Perennial mail order plants:
Do you want long flowering displays in your flower beds and borders without having to put in new plants every year?
If the answer is ‘yes’, then you need a selection of herbaceous perennials that will give wonderful flower displays annually adding colour and texture up until winter approaches.
Herbaceous perennials will lose their leaves during the colder winter weather, whereas, evergreen perennials keep their foliage all through the winter.
So ideally mix in evergreen perennial plants with the herbaceous perennials and then you are not left with stark, barren borders in the winter months.
Also, make sure you get a range of perennials that will give you flowers from spring into autumn.
What are herbaceous perennial plants?
They can simply be known as perennials which means ‘through the year’.
They are plants that live for more than two years and they have little or no woody growth.
(The shorter-lived plants are called annuals which means that they only grow for that year – a lot of bedding plants are in this category. The other short lived plants are biennials which form leaves in the first year and then flower in the second year and then they usually die – but often they appear again from their dropped seed.)
Obviously trees and shrubs are perennials in that they grow for more than two years but they have a woody growth which puts them into their own category.
What are evergreen perennials and sub-shrubs?
The evergreen, or non-herbaceous, perennials, keep their foliage throughout the year.
The harshness or mildness of a local climate may dictate whether plants are ‘evergreen‘ or ‘semi-evergreen‘.
An evergreen perennial may lose an amount of it’s outer leaves in a hard winter but still have a central leafy growth – this is termed as being ‘semi-evergreen‘.
Sub-shrubs keep a residual woody structure in the winter, e.g. Penstemon Sunburst Ruby, but they lose a lot of their outer leaves and stems.
Some shrubs may behave like a herbaceous perennial, losing all it’s foliage in a harsh winter.
Grasses, herbs and alpines:
Many ornamental grasses also have the characteristics of herbaceous perennials, but for the sake of classifying plants, they are put in their own group.
Many of the herbs – fragrant, cookery and medicinal – and a lot within the whole assortment of alpines, do show herbaceous perennial, evergreen perennial, or sub-shrub characteristics, but again, it is easier to classify them in their own groupings.