Perennial gardens are a great creative outlet. They do best with a bit of planning, but that is what makes them so much fun. The knowledge gained with this hands on pastime is remarkable. The exercise, fresh air, and the reward of the added beauty and value to your property is time well spent. Joined by family, growing something together creates great memories as well. Here are some facts from the NHs Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food Weekly Market Bulletin to help get you grounded.
Herbaceous perennials lack a persistent stem; they die back to the ground during winter and regrow from the roots the next year – so don’t panic when you don’t see stems in early spring! Perennials from temperate regions, like asters, iris, lupine, windflower, peony and primrose need a cold winter to encourage new buds to grow in spring. Many perennials spread by sending out shoots from their roots which develop into new stems, great for filling in a bed or sharing with friends. Some perennials, such as columbine and delphinium, are short lived, lasting only three or four years. Perennial plantings offer amazing varieties of colors, textures and sizes. They do require some pruning and maintenance, but their longevity makes this well worth the effort. Generally speaking, perennial flowers start off small in the first year then with each growing season, produce bigger and more abundant blooms. Once they get to be about three years old, you might have to think about dividing them to keep them healthy and looking their best. Most perennials should be divided when they are dormant. (Spring bloomers in the fall; fall bloomers in the spring). A key to designing with perennials is making sure there is continuing blooms and interest which means more careful garden planning than when using annuals. The Rolling Green staff is available to guide you with your garden design, plant selection and best practices.