Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our garden – Year 2 : Our perennial patch!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday morning!

As I had mentioned in my previous post about turning over and preparing our community plots, we are lucky enough this year to have two separate plots to which we have decided to give two very separate vocations.

We decided during the holiday week-end (last week) to turn last year’s 10 X 12 sq.ft. plot into a perennial garden. The idea of having one patch that would not have to be replanted every year was very nice and since we do not have a yard of our own yet, having our own little flower area seemed like a wonderful long term project!


Well, aside from the fact that half my favourite plants and flowers are perennials (including hostas and hemerocallis – commonly called daylilies), there are quite a few reasons to go for perennials. Even though at first look, perennials are more expensive then annuals, they will cost you less and less every year as they multiply and spread, making your garden lush and green. Also, good ground cover perennials like sedum, wild thyme, and many alpine plant varieties, once they spread, will help keep the soil shaded and cool which means less watering! And that alone is a good reason for me!

A few things to keep in mind when buying plants to start a perennial flower bed is to take good note of your hardiness zone, of the sun exposure of your patch and of blooming times. Most perennials have shorter blooming seasons then annuals, and even though their leaves are lovely, if you want to insure a presence of flowers throughout the whole growing season, pick species that flower at different times.

So everyone knows of the traditional perennial ground covers such as clover, sedum, hostas, certain grasses, but here are a few plants you may not know are perennials :

  • Lavender
  • Daylilies
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Marguerites
  • Sage
  • Marigolds
  • Irises
  • Lobelia
  • Bluebells
  • Primrose
  • Bleeding hearts
  • Columbines
  • Poppies… just to name a few!

Plus, if we stick to the basic definition of perennial which is really any plant that lives more than one year, vines and shrubs are great additions to any perennial garden patch! Also, depending on space, try adding fruit bushes! We’ve decided to go with hardy kiwi vines and blueberry bushes.

This is the picture of our plot when we started this season :

And this is what it looks like now :

I know it may look a little empty, but considering most of our plant choices will triple in size in the first year, we think the “bare look” will be worth it to have our garden come back in force next year!

On a side note : All our plants, vines and bushes came from local sources! Look around and find nurseries that grow plants in your area. Plants that have been imported mean more of a carbon footprint and more probability of species that are not well adapted to your climate! You may pay a little more, but you will get quality plants that last!

Please stop by and share your plans for a garden this year!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful garden!

Jackie said...

I agree, perennials are a great choice. I often forget what I planted and am pleasantly surprised the next year when they pop up:)

Small Footprints said...

I love your garden ... and the empty spaces give it a "Wabi Sabi" feel. It's also impressive that you've created a garden with the environment in mind ... locally grown plants, ground covers that retain soil moisture ... and while you didn't say it specifically, I think your garden will also benefit pollinators, butterflies, etc. Brilliant!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Small Footprints

Yanic said...

Avenatura : Thank you! and welcome to my blog. I hope you come back and visit. I was looking over your blog and am looking forward to going back and reading some of your posts!

Jackie : I know! For us, it,s that thing that it,s the first year so, besides in pictures, we still don't REALLY have any clue what everything will look like. *fingers crossed*

Small footprints : Welcome back and thank you! Yes you are right, we tried to go with some flowers that are known to attract beneficial and pollinating insects. I don't know if you had read my blog about it a little while back, but we actually did try to keep them in mind... along with some of our simple faves as well!

Windi said...

Oh what a lovely garden! We are in the process of moving and I'm really hoping we can move soon and find a place in time to put in a garden, if not even just some flowers. I love playing in the dirt and watching things grow not to mention eating what I grew!!

Friendship Society said...

Wonderful! I look forward to watching your garden grow. I extend my friendship and invite you to join me at please join our living green group there too!
I hope to see you soon, Katherine

Yanic said...

Windi : Thank you so much! I hope you find a little piece of earth to call your own. There is nothing better. I'm the same way... love having that dirt-of-hard-work under my nails!

Katherine : Thank you for stopping by! I promise to keep you guys updated on the status of our gardens. It is our goal this year to document it all for learning and sharing. I will be sure to check out your community!

Brady said...

I like your plots, very nice! It sure has a relaxing zen-type look to it.

We've been working our garden in the back yard for a few years now and are constantly learning about the gardening process. It's just so neat to see what you can do with a small patch of land, a little effort, and a the natural process that occurs in the world everywhere around us!

Yanic said...

Brady : I totally agree! Just our learning process from last year (our firsat year) to now was amazing. I'm very much looking forward to settling quite nicely at our community garden. We love the area we live in so we will most likely keep it going even after we get a house!

Christy said...

That's really awesome! It does feel good to see everything start to grow! Also, very good information for anyone just starting out! (Like me!)

Yanic said...

Hey Christy!
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Hope you have a nice gardening season as well. Just don't get discouraged the first year! It,s a huge learning process. :-)