How to Create a Perennial Garden


Perennial gardens bring a lifetime of enjoyment to any gardener. Each year they come back fuller and healthier, while providing the garden bed with colorful blooms and unusual varieties. Scatter in colorful containers to your bed to bring in another layer of color and design. Containers also allow you to change the flowers around during each season, making them very flexible. Design the garden bed around your favorite perennial flowers and shrubs to create a personalized bed. Add spring bulbs and varying flower heights and textures for a one-of-a-kind design.

Step 1

Inquire about the perennials' ideal growing environment, including light and water requirements, to help determine where they could be planted in the garden. Monitor the garden to determine the amount of sunlight and shade it receives.

Step 2

Design an outline to refer to as you begin planting. An outline allows you to make quick changes in your design as you work your way through the planting process and also prevents unnecessary digging in case of a last-minute change.

Step 3

Start in the back of the perennial bed by planting taller and fuller perennials, like hydrangea and rosemary. Work your way forward as you continue through your design. Plant spring-blooming perennials to ensure colorful blooms throughout the growing season.

Step 4

Plant bulbs, which will shoot up every year, healthier and stronger. Tulips and hyacinth bulbs work well in the front of the perennial bed and will add a variety of color to the garden. Daffodils also emerge in the early spring and will add splashes of yellow throughout the bed.

Step 5

Fill in tight or hard-to-reach areas of the perennial garden with small perennials, like crocus and creeping sedum. Randomly scatter them in the garden for a beautiful design. Don't worry about perfect lines in the garden when planting. Randomly planting them around the bed will balance out the space with a mosaic of color.

Step 6

Add perennials to containers around your space. Experiment with adding different heights and colors in one container. Situate them in the back of the perennial bed or as a focal point in the middle of the bed. Containers allow the gardener to decide what to grow and can be moved around the garden to ensure a healthy and hardy plant.

Step 7

Design a focal point in your perennial garden. Use an old wheel barrel as a makeshift container for growing flowers or use it to create a miniature herb garden. Nestle your perennials in this interesting container and watch them come to life. Butterfly bushes can also create a stunning focal point to your space. Reaching a tall 6 to 7 feet, butterfly bushes look beautiful in the back of the bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Perennials
  • Bulbs


  • University of Illinois Extension: Spring Bulbs
  • North Carolina State University

Who Can Help

  • My Home Ideas
Keywords: perennial bed, garden design, perennial bulbs

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.