10 Perennials Every Gardener Should Grow

10 Perennials Every Gardener Should Grow
10 Perennials Every Garden Should Have

Perennials are in full summer swing colouring beds and borders; they bring both vibrant and subtle hues to the lower layer of the planting picture. We love our perennials because most grow quickly, spread from small plants to larger clumps, and flower after a short lead time.


In garden centres and nurseries they are on offer from early spring, when young plants first become available to the full-grown pot full you can buy to add instant impact in midsummer. The number of varieties increases every year, making selection even more challenging. If you buy them in flower, how long will they bloom for?


Some perennials have a long flowering period, others bloom for five minutes. Some take care of themselves, some need lifting and dividing after a couple of seasons. One thing is certain the colour range and variety of flower form is amazing.


I thought I would have a go at picking my top 10; the ten perennials that I think every gardeners should grow. Interestingly 8 out of 10 are blue – perhaps not that surprising as blue is the ultimate mixer and our favourite colour.



1. Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’


2 Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' (1024x683)


Attributes: Aromatic grey-green foliage; blue flowers. Blooms from early summer to fall.


Situation and size: Full sun, any well-drained soil. 60 x 60cm (2 x 2ft)


Support: Put twigs or grow through support in place when 12cm (4”) high


Why grow it? A magnet for bees and butterflies. (Your cat will go crazy for it too)



2. Geranium ‘Rozanne’


3 Geranium 'Rozanne'  (1024x666)


Attributes: Saucer shaped blue flowers with white eyes, Blooms from early summer to fall.


Situation and size: Full sun or semi-shade on any well-drained soil. 60 x 90cm (2 x 3ft)


Support: None required; let it sprawl


Why grow it? Longer flowering season than any other geranium; great to hide the bare stems of shrub roses and deciduous shrubs



3. Campanula lactiflora ‘Pritchard’s Variety’


4 Campanula lactiflora 'Pritchard's Variety' (1024x712)


Attributes: Tall stems carrying large heads of bell-shaped blue flowers. Blooms from mid to late summer


Situation and size: Full sun or semi-shade on any well-drained soil. 90 x 60cm (3 x 2ft)


Support: Grow through support advised in exposed situation


Why grow it? It will bloom in shade. Bees love it



4. Knautia macedonica


5 Knautia macedonica 2 (1024x683)


Attributes: tall, slender stems carry small, dark-red scabious flowers through summer. Light, and airy, good to drift through lower plants.


Situation and size: Full sun on any well-drained soil. Good on chalk 60 x 60cm (2 x 2ft)


Support: None required


Why grow it? Bees and butterflies love it. Intense colour that works with anything. Good for cutting.


Pic 6



5. Gaura lindheimeri ‘The Bride’


6 Gaura lindheimeri 'The Bride'


Attributes: Fine stems carry delicate white butterfly-flowers from mid to late summer through fall. Light and airy and moves gently in the breeze.


Situation and size: Full sun on any well-drained soil. 90 x 60cm (3 x 2ft)


Support: None required


Why grow it? One of the prettiest perennials. Exceptionally long flowering period at the end of the season.



6. Euphorbia grifithii ‘Fireglow’


7 Euphorbia grifithii 'Fireglow'


Attributes: Flame coloured stems, conspicuous in spring. Orange-red bracts in cluster through late spring and early summer. Good autumn colour.


Situation and size: Sun or semi-shade on most well drained soils that are not too dry. 60 x 90cm (2 x 3ft)


Support: None required


Why grow it: Long season of interest from spring through to fall, excellent ground cover when established.



7. Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’


8 Agastache 'Blue Fortune'


Attributes: Aromatic leaves on upright stems. Spikes of blue flowers from mid to late summer.


Situation and size: Full sun on any well-drained soil. 75 x 60cm (30” x 2ft)


Support: None required


Why grow it? Wonderful colour. Mixes well with perennials and grasses. Very attractive to bees and butterflies. Very trendy!



8. Aster ‘Sapphire’


9 Aster 'Sapphire'


Attributes: Dark green leaves and stems. Masses of blue, daisy flowers with golden centres through late summer and fall.


Situation and size: Full sun on any well-drained soil. 75 x 60cm (30” x 2ft)


Support: None required


Why grow it: stunning late colour. It doesn’t get mildew! Good for cutting. Attractive to bees and butterflies.



9. Lupinus ‘Persian Slipper’


10  Lupinus 'Persian Slipper'


Attributes: Healthy dark green foliage. Spikes of soft blue flowers in summer. Free flowering and fragrant.


Situation and size: Full sun on well-drained soil. Prefers neutral to acid conditions. 90 x 90cm (3 x 3ft)


Support: None required


Why grow it: One of the most beautiful lupins; bewitchingly strong, spicy scent.



10. Sedum ‘Red Cauli’


11 Sedum 'Red Cauli'


Attributes: Dark fleshy leaves and stems. Clusters of rich red flowers at the tips of the stems from mod to late summer through fall.


Situation and size: Full sun. Any well drained soil. Very drought resistant. 45 x 60cm (18” x 2ft)


Why grow it: Intense colour; more impact than the majority of pink ice plants. Great at the front of a border. Good for cutting. Very attractive to late flying bees and butterflies.


So that’s my selection. Do you agree? What are your favourites? Do post your comments below.

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