Kinds of perennials

Perennials are available in all kinds and sizes. Some are flowering and others are used predominantly for their foliage; some are used as groundcovers while some have other special uses. Discover the big wide world of perennials – there’s something there for everyone’s garden.

Groundcovers

A groundcover is a perennial that quickly covers the ground with its network of roots and leaves. This makes them perfect for covering a large surface of the garden between trees and shrubs. Another great advantage of groundcovers is that they carpet the ground entirely so that they practically eliminate the intrusion of weeds! Groundcovers are usually low, creeping plants. Dwarf periwinkle (Vinca minor) is one of the popular groundcovers. Other examples of groundcovers include Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) and Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans).
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Ornamental grasses

Grasses grow everywhere in the world: from prairies to swamps and from Alpine meadows to coastal zones. This is why grass is sometimes called ‘Mother Earth’s hair’. A selection of the most beautiful varieties with elegant narrow leaves and swaying plumes will add a real ornamental element to gardens. There are ornamental grasses for dry or moisture-retentive soils, for full sun or shade – all of them fully hardy perennial plants. Most of them turn brown during the winter, but some ornamental grasses are evergreen.
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Evergreen groundcovers

Some perennials don’t just cover the ground but also remain green during the winter. Their very apt name? Evergreen groundcovers. These evergreen groundcovers create a green carpet beneath trees and shrubs. During the winter, you don’t have to look at bare soil because the leaves of evergreen groundcovers don’t die back but retain their bright green colour.
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Climbers

Climbers are perennials that climb. They scramble up walls, fencing, poles, pergolas, arbours, arches, garden sheds, trees and shrubs. Climbers originated as forest species that grew upward on anything that would support them in search of sunlight. Most climbers are deciduous but produce flowers in great profusion during the summer.

Border plants

Looking for border plants? Perennials are perfect for borders. Since border perennials emerge again every year, they involve the least amount of work and will also cost least in the long run. Perennial border plants also form the basis for a border. They have long flowering periods occurring at different times of the year. When the border is planned with the right perennials in mind, it can be enjoyed from January through December.
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Evergreen perennials

Most people think of perennials as being plants that have foliage which dies back during the winter and that survive as roots below the soil surface. Even so, some perennials retain their leaves during the winter and even continue to display their green colour. These are the evergreen perennials. Good examples of evergreen perennials are Elephant’s Ears (Bergenia crassifolia), many species of Barrenwort (Epimedium) and Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra terminalis).
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Flowering perennials

The majority of perennials in cultivation are considered flowering perennials. They are available in all kinds and sizes. Did you know that some flowering perennials will be in bloom for six months of the year? African Bush Daisy (Euryops chrysanthemoides), Creeping Speedwell (Veronica peduncularis) and Blue Marguerite (Felicia amelloides) are just a few of these hardworking flowering perennials.
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Foliage plants

The colour and shape of leaves play an important role in a garden. Flowering perennials bloom for only part of the season but foliage plants add to the ornamental value of the whole garden all season long. Large or small and whether green, red, grey or blue, the leaves of foliage plants – and particularly their variety – provide a special effect. Foliage plants include Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis), yarrows (Achillea) catmints (Nepeta), Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) and Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana).
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Nectar plants

An insect-friendly garden will be full of nectar plants that will help butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects to thrive. The best way to attract butterflies to a garden is to include nectar plants. Even a few of them will entice bees and butterflies to visit a garden. Nectar plants are beautiful in borders and beds but will also do well in pots and containers. These beautiful nectar plants include Oregano (Origanum vulgarae), Purpletop Vervain (Verbena bonariensis), catmints (Nepeta), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and goldenrods (Solidago).
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Celebrate autumn with perennials

Celebrate autumn with perennials

Many perennials have one last glow-up before winter dormancy sets in. This means you can enjoy a surprising number of flowers in warm autumn colours, …

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Help wild bees with perennials around an insect hotel

Help wild bees with perennials around an insect hotel

The survival of many wild bees is under threat. You can help them by providing nesting places and flowers. One easy way to do this …

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Ornamental grasses in pots bring your outdoor space to life

Ornamental grasses in pots bring your outdoor space to life

Ornamental grasses in pots can bring any outdoor space to life. Even the slightest breath of wind is enough to get them swaying. Let ornamental …

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Larkspur: queen of the border

Larkspur: queen of the border

Modest white, radiant pink or intense blue. Whichever colour you choose, larkspur always catches the eye in borders, due to its stately appearance. If you …

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Ode to the Crane's bill: blossomy & very versatile

Ode to the Crane’s bill: blossomy & very versatile

Crane’s bill (Geranium) will surprise you every year with radiant flowers and bright-green leaves. This perennial is incredibly versatile to boot. There is a beautiful …

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Phlox: colour and scent

Phlox: colour and scent

If your garden can use an atmosphere booster, colourful Phlox is a must-have: from summery white to sparkling pink and intense purple. The lovely sweet …

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