Without a shadow of a doubt, the most common question I am asked by my customers is “what does perennial meal?”, so I thought it is about time I answered this question in a blog post.
In the gardening world, perennial is the term used for a plant that lives for more than two years and is herbaceous and dormant during the winter.
Perennial is also often used as a term to differentiate a plant between shorter-lived annuals and biennials.
What Does Herbaceous Perennial Mean?
Another popular question asked my customers, herbaceous perennials are generally classed as plants that have stems that are green and soft and doesn’t have much wood. They are fast growing producing flowers and seeds in a short space of time.
What Does Half Hardy Annual Mean?
A half-hardy annual is raised from seed for a summer or autumn display. It lives flowers and dies in a single season.
Half-hardy annuals are sensitive to frost, so for a continued display, it is necessary to raise such plants in a greenhouse and then transplant them outdoors when the danger of frost has passed.
What Does Hardy Biennial Mean?
A hardy biennial is raised from seed for a spring or summer display. It produces stems and leaves in the first season and flowers in the following one, after flowering the plant dies.
What Does Half Hardy Perennial Mean?
A half-hardy perennial should live for more than two years provided that it is protected from the frost.
23 Popular Perennial Plants In The UK
Also known as African blue lilies, agapanthus is a clump-forming perennial that produce blue or white trumpet-shaped flowers. Plants work well planted in a large container on the patio or planted en masse in a border.
Commonly known as Columbine, aquilegia are an old fashioned cottage garden plant, that produces bell-shaped flowers, often two-tone. Aquilegia is a clump-forming herbaceous hardy perennial that looks charming amongst shrubs in a border.
An attractive clump forming hardy perennial with heart-shaped flowers with white tips, that dangle enticingly from the arching flower stems in late spring. Bleeding heart grows in light shade and looks good growing amongst shrubs, but it often does even better in a sunny border, providing the soil stays sufficiently moist.
Calla Lily (Zantedeschia)
A clump-forming herbaceous perennial, that produces trumpet-like flowers in the early summer. Calla lilies can be planted in containers or borders in a sunny position. Zantedeschia can also be kept indoors as a house plant.
An indispensable alpine, campanula is hardy, persistent and vigorous growing. Easily grown on a rockery, on walls, in borders, patio pots or even hanging baskets.
A bulbous perennial, that originates from South Africa. Ideal for borders and patio containers can also be used as cut flower. In the garden, chincherinchee are
an undemanding plant, that is happy even in dry sites as long as they have moderate amounts of moisture during the spring.
A hardy perennial plant with a bushy habit, that produces daisy type flowers. Coreopsis can be planted in borders or containers.
Dahlias are tuberous rooted annual or perennial, that produce showy flower heads. The new perennial maxi variety, which has a compact, bushy habit, grows to a height of 45cm and spreads to 30cm is ideal for borders and patio containers.
One of the classic flowers of the traditional summer garden. Delphiniums can be annuals, biennials or perennials, with palmately lobed basal leaves and showy bowl-shaped flowers in spikes, racemes or panicles.
A cottage garden favourite, also known as a perennial wallflower. Provides colour to the garden from early in the year until summer. Ideal for borders, beds, patio pots and containers.
A herbaceous perennial, that has simple or divided leaves and produces daisy-like flower heads. Euryops is ideal for borders or patio containers.
One of the most familiar wildflowers. Foxgloves can be a herbaceous biennial or perennial. Forms a rosette of simple leaves with bell-shaped flowers.
A bushy hardy perennial, also known as butterfly flower. Gaura has slender stems bearing lance-shaped leaves and sprays of pink or white flowers. Gauras make excellent plants for borders or patio containers.
Antirrhinum majus is a new generation of fragrant snapdragons. An ideal plant for a cottage garden or borders where it will easily fill gaps between other perennials. This hardy antirrhinum blooms from June to the first frost.
Hardy fuchsias can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs, with showy flowers. Ideal for borders or patio containers.
A herbaceous clump-forming perennial, that love the shade. They produce blue or white bell-shaped flowers but are grown mainly for their impressive foliage. Hostas can be grown in borders, but it is best suited in a large pot which helps deter slugs from ruining the leaves.
An old cottage garden favourite is that produces stunning flowers from early summer onwards. Lupins make a great addition to the middle or back of a garden border.
Also known as a cape or rain daisy. A popular perennial that can be planted in borders or patio pots. Osteospermum produces flower colours that vary from pinky white to soft red.
A cottage garden favourite, that is a clump-forming perennial. Penstemon produce bell-shaped flowers from summer into early autumn.
Perennial lobelia has upright spikes of large flowers, not at all like the more familiar annual types grown in pots and hanging baskets. They are a terrific plant for a boggy part of the garden but grow just as well under average conditions.
A herbaceous perennial, that can be planted in borders or containers. Perennial salvia normally has deep purple flowers that open in late summer and last till early autumn.
A herbaceous perennial, from the same family as campanula. Also known as a balloon flower, blooms from late summer into autumn. Platycodon can be planted in beds, borders, patio pots, window boxes and hanging baskets.
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum)
Leucanthemum is a clump-forming perennial, that bears large white, daisy flowers. A member of the aster family, the shasta daisy is an excellent plant for a cottage garden or planted in a patio pot or container.