When it comes time to plant your flowers, consider planting perennials. They can give color to a landscape and provide ease of use for the gardener with their ability to come back each year on their own. Many of the varieties of flowers available at garden supply stores and specialty stores are perennials.
According to the United States National Arboretum, there are around 23 species of hydrangea, and five are widely grown in the United States. This perennial grows in a variety of colors including pink, blue lilac and white. Some hydrangea plants can even change color from one year to the next, depending on the soil conditions. Hydrangeas grow big, round flowers during the summer months. During the spring and fall months they shed their blooms and retain striking foliage until cold weather arrives. During the winter, hydrangeas lose their foliage and remain dormant until midsummer.
There are over 10,000 species of azalea, according to the Azalea Society of America. This perennial flower is sometimes referred to as "the royalty of the garden." Azaleas come in a rainbow of colors including shades of pink, red, yellow and orange. Some varieties grow blooms with strikes or specks of color mingled on the petals. Their petal shapes can vary from rounded to triangular, with edges that may be ruffled or wavy. These are generally hardy and are an easy choice to grow and maintain. Plant them in a partially shady spot and mulch around them to keep the soil consistently moist. Water them weekly. They grow well in the acidic soil provided by some trees, so they are a popular choice for planting near or under oak or pine trees. All North American varieties of azalea are deciduous, meaning that they shed their foliage during winter dormancy.
These ever-blooming perennial flowers exhibit blooms that appear in large spikes of color including shades of red, yellow and purple. Individual flowers emerge successively along the spikes from the base to the top of each one. These are a popular choice among gardeners because they are generally easy to grow and require very little work after planting. Just plant them in a sunny location, mulch and weed them, and water once each week. For continuous blooms throughout the summer months, plant these perennials every two weeks from the month of May to July. When your gladioli have finished flowering for the season and their foliage begins to yellow, you can dig the corms and store them indoors through the winter, or you can simply leave them where they are planted and they will appear next season on their own. Gladioli have strong, sturdy stems that make them suitable for cutting. According to an article published by Iowa State University, you should cut the stem as soon as the bottom flower has opened, making sure to leave three or four leaves at the bottom of the plant. The remainder of the flowers will open over the next few days. Cut gladioli can last more than a week.