Start a Perennial Garden

We all love perennial gardens and the gorgeous abundance of flowers they deliver. And I've decided to share some of the grower tricks of the trade I use to start my perennial garden. These are the gardens featured in some pictures used in my paper-based Perennials for All Season book and across my websites.

I've broken down the secrets to success and written them here without a lot of excess words that are used to pad out regular garden books. Forget the theory, these are practical tips. This is what you need to know to get a perennial garden up and running - not to mention creating a gorgeous look for your home. The beginning is really the most important part of the book. Get your soil right and the perennial garden will grow. Mess it up and you'll have problems. If you've been reading my columns and blogs, you'll know that my first year in the new garden wasn't pretty because of the soil problems (heavy, lumpy clay) that existed in my garden area. I'm having to do all the things I write about here so these aren't fanciful instructions - they're the stuff of making your garden work.

I"m a Lazy Gardener with lazy-gardener techniques

But because I'm a lazy gardener, I not only give you the best system called double digging (I use this on some of my beds) but I also give you the easy but slow method (I use this on other beds) I use to make great garden soil. The slow method is just that - slow. But it works and I don't have to bust my back to grow a decent perennial garden. I've also included tips and techniques for easy planting, easy feeding and easy watering techniques. There is little sense working too hard on these things if there is an easier method. I also include the most important tips on perennial garden maintenance and weeding.


Many beginning perennial gardeners obsess over overwintering their plants. That's partly because they've purchased the wrong plants for their gardens so I've included a discussion on what is a garden zone and how nurseries label their plants. I tell you which garden zone plants you can definitely grow and which ones you'll kill.

Getting More Plants for Free

Because some of the nicer plants come with a hefty price tag, it is a fundamental gardening skill to be able to propagate your own perennials. This ebook describes in practical detail how to start perennials from seed (including the most common tip from other gardeners to ignore), how to produce plants from cuttings (ever seen a plant at a friend's place you'd love to have?) and division (you'll need this in your own garden by year two).

Can't Fail Garden Design

One of the main sections in this ebook is letting you know how to design a perennial garden such that it blooms all summer long. Using a series of diagrammes, you'll see how to design a garden in bloom from spring until fall. You don't have to be a garden designer to use these simple techniques but you will soon be if you follow these simple instructions.

Plant Choices

Garden centers sell plants based on what's in bloom at the moment and some of those flowers are forced along to be in bloom when you visit rather than when they'd normally bloom in your garden. These same garden center staff often don't know much more about perennials than you do so deciding what to grow can be a major adventure. Not only does the ebook tell you about zones and how to identify plants that will succeed in your garden, but it also tells you how to identify the light level in your own garden. Do you have shade or part shade? Is your garden a sunny one even though the garden gets morning shade? The diagramme in the book answers these questions.

Tough No-Nonse, Best Perennials

And to top off the book, I've described (with pictures) the five toughest plants for the sun and five toughest plants for the shade garden. You'll be able to grow these unless you live in a very, very cold garden (or a very hot tropical one) In short, this ebook gives you a blueprint for creating a summer-long blooming garden and the techniques you'll need to keep it healthy and growing well. And all of this for less than the price of one of the fancy perennials you'd like to be able to have flowering in your garden.


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