Friday, September 4, 2009

Landscape Decorators Perennials Bulbs And Annuals

By Kent Higgins

Very often the discussion on the uses of plants is devoted to woody plants. They have more or less permanent value as they give substance and form to the garden. They form the walls and the more substantial framework and furnishings. At times woody plants also form bright displays, but usually these are provided by herbaceous perennials, annuals or flowering bulbs.


In large gardens, herbaceous perennials are most commonly used in borders in front of shrubs or hedges that mark the boundaries of the lawns. Sometimes they also flank the paths that lead from one part of the garden to another. On smaller properties they are usually combined with annuals. to provide bloom before the annuals reach flowering size and after they have been touched by frost.

The chief joy in a perennial border is the recognition of old friends as each species appears, blooms for a few days and then passes. They are charming and informal, and take comparatively little labor from year to year. However, they take up a lot of room; a good perennial border for continual bloom and satisfactory grouping of plants for height, effect of foliage color and habit of growth. must be at least 6 feet wide. Most owners of small properties want to get a more spectacular show from this large an area of ground and they prefer masses of color and flowers that last longer. For this reason perennials are not very popular in modern gardens.

The most practical use of perennials in a small garden is with flowering bulbs, boxwood bonsai and annual flowers in a border about 4 feet wide, running along the sunny side of the garden. Have a few species of perennials in groups at intervals throughout the border and plant the bulbs and annual flowers between these groups. Also its time for boxwood bonsai care.

Such a border might have groups of daffodils and later-flowering tulips planted at fairly regular intervals along the middle and back. Groups of small bulbs such as crocus, snowdrops and chionodoxa would be at the front. Iris and peonies, again at fairly regular intervals, would continue the show until the first of July. Coreopsis, peach-leaved campanulas and shasta daisies would fill the gap in July until clumps of phlox planted at the back of the iris and peonies could supply color. During this same period, groups of annuals planted after the tulips had finished would be in full bloom. In the late fall, Michealmas daisies and helenium planted between the groups of phlox would provide the Fast show.

Flowering Bulbs and Annuals

This combination is the most dependable for masses of color in any part of the garden. However, they are more work and are more expensive as the annuals must be renewed each year. Small bulbs and daffodils last several years but tulips only two or three.

As the bulbs finish blooming late in May (early June in some areas) annual flowers may be planted between them early in June. Tops are usually cut off the bulbs after mid-June when the annuals begin to bloom.

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