Perennials are like babies and puppies: high maintenance but worth all the trouble. If you like composing garden pictures and playing with color, form and texture, no other plant group can be pushed and shoved and moved around and divided and shared on a scale that most of us can afford to manage.
Just to be clear, we’re talking about plants that, in our climate, go into dormancy in winter but return from a crown or rootstock every spring. The proper term is “herbaceous perennial”, meaning without a woody structure. Classic examples that almost everyone knows are peonies, bearded iris, phlox, daylilies and blackeyed susans (Rudbeckia). But there are hundreds–well, maybe thousands–more.
Here in USDA Zone 5, many perennials thrive. Our relatively long, cold winters provide the resting period they need to put on their spectacular show during the months of growth and flowering. The peak of perennial bloom in our section comes in early summer, from about Memorial Day until the Fourth of July. But with careful planning, you can have flower and foliage interest all season long.
Perennials are one of the main components of a classic cottage garden look, and feature prominently in the new wave of naturalistic, meadow-like planting. Although they require more care than shrubs or trees, they are an extremely rich and rewarding group for gardeners.
At Pondside we carry a large selection of sun-lovers that rotate through our sales yard according to their season of bloom. Whether you’re a beginner looking for tough, sure-to-grow stalwarts or an advanced connoisseur of exquisite rarities, you’re bound to find something you like. And our plant advisors’ sound knowledge of perennials means you’ll be able to get reliable advice, based on years of experience and training.