Designing With Perennials

The best landscape design creates interest for each season.

Details to consider are:

  • bloom time
  • foliage colours in spring through to fall
  • form
  • textures
  • colour schemes
  • focal points
  • light requirements
  • soil conditions

Your design and the number of plants you use will depend on the depth and size of your flowerbed. The more layers you would like to create, the deeper your bed must be. Allow enough space for each plant to grow close to its mature size or you will be constantly rearranging plants. If you have a narrow bed, only 2-3′ wide, then choose plants that will fit into that space – usually just 1 row. Most perennials easily grow 2′ wide. For areas where you have more space, don’t be afraid to boldly shape your beds with flowing curves.

Even in a small area, too small a bed just doesn’t look right. Allow enough space away from foundations and walls so that plants aren’t growing tight up against them. Overhangs from roofs don’t allow rain to reach the plants either.

Keep plants & beds in proportion to the size of your property & house.

Incorporating trees & shrubs only adds more levels of interest. Evergreens with their year round foliage can liven up a winter landscape when perennials have gone dormant and the land appears barren. They also provide a nice backdrop to showcase the perennials and may offer protection from strong winds.

Choose your focal points in your yard first, then fill in around them. Usually they are large plants that will dominate a space such as a tree, large shrub or a tall ornamental grass. Bright colour also dominates.