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Gardening Article

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Perennial Gardening

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Perennial gardening is gardening that caters to plants that grow back every year. Many plants need to be grown from seed or transplants every year. Perennial gardening is composed of plants like the aloe, iris, hibiscus, caladium, tulips and yucca that, once planted in the appropriate conditions, will return year after year. Yuccas, for example, grow in the desert southwest. No one is there to care for them, yet they continue to grow and thrive.

This does not mean, however, that a perennial garden is a garden that is planted and forgotten. If a gardener wants to enjoy the sights in the garden, perennial gardening does need some care and maintenance.

Before starting the garden, the gardener needs to consider where the garden will be placed, the amount of water and sunlight the garden will get and how much care the gardener can give to the garden. Even gardens designed to withstand some form of benign neglect will need occasional care. If the gardener wants a very low maintenance form of perennial gardening, the gardener canít expect to have plants that will grow rapidly or that need some help with pollination.

Select plants that will grow in the geographic area. These plants should be proportional to the size of the garden. The colors, size and watering needs should be similar. Perennial gardening is doomed to failure if some of the plants like frequent watering and moist soil while their next door neighbors like dry soil and infrequent watering.

The gardener will also need to consider the growing season of the individual plants. Some plants have short blooming seasons, others have long blooming seasons. Some plants bloom early in the year; some like summer and some bloom in the fall. With careful planning, a gardener can select plants that will bloom at a variety of times during the year. This means that there will be color in the garden throughout the year.

Generally, when starting perennial gardening, the first year is the least attractive. The plants are just taking root and getting settled in their new location. The second year, the plants begin to demonstrate what is to come. Some gardeners will want to rearrange the location of some plants, or add or remove others. By the third year, the garden will reflect the planning, care and time put into it. People will admire the garden and the gardenerís skills. Changes can be made, but donít try to rearrange the entire garden, or it will be another three or four years before the garden will mature.


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