Perennials: what are they?

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? 

What are perennials? What are perennials? What are perennials?

The advantages of perennials

Perennials are the jewels of the garden. They are herbaceous plants, which means ‘without woody stems’, that will survive year after year. Some of them are evergreen but most have stems that die in the autumn while parts of the plant will remain alive underground and reappear in the spring. Perennials develop new stems, leaves, flowers and seeds above ground every year. In the spring, they will develop into larger and more robust plants to enjoy year after year.  Their enormous variation in colours, shapes and other characteristics add excitement to any garden. Some perennials are especially fragrant, attract butterflies or can be used as cut flowers. Their heights range from very tall conspicuous specimens to tiny little plants. If you choose them carefully, the flowering periods of perennials will follow one after another so that you can enjoy a flowering garden from January to December.

Plants are good for us

Plants have a beneficial effect on our health and well-being; they calm us down and give us a pleasant feeling. They are essential for the production of oxygen and they also remove impurities from the air. Another nice side effect is that the planting blocks soundwaves to muffle sound. Plants even provide a natural drainage system by absorbing rainwater from the soil. The water that evaporates from the plants keeps peak temperatures lower in the summer. This is why a garden with plants feels more pleasant than paved areas.

Selecting perennials

To enjoy a delightful garden that grows and flowers all year round, you have to choose the right plants. But before you choose your plants, you first have to discover what kind of soil your garden has and know which plants will thrive in it. Many people love plants such as bellflowers (Campanula), wallflowers (Erysimum), delphiniums (Delphinium), yarrows (Achillea), bleeding hearts (Dicentra), lavender (Lavandula) and purple coneflowers (Echinacea). But it’s also fun to make your own list of favourites.

About Perennial Power

Perennial Power, the promotional organisation for the perennial plant sector, uses international PR to promote the use of perennials. The promotional activities for Perennial Power are conducted by iVerde, the joint promotional platform supported by the Dutch green sector.

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