Perennial Garden Ideas

Perennial flowers and plants are noted for their ability to come back year after year. Only planted once, perennial gardens filled with bright blooms and brilliant foliage create a showy landscape presence. Grown in dozens of varieties, each with its own distinct growing requirements, perennials often prefer full sun to part shade to thrive.

Tropical Garden

Create a jungly feel to the landscape by planting tropical perennial flowers. Canna lilies are large, tropical flowers that add a bright burst of color to the garden. Growing 24 to 48 inches tall, canna lilies have large flowerheads that grow in red, yellow, pink and orange. The deep green, lustrous foliage of the canna lilies grow in large clumps and have prominent veins running up each leaf. Canna lilies require full sun and rich, fertile soils, similar to a moist tropical habitat. Another tropical-feeling plant is the elephant's ear. Similar to the canna, elephant's ear plants are perennial plants that prefer a damp planting site. The large, heart-shaped leaves resemble an elephant ear and create a lush, tropical atmosphere to the garden. Growing over 15 feet tall, plant the elephant's ear as a backdrop to the garden. As an evergreen, elephant's ear retains its foliage and color all year long, including winter, creating much needed color to a dreary landscape.

Cutting Garden

Instead of buying floral bouquets, why not create your own perennial cutting garden? The poppy is a classic and long-lasting perennial flower to grow in the cutting garden. Poppy flowers grow in a wide range of bright colors including, pink, red, orange, yellow and white, to create a brilliant fresh cut arrangement. Growing 18 to 24 inches tall, poppy flowers' varying heights make small and large bouquets, while providing a colorful garden presence. Plant Japanese anemone to nestled among the poppy blooms. A rapidly growing perennial with pale pink blooms and a thick row of yellow stamens, Japanese anemone flowers grow 1 to 3 feet tall. Japanese anemone flowers can be divided in fall or early spring to spread around the garden. They thrive in part shade and well-drained, moist soils.

Herb Garden

Create an aromatic perennial herb garden tucked within the landscape. Herb gardens complement surrounding flower gardens and are ideal for those who enjoy cooking or simply want a scented garden. One perennial herb to grow in the herb garden is rosemary. Rosemary has an upright, clumping habit that grows 3 to 6 feet tall, ideal for the backdrop of the garden. As an evergreen, rosemary retains its color all year long, including winter. Along the front of tall perennial herbs like rosemary, plant low-growing herbs like tarragon and thyme. The small, bright green clumps grow 24 inches tall and 12 inches wide and have a mounding form. Tarragon requires full sun to thrive. Alongside your tarragon, plant common thyme. As a trailing herb, thyme meanders around the front of the herb garden, similar to a ground cover, to help to fill in the low spaces of the garden. The tiny, bright green leaves also thrive in sun to produce a highly scented herb to use in your favorite soups and stews.

Keywords: perennial garden ideas, tropical garden, cutting garden, herb garden

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and