowering. Evergreen. PVR.
Colour: Purple Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 40cm
Lavender Thumbelina Leigh
Current Stock Height: 10/15 cm ?
Container: 1.5l ?
New stock arriving beginning of November, 2019. Pre-order now. Estimated price $19.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Lemon balm loses much of its flavor when dried, so it is a seasonal delight to be enjoyed while the weather is mild and the plant is green. However, enough of the fragrance remains when this herb is dried to make it a delightful addition to potpourri.
Like many other herbs, lemon balm can lose its flavor in cooking, so add it near the end of the cooking process. The fresh lemon fragrance and flavor go nicely with both chicken and fish dishes, as well as fruit and fruit juice drinks. Create your own herbal tea by cutting a few stems of lemon balm (plus any other appealing herbs), putting them in a pitcher, pour boiling water over them, and allow them to steep for about 15 minutes. Enjoy your tea hot or over ice.
Fragrant swaying grass that will add texture and movement as well as contrast among more compact plants. Used in cooking and for making tea. Ideal container plant or in a border or garden bed.
The oil is antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral. Also used as an antidepressant, to soothe aches and pains, to relieve stress. If drunk before bed will induce sleep. Effective for headaches and respiratory problems. Pour boiling water over sliced leaves and steep for 5 minutes for Lemongrass tea. Sweeten as desired. Can be dried for tea, potpourri or cooking.
Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 120cm
Shasta Daisy. What a wonderful undemanding plant this perennial is and now in a gorgeous new colour. Large, soft lemon daisy blooms stand on top of sturdy stems above dark green foliage. Fabulous to pick and long-lasting in a vase. Easy to grow in the sun, will spread nicely. Perennial. TM.
Colour: Yellow / Cream Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 50cm
Leucanthemum Banana Cream
Current Stock Height: 10/20 cm ?
Container: 1.5l ?
New stock arriving shortly. Pre-order now. Estimated price $17.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Shasta Daisy. A top performing perennial with attractive dark green dissected foliage and stems of fresh white daisy flowers with a yellow eye. Blooms well throughout summer especially if regularly dead-headed. Easy to grow in a sunny spot. Perennial.
Colour: White Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 40cm