Perennial Garden Design Tip

Perennial Garden Design Tip

It may be easier than you think to design the perennial garden of your dreams!
I moved to Miami, Florida, about three years ago from the Midwest (Des Moines, Iowa) and one of the things I find myself missing is perennials. They were such a big part of my garden, and I had designed my yard so that I had perennials showing off every day -- starting in early spring with bulbs like snowdrops, Siberian squill, and going all the way through fall with late bloomers like asters and mums, along with fall foliage from plants like perennial geranium and little bluestem. 

A bunch of people asked me how I was able to have constant bloom in my landscape (and later asked me to design their home landscapes for them). My secret? Start with plant combinations. For example, I adore way baptisia, iris, and peony look together in early summer, so I'd put that trio down on paper. Russian sage is another of my favorite perennials, so I'd mark it down with coneflower and phlox for late-summer charm. Once I had a few plant combos in place, I'd find perennials I liked to fill in the gaps. Some rebloomers, including gaillardia, gaura, and Rozanne perennial geranium definitely helped with that. For extra oomph, I was sure to include some annuals. 

Here are a few more combos I've always loved:


Late Spring
Lamb's ears

Hardy hibiscus 
Oriental lily
Switch grass 


Written by Justin Hancock