Perennial garden plants are plants that return year after year. Gardeners who have a perennial garden often feel a sense of history attached to their gardens, because many perennial plants have grown in the same spot for years. Additionally, perennial plants may be propagated and given away as gifts or handed down from mother to daughter as inheritance. Perennials that have been favorites for successive generations of gardeners are given such names as "antique" plants or "heirlooms."
Roses are related to raspberries, apples, almonds, peaches and strawberries. There are over 200 species of roses and thousands of cultivars. They grow in all corners of the globe, from the arctic circle to the equator. Our love affair with roses spans back over 5,000 years. It has been used as a standard for kings, a symbol in religious services and as ingredients in cooking and cosmetics. In the garden, a rose bush may be planted once and bring flowers yearly for as long as the bush remains healthy. There are roses present in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia as well as the White House.
Bulbs and Rhizomes
If you’ve ever wandered through the woods and suddenly come upon a stand of daffodils growing seemingly in the middle of nowhere, you’ve experienced the perennial power of bulbs and rhizomes. These plants that seem to grow in the middle of nowhere are actually growing in woodland where farmhouses once stood. Although the farm houses and the farmers who once lived there have long since departed, the tuberous plants that they grew for springtime beauty have remained. Common bulb and rhizome-rooted plants include tulips, daffodils, crocus and irises. Often as they grow, they divide themselves at the root to create new plants.
Herbs may be grown for medicinal purposes, culinary uses or simply for beauty. While a few herbs may be annuals, many are hearty perennials or woody shrubs. Some examples of hardy perennials are purple coneflower, sage, lamb’s ear, chives and oregano. Woody shrubs include rosemary and lavender.
Berry plants such as blackberry, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry are often planted in cottage gardens for both their flowers and their berries. The flowers provide sweet fragrance as well as a place for bees to pollinate, while the berries can be made into jellies and jams. Plants are typically started when they are small and may grow for many generations. Blackberry and raspberry bushes grow on canes and propagate from the roots or from canes that touch the ground, while blueberries grow in dense bushes. Strawberry plants are low-growing plants that propagate from runners.