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Perennial Flower Beds

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Perennial Flower Beds

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Overview

Perennial flower beds provide continual color during the growing season. These hardy plants return each year to help limit the work of garden bed maintenance. Perennial flowers offer the gardener a wide choice of flower colors to complement the exterior home décor. Creating a good base for the flower bed begins with proper soil preparation. Gardeners must choose plants based on growing requirements and provide maintenance care to keep the plants healthy. Perennial flower beds add depth a contrast to the landscape to create an individual look for the home garden based on each gardener's preferences.

Choosing a Location

Perennial flower beds differ from annual flower gardens in the basic life span of the plants. Perennials come back every year, often stronger and better. Annuals survive for a single growing season, completing an entire life span from seed to adult plant. Perennial flower beds become a permanent part of the landscape. Choosing and preparing a location requires research for the types of plants suitable for that location. Look at sunlight compatibility, soil requirements, watering needs and mature plant size. Plant perennials in the optimum growing conditions to have great success with this type of garden.

Flower Selection

Garden centers provide an endless array of perennial plants to suit every location. For this reason, carefully research those plants that exactly match the growing situation in your perennial bed. Each plant pot has a label or sticker featuring full growing information for that plant. Look at the mature size of plants listed on the growing label. Design your perennial flower bed to showcase each plant with careful placement based on height and mature plant size.

Succession of Color

Perennial flowers can provide continual color throughout the growing season when the gardener carefully selects plants that bloom in succession. Plant labels also list blooming period information to help you decide which plants will provide full blooming coverage for the growing season. Don't consider only the flower color when choosing perennial plants. Look for plants featuring interesting foliage to provide long-lasting background color.

Complementary Plants

Include shrubs, trees and annual flowers in the perennial flower bed as supplemental plants during downtime blooming periods. This blend of different plants creates an appealing garden with a great mix of vibrant foliage. Evergreen shrubs add interest to the perennial garden during winter months and provide a tailored look to the landscape. Annual flowers, with their consistent blooms, fill in blank spots between perennial bloom times. Pair plants with similar moisture, light and soil requirements.

Maintenance

Perennial flower beds require regular care and maintenance to keep the plants looking beautiful. Water the perennial garden carefully at the base of each plant to encourage deep-water retention in the soil to benefit root system. Weeds often thrive in the perennial flower bed and will compete with plants for soil nutrients. Apply a good layer of mulch to this flower bed to smother weeds and conserve soil moisture. Prune back flower heads and stalks after blooming to discourage the plant from seed production. This activity concentrates the plant's energy to strong root production.

Keywords: perennial flower beds, perennials, perennials flowers

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.