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Information about perennials
What are perennials?
In horticultural circles, the term ‘perennials’ is bandied about as if everyone knows what these plants are. But what are perennials exactly? And what do you have to know about perennials before you start using them?
Perennials are plants that emerge, grow and flower every year
They are also described as herbaceous, meaning that their stems are not woody like those of shrubs and trees. Perennials are the jewels of the garden. Many perennials are evergreen, but most are not: their foliage dies back in the autumn while their roots survive underground so that the plant will emerge again every spring. By making a careful choice of varieties, the flowering periods of perennials will succeed one another from as early as January until as late as December.
The advantages of perennials
Perennials have many advantages. They are beneficial for our health; they have a soothing, feel-good effect and are essential for producing oxygen and purifying the air. A planting of perennials even reduces noise by blocking sound waves. Perennials also ensure a natural gradual drainage of rainwater by absorbing water from the soil. And the water that perennials transpire into the air lowers peak temperatures during the summer. This is why a garden feels more pleasant than paved areas. Perennials can really do a lot!
Evergreen and deciduous perennials
The leaves of some perennials remain green all winter long; these are the evergreen perennials. Most perennials, however, are not evergreen but deciduous. This means that their stems and leaves die back in the autumn while their roots remain dormant during the winter. In the spring, they will develop into larger and more robust plants to enjoy year after year.
Using perennials for a living garden
Their enormous variation in colours, shapes and other characteristics make perennials perfect for creating a living garden. Some perennials are especially fragrant, attract butterflies or can be used as cut flowers. Their differences in size, ranging from tall conspicuous specimens to little plants that hug the ground also contribute to a living garden.