submitted by iVerde, Netherlands
With their colorful flowers, unusual leaves, and stunning winter silhouettes, perennials are an asset to your garden in any season. If you make some smart choices, you will have something to feast your eyes on year-round, even in fall and winter!
In spring, it is the flowers of early bloomers in particular that catch our eye, and budding fresh leaves, of course. Next comes the turn of numerous plants that start to flower in summer.
If you think there’s nothing to enjoy in your garden once summer is over, think again! If you choose the right plants, your garden can be just as beautiful, even in fall and winter!
The leaves of certain perennials display beautiful fall colors, for example, bluestar (Amsonia) and moor grass (Molinia). Besides the summer bloomers that continue to bloom into fall, you can then enjoy typical fall bloomers, such as the well-known Michaelmas daisy (Aster) and Japanese anemone (Anemone) or spikes of the lesser-known black cohosh (Cimicifuga/Actaea).
In winter, (semi) evergreen perennials in many shades of green, as well as colors such as purple and grey, look particularly attractive. Examples include candytuft (Iberis), coral bells (Heuchera), and elephant’s ears (Bergenia). Hellebore (Helleborus) and Viola, among others, will bloom in winter.
You could also opt for plants that do die off above ground, but leave a strikingly beautiful winter silhouette. They will look particularly enchanting when covered in a layer of frost!
The perennials listed below will continue to bloom into fall. What’s more, their fall and winter silhouette is a feast for the eyes.
Plant them higgledy-piggledy for a beautiful weaving effect in the garden with different shapes and colors. In this way, your garden will look attractive year-round.
Some examples of perennial superstars with a beautiful winter silhouette:
- Coneflower (Echinacea and Rudbeckia) – will continue to look decorative with very dark-colored stems and the seed pods of its daisy-like flowers.
- Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) – its flowers and airy branches die above ground, but remain standing in winter.
- Jerusalem sage (Phlomis) – this cascading flowering plant with yellow or pink flowers is possibly even more beautiful after flowering thanks to its dark-brown seed pods. The large furry leaves at the base of the plant keep their green color in winter. *Culver’s root (Veronicastrum) – the dark brown seed heads on its tall and sturdy stems will continue to look attractive all winter long.
- Gravel root (Eupatorium) – this perennial has pretty, darker stems and cream-colored seed pods.
- Yarrow (Achillea) – striking umbel flowers on which the snow will settle nicely.
- Sea holly (Eryngium) – its wilted flowers will stay beautiful well into winter.
- Ironweed (Vernonia) – with its wilted brown fluffy flowers, this perennial will stay attractive long after flowering.
- Stonecrop (Sedum) – the flower heads will turn from light-green to red, dark-red and eventually brown throughout the year. *Giant hyssops (Agastache) – after flowering, these flower spikes are easy on the eye all winter long.
- Ornamental grasses – most ornamental grasses stop growing in fall and retain a beautiful appearance. Colors will vary from straw-yellow to brown. You could consider silvergrass (Miscanthus), reedgrass (Calamagrostis), fountaingrass (Pennisetum) or pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana).
You can prune perennials back once they start to sprout in spring. Pruning them in spring means birds can enjoy the seeds of these plants all winter long. They adore the seeds! You can plant perennials in the garden year-round, as long as the temperature is above freezing. Fall is a very suitable time, as is spring.
Low-growing perennials also do particularly well planted in pots. This is a good way to brighten up your patio or balcony in fall and winter. After their winter dormancy, the plants will come back looking even better and grander with gorgeous flowers! Visit www.perennialpower.eu for more varieties, tips and inspiration.